I’m sure that in your experience as a business person you’ve come across someone who really made you feel good. That salesperson who listened intently to everything you said, that went the extra mile to fulfill your order – that person who genuinely cared. Now, remember that feeling for a minute and ask yourself: Am I treating all of my clients this way?
Knowing what your strengths are can be one of the most valuable things to learn for your business. Maybe you are great at Digital Marketing, but on the phone or in person, you don’t have the strongest… “people skills”. And that’s ok! But rapport building is a hugely important skill to have in your back pocket, so I’m going to give you a few tips that will help you build Grade-A rapport with clients, potential clients, or just your contacts in general.
Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who was deathly afraid to speak in front of an audience, who couldn’t look anyone in the eye while having a conversation, and who was afraid to put herself “out there” for success…
Amber’s Tips for Building Rapport with Clients:
- You must be genuinely interested and involved in the conversation, whether you are taking a client’s order, listening to what they need, or hearing a complaint. You want to have full eye contact (and not the kind where you are looking at a person but thinking about anything other than what they are saying to you!!).
I had a physical recently, and every time I asked my doctor a question to she started to reply with “That’s a great question!”. She instantly made me feel comfortable. She was engaged in the conversation and was about as helpful as I’ve ever seen a doctor be. Now that is great rapport-building!
- Act professionally all the time – this includes the way you talk! Here’s a great question to ask yourself: How do you want people to remember you? Do you want to be known as the funny guy who tells dirty jokes? Or the professional, ethical, honest guy that worked hard to help anyone in his path? It is important to be yourself…but personally, I am always focused on growing both my personal and business self.
- When I was working my first sales job selling Cutco Cutlery, I was taught to always try and build 10 minutes of rapport with each customer BEFORE starting my presentation. I drove out to the customer’s house (I was invited, btw) and felt it was my duty – and challenge – to keep the conversation going.
I asked questions such as how long they’d lived in this house, I would look at the pictures in their home and ask about their family, I would ask what they do for a living and how they came to do that, etc. People love talking about their kids, home, and pets – they could talk forever, so I let them for a while to build that relationship of trust, then started my demonstration. I truly believe building rapport attributed to my 85% closing ratio (25% above the company average). Building rapport can help increase your closing ratio and average order!
Every day, I strive to achieve A+ customer service to my clients. I am genuinely happy and helpful on the phone, I respond to emails very quickly, I don’t complain, and I make each client feel confident that I can handle anything. And guess what? I can. 🙂
What do you do to build rapport with your clients? Any stories of how rapport building helped you land a client or get an order? I’d love to hear them!