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Got Rapport?

What do elite Sales Professionals know about rapport that you don’t?

By
Jeb Blount

Got Rapport?

Sales research has shown that up to 90% of success in selling depends on your skills for establishing rapport with your prospect or customer. The data also indicates that while average salespeople do well in selling to people like themselves, top performing Sales Professionals have learned how to build relationships with, and sell to, anyone.

What do elite Sales Professionals know that others don't? Top Performers understand that, despite what trainers have been teaching for more than thirty years, establishing rapport is more than just asking about a picture on the wall or an object on a desk. They also know that building rapport requires more than charisma and attitude. The highest earning Sales Professionals consistently practice the skills required to connect with people, earn their trust, and build confidence so that a relationship is quickly formed.

Having rapport with someone means you understand them well enough to experience the world through their eyes. It is a fact that people like, and are more comfortable with people who are like themselves. So it logically follows that the more we can learn to be like our prospects and customers, the better rapport we will have with them. But it's not enough to just be similar to someone; it's having sincerity, establishing trust, listening, having the right intentions and it's understanding their values.

We have all heard the saying that customers most often buy from people they like. And while this is true I believe that there is another more powerful tenet at play. I believe that people really like to buy from people they believe like them. I’m sure to some this sounds a little strange so think about it this way. One of the strongest human cravings, beside sex, is the desire to be liked and accepted by others. We want other people to become our friend, respect us, listen to us, show us sympathy, appreciate us and make us feel important. And, when we believe that another person likes us, we reciprocate and return the favor.
 

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