Have you ever met someone who seems to just get along so well with anyone? People ask for them at gatherings, they make sales seem so easy, and somehow, there just doesn’t seem to be any awkward moment when you’re around them!
Regardless of what industry you are in, one of the best skill that you should possess is the ability to build rapport (quickly!) with your clients.
Although others may think it comes naturally, establishing rapport can actually be developed over time. Sure, there’s more to rapport than truly getting your client’s trust but it will surely give you a good headstart as you are building a connection and relationship with them.
Here are some easy steps to make sure you and your client would “click” on your first meeting. Don’t forget to S.M.I.L.E.!
S – Show Your Sincerity
More often than not, people will always feel turned off if they can smell that you’re only in for the numbers! Either you’re desperate to increase your sales or trying to hit a quota, it will always reflect in the way you are dealing with them. Give genuine compliments and make them feel that you really care about their problems, fears, or desires.
M – Mirror and Match
Mirroring and matching are techniques for building rapport by making yourself more like the other person (mindtools.com). Research has found that when people do something, the others surrounding him are kind of compelled to do the same act. (Click here to learn more mirror and match techniques.)
I – Ignite Common Interest
Don’t talk too much about yourself! Begin by using open-ended questions that will help you discover similar interests or hobbies where you may also create shared experiences. Just a tip, though, don’t try too hard by making up an interest! Remember, the goal is to be genuine and sincere.
L – Listen attentively
Our clients feel important when they are being heard. Listening will encourage them to feel more relaxed in your conversation and to be more confident to “open up”. From here, you can create your own visualization of their world and give you an idea of what interventions you will need to make.
E – Empathize
Empathy is the ability to understand or share the experience of another as though you are in his position. Unlike sympathy, empathy is more than just a feeling. It has to be combined with action. You may start by looking out for verbal or nonverbal cues to help you understand his situation; considering his perspectives by setting aside your own assumptions, biases, or criticism; acknowledging his/her feelings; allowing the emotional connection, and taking positive action.
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