Create Connections with Customers to Build Rapport

A good rapportIn virtually every aspect of the business world it is crucial to have a comfortable, trusting relationship with customers and this is especially true for salespeople.

A recent article posted on the website of the magazine Selling Power, offers some advice to salespeople looking to improve their rapport-building skills with customers.

The first bit of advice offered in the article is to match the client’s business style. Some customers prefer to chat for a few minutes before they want to talk about business while others would rather cut to the chase. Knowing which customers prefer which method will help salespeople build rapport. In a similar vein it can be helpful to match a customer’s sartorial style. By dressing in a similar manner salespeople may be able to show to the customer that they are easy to relate to.

Another key to building rapport, according to the article, is trust. Now this may seem obvious but many people slip up in this regard. By following through on what he says, a salesperson will be able to demonstrate to a client that not only does he deliver results but that he does what he says. This is crucial in the world of sales.

Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales consulting firm, said that while much of this advice is good, it has been around for a long time. The CEO offered a number of fresh tips to help salespeople build rapport in the today’s business climate.

Riddleberger said that doing research on customers and looking for areas where connections can be established is a good way to build comfort and trust.

“With the success of LinkedIn, you can find out a lot about most people in the business world with a few keystrokes,” he said. “Prior to going on a sales call, look them up and find out where they used to work, went to school or who you might know who is connected to them.”

Riddleberger cautioned that one should not lead with this connection but should instead work it in naturally, which is a “great way to connect and add a depth and dimension to a sales call.”

Just as building rapport is vital in sales, so to is sales training as it will give workers the instruction they need to be productive members of a team.