Rapport 2.0: Don’t Fall For The Rapport Trap

By Don Odom

Attention business owners and salespeople, are you missing sales by falling into the rapport trap?  Are you looking around your prospect’s office, searching for something to talk about, as a way to create common ground?  If so, stop. 

Your prospect isn’t interested in discussing their fish on the wall with you or the places that they have been.   They didn’t invite you in because they need an ego pump or a new drinking buddy.  You’re there because they want to know if you can fix their problem.

Commenting on what’s in your prospect’s office, is not the way to create common ground.  That’s old school.  So, please stop trying to force a relationship.  Let it develop naturally. No amount of blowing smoke will make them buy your stuff if it doesn’t solve their problem.

To close more sales today requires a new approach, that new way is Rapport Building 2.0.  It’s different because it is focused on effectiveness, not flattery. 

Today, everyone is so busy. We all have more to do than we have time to do it.  We don’t have time for fluff conversations and empty flattery.  We want our problem solved, and we want it solved now. 

To close more sales, build rapport by focusing on your prospect’s problem.   After you exchange general pleasantries with them, start the conversation with your understanding of their situation – remember it’s the reason that they invited you to meet with them. 

Hopefully, you pre-qualified them, so that you have a general understanding of what they are facing.  Have them confirm that you are on target with their situation and problem.  Tell them that you have a few more questions so that you can determine if your product/service can help them.  Then dive in and uncover how their problem is negatively impacting them and their business.

Rapport-building 2.0 will set you apart from your competitors.  Not only will your prospect appreciate that you are not wasting their time, but they will also see you as more professional.  They will be more engaged and will automatically be drawn to you because you are diving into their situation to determine if you can help them, instead of trying to create a forced friendship. 

When prospects see that you are sincere about helping them and that your offering can solve their problem, they will then be genuinely interested in getting to know you.  Real rapport comes from addressing their issues, not feigning interest, and blowing smoke.  Forget the fish on the wall, dive into their problem, and you will close more sales, and form more relationships. 


       Don Odom

Owner, SuccessPath

About Don 

Don is the founder and owner of SuccessPath Coaching.  He started SuccessPath to help business owners grow their business and enjoy a better, more relaxed life.  For nearly a decade, he has shared the secret he learned for achieving Double-Digit growth from owning four different businesses.  Don combines his business ownership experience, Entrepreneurial MBA education and Transactional Analysis Psychology Practitioner Certification to help business owners get to the next level.  His unique holistic approach improve sales, marketing, operations, financial competence, and personal-growth, so that business owners can finally have the success that they dreamed of and the freedom to enjoy it. 

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