The Importance of Building Rapport in Sales

In the digital era, a personal connection with customers is expected. The problem is that building rapport in this day and age has become more complex than ever before.

There are many ways that customers find your company, and they all expect you to be able to personalize their experience.

When it comes to sales, hard does not mean impossible.

I am going to show you how, step-by-step, to establish rapport with customers at each stage of the customer lifecycle.

Rapport is a connection between two people that can be developed through empathy, acknowledgement of feelings and goals, or just good conversation. Its also about being open to listening.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

What Does Building Rapport Mean?

Rapport is the degree of liking or feeling connected to another person. It can also be defined as a state of harmonious relations with others.

Build Rapport Meaning

Building rapport is the process of developing a connection with another person. This can be done by being genuine and looking for common ground.

The Importance of Good Rapport

Rapport is important because it helps us to connect with others and build relationships. It also makes for a more comfortable environment, both at work and in our homes.

How to Build Rapport With Customers Fast?

Building client rapport is not easy, but it can be done by taking into account these social skills. These are some of the most important things to remember when building a connection with someone.

Building Rapport Tip #1 Research the person

If you want to have a meaningful conversation, it is important that you know more about the person. Ask them what they like and dislike or where they are from.

If you are looking for information, there is a lot of it out there. Some sources include:

  • Their social media profile
  • Their LinkedIn page
  • A quick Google search

It’s important to know your customer and what they want. When you do this, it will be easier for the two of you to establish a connection.

Building Rapport Tip #2 Actively listen

Active listening is a communication skill that entails giving your full attention to the person you are talking with. It encourages openness and honesty, as it makes them feel seen and heard – so if they sense that you’re actively listening, then more than likely they will be inclined to share their thoughts.

Listening is also important in the workplace. When you listen, make sure that you are listening to understand what they said and not just waiting for your turn to speak. This will show them that you care about their opinion or point of view on something.

Building Rapport Tip #3 Mirror and match

Mirroring and matching are techniques that I have found to be most effective when meeting someone new. Here is an example of the technique:

  • When you are speaking to someone, try matching their body language. Watch for things like posture and expression.
  • Use the same language and words to help your readers understand what you are trying to say. If they use technical terms, then try using those as well.
  • If someone is speaking slower than you, then adjust your speech so that it matches theirs.

Building Rapport Tip #4 Be friendly

A good way to build rapport is by being warm and approachable. This can be done in a number of ways, but the best one would have to be smiling.

Eye contact is a good way to show the other person that you are listening and understanding what they have said. It also shows openness, but if done too forcefully can turn them off.

In a formal setting, it is best to keep your personal life separate from the conversation. Do not share too much information about yourself such as details of previous relationships.

Building Rapport Tip #5 Ask questions

One of the best ways to show that you are listening and invested in a conversation is by asking questions. By being curious about what they have said, it demonstrates your interest.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills For Rapport Building

How to Build Rapport with Clients through Communication Skills

Communication skills are abilities that we use when communicating information. These skills include: -giving and receiving clear, effective communication -listening to others without interrupting or judging them

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Empathizing

Communication skills are essential to any profession. They can be practiced in many ways, but the following examples include:

Active Listening

When listening to someone, it is important to get rid of distractions such as your phone and laptop. It also helps if you make eye contact with the speaker.

Active listening is the act of really hearing what someone has to say and not interrupting. It creates a relaxed atmosphere between you, which in turn fosters trust.

Friendliness

Friendliness can include many things, such as smiling and being honest. It also includes remembering specific details of a conversation so that you are able to build rapport with the other person.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Feedback is important in the workplace because it helps people grow and learn. Good communicators are open to feedback while also providing constructive insight to other individuals.

Empathy

Empathy is a way to show that you not only understand the other person’s perspective, but also share in their emotions. It encourages openness and makes them feel seen, heard, and understood.

Its important in the workplace and outside of it.

Respect

Respect is an important factor in all human relationships. The respect that we give someone should be shown by giving them space and time to speak without interruption.

Other aspects of respect include listening to the other person, staying on topic and being clear with responses.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal skills are the traits that one relies on when communicating with others. They include verbal and non-verbal elements of communication.

In order to be successful in business, you need these skills. They are important for building rapport with customers and colleagues as well as relating with superiors.

To illustrate the importance of interpersonal skills, I will provide some examples.

  • Empathy
  • Motivation
  • Leadership
  • Assertiveness
  • Active listening
  • Teamwork
  • Decision making
  • Some situations require negotiation and mediation, which is a process that involves both parties finding common ground to work from.

How Do You Establish Rapport With Customers In 5 Steps?

building rapport

Thanks to increased transparency and knowledge sharing, customers are more educated about your product than ever before.

This can be both good and bad, but the upside is that you get to work on a more challenging customer.

Honesty is important when it comes to the customer. Deception and hidden information will be easier for them to sniff out, so you risk losing any rapport that was built up.

In many cases, when a client contacts you for the first time, they are already convinced and ready to buy. This is because most clients have done their research before contacting you.

It may seem like a broken record, but it is important to have the same communication and sales cycle with every customer.

We’re going to examine how you can build rapport with a prospect during the more normal process. Just remember, this might not be your first point of contact and it may actually happen later in the sales cycle.

The article, “10 Tips to Build Rapport Internally” mentions that rapport is the foundation of any successful deal. It also states how important it is for people at your company to work together and understand each other’s roles.

Step 1: First call

Word-of-mouth and online searches are the two most common ways that customers find a service.

When someone reaches out to you, it is your job as a salesperson to ensure that they are not left in the virtual world. A solid first touchpoint will bring them into your funnel.

That means setting up a call with the potential customer and one of your business development reps to gather some information about what they are looking for.

It is best to have someone on your team call the prospect within 48-72 hours of first contact. This will help you understand what they need from you and their level of interest in your product or service.

Make sure your team members are asking the right questions to find out what their client needs and wants.

These questions may include:

  • Budget
  • Resources
  • Future needs
  • Location
  • Preferences
  • Dependencies
  • And more

It is not necessary to have a long, intense conversation. The key here is just making contact and understanding what they need so you can come up with an appropriate solution.

Step 2: Second call helps in building rapport with clients

When a customer calls in, tell them that they will hear from an agent within the next few days.

The agent will begin the call with any notes from previous conversations and a list of solutions to offer directly.

Todays consumers are looking for businesses that provide a level of service and curation not found elsewhere.

It is important to remember that the customer might not be clear on what they need, so try and ask them for more information.

Automated, robotic conversations are a plague on online technology. People want to feel like they’re interacting with another human being instead of a machine.

As a salesperson, you need to make sure that the customer knows they are getting quality service. After your first call, show them how much work has been done for their benefit in between calls and lead them to see what can be accomplished.

When you lead your customers through the process, it’s good for both of you.

Customer interaction is not limited to face-to-face meetings. They can hear from you before they ever meet in person, and hopefully develop a sense of trust through that process.

The hope is that they start to feel appreciated and understand the dedication your team has put in. If this becomes tedious for them, read the room and adjust accordingly.

To vet a lead, you can use the Internet to research them and learn about their company before meeting with them. This will allow for better first impressions as well as more opportunities in one’s sales cycle.

  • High or low intent
  • Level of interest
  • A lack of urgency, a desire to be patient and wait it out.

I don’t want to set any unrealistic expectations, so I just wanted you all know that this call is about making sure we’re on the same page and everyone knows what’s going on.

Step 3: First in-person interaction

I would argue that this is the most important moment in a sales interaction. This first test determines whether or not your team has what it takes to be successful.

You should come to this meeting with several good ideas. Make sure that you have something better than your competitors.

You need to demonstrate that your proposal will solve the customer’s problem and you should be able to do so in detail.

When they come to me with their idea, I try not to push them in one direction or another. Instead, its better for us both if we can compare and contrast different paths that are available.

Giving only one option might seem like a good idea, but if they dont go for it and you have no backup plan then people will think that you are unprepared.

According to a recent study, people are not just motivated by money. It turns out that many other factors also come into play when it comes to motivating salespeople.

When you are in a meeting, stay on track with the agenda and take cues from your boss.

To break the ice, try to start a conversation about their day or any other topic that is light and easy.

If they want to keep things on the down-low, thats okay too.

Rapport is not about following a set path. Its about understanding and accepting what the customer wants.

The customer is always right, and its your job to give them what they need.

Nowadays, in this digital era of rankings and ratings after the sale, you want to make sure that people are satisfied with what they see even if it didnt lead to a purchase.

In the long run, your reputation and trust are more valuable than a sale. If you focus on establishing rapport from the start of an interaction with someone, then they will be in a better position to make informed decisions.

Step 4: Follow-up interaction

If you have a meeting with your potential customer and they sign on, it’s great. If not, don’t stop contacting them because there are other solutions that may be better for their needs.

building rapport

When you dont get the sale right away, it can be a little disappointing. But in order to keep them interested and make sure they stay with your company for the long haul, there are certain steps that will need to happen.

The sales cycle for some products or services can be long, so it is important to reiterate and reassure them that this is not unusual.

Treat them as your partner in negotiations.

You are not just some salesperson trying to make a sale, you are their friend who is helping them get the most out of this deal.

If you are transparent with your employees, they will trust you. The time spent together can be used to teach them about the company and their future within it.

You need to keep the conversation going, but also make sure that everyone stays calm. Your instincts and rapport will help you do this.

If you need to have another in-person meeting, thats fine. However, make sure to send them an agenda for the meeting so they know what will be discussed and won’t feel like it’s just a repeat of your first one. You don’t want meetings without any point.

Step 5: Build a good rapport for future interactions 

If you find the right solution for your prospect, it is important to check in with them a few weeks or quarters later and see how they are doing.

I am not saying this because I lack confidence, and you should make sure to frame it as such.

Customers are more likely to return if they have a positive experience, so its worth your time and money to make sure that happens. Feedback will come in once the customer has actually used the product or service.

Make sure to stay in contact with them.

I learned that providing excellent customer service is key to keeping customers coming back.

Ultimately, the efforts you make to continue your relationship with them after a sale shows that they were not just another one of your customers.

A satisfied customer will be more likely to recommend your company, and theyll feel like you value their feedback.

Customer Rapport Building Is a Rather Long Game

If youre patient, people will appreciate your efforts.

If you keep doing what worked in the past, it will be much easier for a competitor to take your customers. You need to adapt and change with the times.

When recruiting new employees, be human and not just a robot. Treat them as you would want to be treated.

So instead of relying on templates or bots, I offer the rapport that is important to today’s consumers. That means providing real relationships with people.

Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀[/sc

Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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