If you ask ten different salesmen what makes or breaks a deal, they will probably give you ten different answers. Some believe it's the time you call your client and others swear by what you say first; regardless of their differences, most answers you receive will circle around the same thing: building rapport with your client. Building rapport means convincing your client that you are not trying to scam them and are selling a valid product that will solve a real problem that they are having. But it's easier said than done. For many years, salesmen have tried to figure out the trick behind building good rapport. And for better or worse, we have ended with more answers than one.
What does it actually mean to build rapport?
Rapport is the relationship between two people. It's the level of comfort, trust, and respect they have for each other. To build rapport, you need to be able to connect with your client on a personal level and understand their needs. Only then will they be willing to listen to what you say. So why should you bother building rapport? The answer is simple: it makes the sales process easier and could be the point of difference between a sale and no sale. When you have a good rapport with your clients, they are likely to listen to what you say and trust your judgment. They are also more likely to buy from you because they know you have their best interests at heart. You don't build good rapport overnight. It takes time, effort, and a lot of patience. The best way to start is by being yourself and trying to get to know your client. Find out what they like and dislike, their interests and their hobbies. The more you know about them, the easier it will be to connect with them personally.
However, this doesn't mean that you can only build rapport on a personal level. Most people don't like to discuss their personal lives with their business lives and prefer to keep the two separate. And if your client is one of those people, you will have to try and build a business rapport.
A business rapport is when you and your client share the same values, goals, and objectives. This is usually easier to achieve if you are selling a product or service that is in line with their business. For example, if you are selling eco-friendly products, it will be easier to build a rapport with a client who is also environmentally conscious. The best way to build business rapport is by being knowledgeable about your product or service and understanding your client's needs. Once you have established a business rapport, you will find that the sales process becomes much easier because your clients will trust and respect your opinion.
Using sincerity in building rapport:
The best way to build rapport is by being sincere. People can see through fake smiles and empty compliments, so you must be genuine in your interactions with your clients. If you are sincere, your client will more likely trust you and believe you have their best interests at heart. But to what degree do you become sincere?
Building rapport is about finding a balance. Remember, your ultimate goal is to make a sale. And while it's always a good idea to develop a friendship with your client, you will ultimately have to present the product to them. And that always keeps you at risk of being salesy. What good is a salesman if he has many friends but no buyers for his product?
Finding a balance between building rapport and being salesy:
Building rapport is important, but you must find a balance between being sincere and salesy. The last thing you want to do is come across as pushy or insincere. The best way to find this balance is by getting to know your client and understanding their needs. Once you have done that, you can present the product in a way that meets their needs without sounding like you're just trying to sell them something.
There is no denying that building rapport is crucial during the sales process. You need to know your buyers inside out. From their likes and dislikes to their problems. You then use these problems to present them with a solution, one that doesn't sound too pushy. Think of building rapport as friendship; the better you know your friends, the more likely they will buy your product. Especially if you present it in a way like a friend would. One of the best ways to do this is to understand your buyers' problems, sympathize with them, and present the product as a solution. Rapport building also extends past the point of sale. If you want your buyers to become repeat users, you must continue building rapport for the longer term.