What is the No. 1 skill you must master if you want to grow a successful business? You need to learn how to build rapport the right way.
Nowadays, people don’t spend their hard-earned money with just anybody. They need a reason to buy from you.
So let’s give them one. Build rapport, a relationship, a bond. People will buy from friends. They do not buy from strangers. (That's the old cliché lingo, right?)
Here's a better one. Why should someone buy from you when they can buy from one of over a thousand (or even 10,000) other people? They will buy from you if you have a relationship with them.
If you’ve been on social media for any length of time, you know that what I’m about to say is very true.
People are so worried about getting the lead or the sale that they forget to make a connection.
Too often people make the mistake of thinking that connecting means they send you a friend request, you accept, they can do a little chit chat (how’s the weather in Canada), and then it’s game on and they can start sending you their links and talking about their products and business opportunity.
And I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to "connecting" with someone like this. But more success is achieved when you implement the following into connecting with someone.
Listen, a real connection must be made and that connection is only made through rapport between you and someone else. You must sit and talk with them. Get to know them. Find out about their life.
[bctt tweet="Why would someone buy from you if they can get the same product from 1K other people? 'Cuz you have built rapport." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]
You Need to Form a Bond
You can build rapport with somebody easily, but it's only when you get really deep with that person that it builds a bond, a much stronger relationship.
The faster you can develop that bond with someone, the faster you can transition the conversation over to talking about business.
Here are several tips on how to develop a real bond with someone quickly to make that sale or close the prospect.
How to Build Rapport Tip #1 - You Can Never Have Too Many Friends
The only thing you should be thinking when you approach someone is that they want to be your friend. Assume that right off the bat.
This will give you confidence and posture, which is very important.
People are attracted to confident people. If you can display that confidence, you are starting the relationship on solid ground.
How to Build Rapport Tip #2 - Oh, You Like Bernese Mountain Dogs Too!
The next thing you want to do is check out their timeline and their personal profile. What can you connect with? Do you have anything in common?
Check them out. There has to be something you can relate to them about.
Check out their employment history. This is a great place if you can’t find something immediately.
- Are they a fireman?
- Have they been in the military?
- Are they a teacher?
- Do they volunteer?
Acknowledge them for that.
Are they a parent? Validate them for that. Parenting is hard work, especially if they work at an outside job too.
Whatever you do, whatever you say, be genuine, be authentic. Believe me, people can feel when you’re not being genuine. We all have BS meters!
If you don’t see anything you can give a genuine compliment on, don’t compliment them at all. Like your mother used to say, it’s better to say nothing at all.
Sometimes we land on someone’s profile page and there’s absolutely nothing we can find to relate to. In fact, a lot of what they say or do is a huge turnoff.
I say don’t even bother trying to make a connection.
Remember, you are looking for someone you want to work with. You don’t want to work with just anybody.
Now if they are talking about something you don’t agree with, that’s one thing.
Politics aside, business is still business and people are still people.
But if it’s a real issue, something you just don’t stand for, forget it and move on to the next person.
This works when you are building rapport offline as well. Observe the person you are talking with.
What are they wearing?
- Are they wearing something that would give you a clue to what they are into?
- Are they wearing a Harley Davidson t-shirt?
- Are they wearing camouflage?
- Are they wearing scrubs?
Ask about it.
Finding something you can relate to each other about creates an immediate rapport and helps you build a bond.
I once spent 3 hours talking with someone on social media because they now live in the same town I grew up in. We had an amazing conversation and built an immediate bond.
How to Build Rapport Tip #3 - So How About Them Cubs?
You need to get really good at small talk. Opening a conversation and keeping it going is a skill anyone can learn. You want to be able to get the other person to open up.
Small talk is just the beginning.
If you’re not great with small talk, then practice.
Go to the grocery store and start talking to people.
Go to a social event and start chatting.
Stay after church and start talking with someone you haven’t met yet.
Anywhere you go, find someone and start talking. The more you do it, the more natural it becomes.
It got to the point where Mark and I would have to take separate cars to church because I would stay after and talk while Mark and the kids were behind me just itching to get out of there. It was a distraction for me as well as the person I was speaking with.
Now we are all happy. They get to bolt out of the door once the last hymn is sung, and I can stick around and practice small talk and building relationships.
[bctt tweet="Opening a conversation and keeping it going is a skill anyone can learn." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]
How to Build Rapport Tip #4 - A Dog Walks Into a Bar…
So now you’re having a conversation with someone. Next you should find a way to keep the conversation going.
Learn to be engaging. There’s nothing like talking to someone and being bored. Keep them interested.
Be funny. Everyone loves the funny person. You don’t need to be the jokester, but have fun.
Get creative. There are lots of ways to break the ice. Pick one or two and go with it.
How to Build Rapport Tip #5 - Daydream Believers
I love the Monkees. (Just thought I’d throw that in there.)
You’ve broken the ice. You were funny. You got a few LOLs.
At this point you may be tempted to jump into the business talk. DON’T DO IT! Resist the urge.
Jumping past building a relationship and getting down to business is going to be a huge turnoff.
If someone suddenly says, “Oh, my baby is crying” or “I have to make dinner for my son now,” that means you’ve jumped too quickly and you need to circle back around to the rapport building stage.
Just because you talked about their car or the fact that they like the Monkees doesn’t mean you’ve built a relationship.
Remember, you are talking to a human being.
Let’s pretend someone said to you, “Hey, how about them Cubs?” You exchange a back and forth that looks something like, “Yeah, I’ve been a Cubs fan all my life and I’m so excited!” That’s it.
That’s not a relationship. Unfortunately, this is the point where most people will stop building rapport and jump into the business transition.
You need to take it further, much further. At this point questions could be asked like, “Oh yeah? Have you lived in Chicago?” And continue the conversation building on that knowledge.
Again, you are talking to a human being.
- This person has a story.
- They have a past.
- They have hopes and dreams.
- They have challenges.
- They have triumphs.
- They have something in their life that they love.
You need to tap into those things. These are the things that start to build a bond with someone.
Once you know someone’s hopes and dreams and past failures and challenges, you’ve gotten pretty deep.
How to Build Rapport Tip #6 - “What Do You Want?”
Are you going to be able to get to that point with everybody? Nope. Some people have walls built up, especially on social media.
Most network marketers are suspicious of everyone they talk to because they are getting pitched 5, 6, 10 times a day. I hear it all the time.
You need to stand out from the crowd. You need to be the person who doesn’t ask or transition the conversation to business until it’s a natural point to do so.
What’s an example of a natural point?
Let’s say you’re having a conversation with someone. Let’s say you broke the ice by talking about their dog. Maybe they’ve mentioned they would love to open a rescue shelter for Bernese Mountain Dogs one day.
Through a bit of questioning you’ve discovered they would love to move to Montana where there’s an open range for the dogs to run.
They have a job they hate, and they don’t make enough money to fund their dream.
They’ve been in three network marketing companies in the past five years and haven’t seen much success.
They haven’t received much training or support from their upline, and they feel like they’re in it alone. Sure, they have weekly conference calls or webinars, but that’s about it.
At this point you know their hopes and dreams, and you also know their history with network marketing companies and the challenges they’ve had. Now you can use this information to inform how you transition into business.
If you are having a tough time getting someone to open up to you, share yourself with them, share your story, your hopes, your dreams, your challenges.
The fastest way to get someone to open up about their pain is to share yours.
Don’t go on and on. But by you opening up to them, it allows them to feel safe enough to open up to you. It gives them permission.
[bctt tweet="The fastest way to get someone to open up about their pain is to share yours." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]
How to Build Rapport Tip #7 - “So I Was Born in a Small Town on….”
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: "Be interested, not interesting." This is the fastest way to build a bond with someone.
Be interested in them.
People love to talk about themselves. Let them talk.
Ask questions. Be real. Be warm.
Do not have a one-sided conversation when you’re speaking with someone. No one wants to talk to someone who only talks about themselves. You will kill the deal instantly.
Erase the dollar sign you are imaging on their forehead.
I know this is very hard to do when you need to pay rent at the end of the month. But if all you’re thinking about is making that sale, they are going to feel it.
They are not just a number, not just a sale. They are a human being.
This is a frequent mistake people make. If the person doesn’t feel like they are being heard, they’re not going to listen to your pitch. They are going to buy from someone who makes them feel like they matter.
The fastest way to build a bond with someone is to be real, be authentic. Get them talking about their life. Show them you can relate to where they are at.
Listen to them. Listen to the way they speak, the words they use, how fast or how slow they talk. Mirror them. But please, don’t mimic them! People like people like them.
Have you ever been speaking to someone with a Southern accent and before you know it, you’ve picked up a little twang too? It’s kind of like that. If they talk slow, you talk slow…. You get the idea.
If you want more information on matching and mirroring, check out this great article that lays it all out for you from Psychology Today.
If you do all of the things I’ve outlined in this post, the person will be able to tell you’ve been paying attention.
If they don’t have people in their life that pay attention to them and you do, you’ve listened, you’ve validated them, you make them feel like they matter, they have value. THIS is how people become magnetically attracted to you.
At this point you’re probably thinking this is going to take forever. If you get good at this, if you practice, you will become a natural.
When you can do this naturally, this whole process could take you ten minutes, if that.
The biggest question I get on this subject is, “How will I KNOW it’s right to transition to business?”
People have to know, like, and trust you first.
When they start opening up to you and telling you about their personal lives, what’s in their heart, what’s their pain, what’s their biggest challenge, you know they trust you.
Listen to what they are saying. Listen to what they are not saying. All this information they are giving you is gold.
Now you can transition into business.
We appreciate you taking the time to read our post. Don't forget to grab our Free resource guide How to Build Rapport Fast which also includes 28 building rapport questions you can ask that help you transition to business.
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