I’ll let you into a little secret – rapport is like fairy dust. If you concentrate on building this more than you do on the actual sales techniques then you will usually get much better results. The ability to get into deep levels of rapport is what will easily help you to stand out from the competition and help you be the best sales person you can be. Rapport is all about understanding the other person’s ‘map of the world’, or in basic terms, their perspective. Their preferences, habits and what we call ‘meta programmes’.
The reason rapport will get you better results is that by tuning into the other person you will pick up subtle distinctions that may help you to ever so slightly alter the sales technique in a way that fits with your prospect.
The best way I can advise to build rapport with someone when selling is to identify their preference on how they process information.
Everything we do is absorbed by our five senses; sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Whilst most people use all of the senses to make sense of things, we are likely to have one preference over another. It’s unlikely to be taste or smell as they aren’t multi-dimensional enough.
Here are the four main preferences of how we absorb and make sense of information.
If you have a visual preference you are likely to be organised, neat and well-groomed. You memorise things by looking at images or video and have trouble remembering verbal instructions. You are more interested in how things look and appearances are important.
Visual people will use words such as:
If you have an auditory preference you are distracted easily by noise and sometimes talk things through to yourself in order to memorise information. You prefer to learn by listening and talking and respond to a certain tone of voice or words.
Auditory people will use words such as:
If you have a kinaesthetic preference you respond well to physical rewards and touching. You memorise by doing or walking through something and you will only be interested in doing something if it ‘feels right’.
Kinaesthetic people will use words such as:
If you have an auditory digital preference you will be more logical in your thinking, with a need for things to make sense. You may find yourself looking down when processing and talking to yourself while you make sense of things.
Auditory Digital people will use words such as:
Listen out for words to give clues on how they absorb information and then try to use them when selling to your prospect. It may also be a good idea to have a range of different ways to explain or demonstrate your product to people with different learning preferences, so for example, some visuals for someone you detect has a visual preference.
Try to use the descriptive words of their learning preference when talking to a prospect in order to build rapport, and watch your sales grow.
About Leigh Ashton
Leigh Ashton is CEO and co-founder of Sasudi, the world’s first online subscription service that helps SMEs sell their products and services. She is also an author. With the vision to make sales easy for small businesses by changing the way they think, Leigh has spent over 30 years helping people improve their sales skills.