Be human. People buy from people they like, not from companies.
Of course, building rapport will definitely not secure you a deal by itself. That’s more a function of the value you and your company can offer a buyer.
On the other hand, NOT building rapport can lose you a deal you might have otherwise won.
We are all too busy and stressed to spend time with someone we are not sure we will like, particularly in a world where the majority of our meetings are by Zoom.
So how do you build rapport and show you are human?
Here are few things that have worked for me:
✔️ Active listening and recapping. We all respond positively to being heard. “I heard you say” or “I understand that” are powerful rapport builders.
✔️ Listen for personal interests. “I am going to ‘hockey grandma’ this weekend,” “ I am off next week for my Dad’s 80th birthday,” “I like to get out to the country for bird watching” are things I have written down and then asked my buyers about in follow up calls.
✔️ Read the room. Does your buyer have an interesting painting or piece of art, an award, pictures of their family, sports teams, or artistic endeavors, or certain types of books in the backgrounds? If so, they are sharing their lives with you. Ask them about it.
✔️ Share your interests. I tell people that I do karate with my kids, where we travel as a family, that we are active in our church, about the books I read. It helps your buyers know that you are human, and you may just find a common interest.
✔️ A little research can go a long way. Do a little research and see if there are common connections you can reference: “I noticed we are both connected to X colleague” or “we both went to the same school” or “both follow the same podcaster,” etc.”
When you see your buyers and customers as individuals with lives, you will close more deals, have less stress in your day, and have more interesting conversations. It is a win all around!