I have been doing sales training for over 25 years, and I am always amazed when I see a salesperson having trouble building rapport. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on the subject: “Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication. It is commonality of perspective: being ‘in sync’ with, or being ‘on the same wavelength’ as the person with whom you are talking.” In other words, rapport is when we get each other. It’s as simple as that, but it becomes complicated when we believe that everyone should think like us. Not only do we think it, we spend time trying to convince the other person of our position. If you’re spending your time convincing, it shows a lack of understanding of communication. In order to be a good salesperson, you have to give up your position of having to be right and hand it over to your customer. Remember, if you want to be right to win, that means the customer has to be wrong. In any transaction or relationship, no one wants to be wrong. According to Sravanthi Reddy G., selling is a two way communication relationship and involves talking and listening.
- Before conducting any type of sales training, I always suggest we do a standard sales training inventory: a test that will show the person how they communicate, who they communicate best with and what gets in their way.
- Learning about your communication style makes it easier for you to absorb new information and understand how it will help you. This is why school is so difficult for many; they can’t understand why they need the information and how it will help them. Once you do some communication testing, people will open up and want to learn. I use BEST Instruments because it’s simple and very revealing.
- Building rapport is the concept of connecting to your customer. Instinctively, we know how to communicate with people like ourselves. If you ask people why it works, they often say, “We just click.”
- You can click with anyone. Isn’t that amazing? Instead of passing on a customer because you don’t like them or just don’t get them, once you learn about yourself, you can make adjustments in your communication style.
- Great salespeople are in control of their communication. They know why they connect and what makes it work. On the other hand, amateurs leave it up to fate. Another great line is, “The customer just wasn’t ready to buy.” Building good rapport has little to do with the customer buying your product; it has a lot to do with whether the customer buys you!
Give a gift to your salespeople: the ability to understand their communication and sales skills. It will benefit them and your business many times over. Lisbeth Calandrino has been doing sales and customer service training for over 20 years. To book a consultation or have her speak to your group, contact her at Lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com or 518-495-5380. Lisbeth lives in Historic Hudson Park, Albany, New York, with her cat Rainyday.