Building rapport with customers is one of the most important steps in the sales process. A strong relationship with a customer creates mutual trust and a lasting relationship that can lead to repeat business. As the saying goes ‘People do business with people they know, like and trust’.

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Use Your Customer’s Name

One of the most effective ways of building rapport with customers is to use your customer’s name and know how to pronounce it. It helps you connect with them and for them to feel like, you’ve heard them and that they’re part of this conversation. People love the sound of their own names.

Make sure to use their name naturally in the conversation.

Mind Your Manners

Be respectful of your prospect and any specific cultural business etiquette too. Sometimes by simply adding “Please” and “Thank you” into your conversation, helps create empathy that helps build rapport.

Be Honest and Transparent

Explain the reasons for saying no and give an alternative solution.

Be honest and transparent with your reasoning for why things are priced a certain way, why you can’t give a discount or why it won’t do what they want it to. Even if it looks bad on you, this creates trust with your customers.

Show Interest in Your Customers

This might be counter-intuitive. A lot of people are more interested in their products or services and talking about their business and themselves rather than spending time on actually being curious or taking an interest in customers. By showing interest in them, you find things that you and your customers have in common. At the end of the day, most products and services are all the same pricing with a negligible five per cent here and there. What’s going to make a huge difference is in your ability to connect with your customer. Your ability to build rapport. The more things you have in common, the more they’re going to like you.

Remain Present

What exactly does it mean to be present? Being present means not only physically present but also emotionally present, connected with and in sync with your customers. Listen actively, instead of just waiting for your chance to sell.

Smile

Once of the easiest ways to build rapport with a prospect is to smile. It’s easy but how many sales associates have you met that always look to be in a bad mood? Don’t be one of them. Smile, be happy and eager to help them.

When you smile at someone, it helps to build a connection. People can’t help but smile when you smile back. You can even give bad news with a smile and people might even give you a bit of a break because it was said with positive energy.

The easiest way to get people to like you is to be like them!

-Tom Abbott

Author Profile

Tom Abbott
Tom Abbott is the author of 'The SOHO Solution' and 'Social Selling' and the creator of the online sales training platform SOCO Academy. Sales leaders engage Tom for his proven solutions to building high performance sales teams that exceed targets and for motivational keynotes that energise their audiences.

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