Attention salespeople, don’t fall into the rapport trap. Your prospects don’t need a new best friend, they need a solution to their problem. So for goodness sake, stop asking about the fish on the wall, commenting on their beautiful family, or telling them how great their favorite sports team is. You are there to help them, not to feign interest in them.
Don’t misunderstand, building rapport is important. It’s how your prospect determines if they like and trust you. But the traditional approach is dead. Prospects are asked the same handful of “rapport building” questions over and again. They take them to be disingenuous, which raises their defenses and drives them away instead of drawing them closer.
Rapport 2.0 aligns with today’s market conditions and business climate. Everyone is busy. They have to do more with less. They have no time for fluff or empty flattery. They’re not looking for a new buddy. They want their problem solved quickly.
Adjust your approach to speed things up.
Start the sales conversation by sharing your understanding of their problem.
Confirm with them that you’re on target.
Then tell them that you’re there to determine if you might be able to help them and you would like to get started.
To sell more, focus the conversation on their problem and get to it. Don’t waste time talking about items in their office or idle chit chat. Getting right to it and telling them you’re there to determine if you can help them, sets you apart from your competition. And they will notice and reward you with their business.
When prospects see that you are sincere about helping them, not about blowing smoke, they will be truly interested in getting to know you more. True rapport is accomplished through addressing their issues, not asking about their fish on the wall.