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Stop Building Rapport and Start Listening and Connecting

Rapport in its purest form is manipulative. People who feel manipulated will be distrustful of your motivations, no matter how pure, and will never feel connected to you.

By
Jeb Blount
3-minute read

Buyers are not fooled. They find these lame attempts at rapport-building gratuitous and insincere. Over time, they become numb to rapport- building efforts.  If you want people to buy you, forget about rapport. Remove the word from your vocabulary. Instead, focus on connecting.

Rapport is designed not to develop trusting relationships, but rather to influence behavior. Rapport in its purest form is manipulative. People who feel manipulated will be distrustful of your motivations, no matter how pure, and will never feel connected to you. Connecting, on the other hand, is designed to win others over through a focus on their needs. The most effective strategy for winning others over (convincing them that you are their friend) is to start and end by helping them get what they want.

Stop Trying to Build Rapport and Learn How Listen

The most insatiable human desire, our deepest craving, is the desire to feel valued, appreciated, and important. The key to connecting and winning others over is, therefore, extremely simple: make them feel important. The real secret to making others feel important is something you have at your disposal right now. It’s listening. Listening is powerful.  The more you listen, the more connected others will feel to you. When you listen, you make people feel important, respected, and heard.

Unfortunately, most salespeople would rather talk than listen.  Why? Because we would rather think about and talk about ourselves, our products and services, our accomplishments, and our problems.   The vast majority of people, especially salespeople, never make the effort to sincerely listen to others.  Much of the time when they are not talking they are thinking about what they are going to say next. 

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