What is rapport? Let’s start with a definition: Rapport is the ability to connect to another person intimately for the purpose of establishing either a personal or professional relationship. It is the capacity to build trust by way of a connection with another.
Rapport relays to the other person that you are in sync with their needs and desires.
This definition will be our working definition throughout this article as I delve into the following topics.
- The Importance of Rapport
- How to Establish Rapport
- Utilizing Rapport to Close a Deal
THE IMPORTANCE OF RAPPORT
Every business, every relationship is built on the ability to connect with another. The first impression we make on someone is often the most critical. Does building rapport come naturally to you? In this article, I will teach you the necessary skills to master building rapport through the vulnerability of self to close the deal. What you glean from this article will allow you to go to a deeper level of connection than perhaps you may be accustomed. However, I believe in the power of connection to seal the deal!
What are the qualities you look for in a person when making a purchase?
Check out my list when I purchase a service to grow my business:
- Are they experts in the area I am seeking?
- Do they serve others in their community or globally?
- Is there follow up support?
- Do they have reviews/testimonials that speak to their skill level?
- Are they approachable?
As you can see from the list, building rapport is an essential key to successful personal and business relationships. It is the key to not only get the deal but close it as well!
HOW TO ESTABLISH RAPPORT
Many of us recognize the need for rapport. Most of us agree it is essential in any business. However, some of us may struggle with establishing rapport. Although I now possess the keen ability to build rapport, it was not natural for me.
Let’s first look at the steps necessary to establish a good rapport.
- Body Language and Posturing
- Active Listening Skills
- Proposal of Resolution
- Summarization of Shared Time
- Follow Up Connection
BODY LANGUAGE AND POSTURING
Body language and posturing are critical to building rapport. Let’s look at this chart for some of these techniques and their corresponding results.
ACTIVE LISTENING SKILLS
Active listening is a communication technique designed to build rapport between speaker and listener. An active listener is cognizant of both the verbal and body language of the speaker. Active listening incorporates the following:
- Be present and in the moment with the client
- Pay attention to THEIR needs and desires!
- Look for accuracy while they are speaking! Be sure
to confirm or clarify when necessary.
- Listen to the emotions that are portrayed in what
they are sharing.
PROPOSAL OF RESOLUTION
The goal of a proposal of resolution is to meet the client’s needs and desires. You have actively listened and are aware of the details. Now it’s time to build credibility!
Propose your resolution based on the needs of the client. If you don’t feel it is an excellent match, be honest about it as well. If they see your integrity, they will refer you to others, regardless of whether they purchase.
SUMMARIZATION OF SHARED TIME
The art of summarizing the shared time should be brief. In a few sentences, summarize the client’s needs and desires. Validate what they have shared. When building rapport, you are essentially selling yourself.
People love to know someone has thought of them. Therefore, it is critical to take the time to follow up after your meeting. It is often this very act that seals the deal. There are multiple ways to follow up:
- Send a thank you card
- Schedule another time to meet
- Highlight their business on social media
USING RAPPORT TO CLOSE THE DEAL
Are you ready to close the deal? Now is the time to ask the following questions of your potential client:
- What are your thoughts?
- Does what we discussed make sense?
- Is there anything you would like for me to clarify?
This technique allows you to gauge whether they are on board with proceeding, or if there is hesitation.
Active and intentional listening skills are essential during the entire process of building rapport and closing a deal. Doing so solidifies your unique ability to meet the needs and desires of the client. At this juncture, your listening skills affirm they are #1 in your book!
Kristie Knights is a licensed psychotherapist, the collaborative practitioner in civil and divorce law, professional speaker, author, and vice president of the Global Sisterhood Non-Profit 501(c)(3).