Many good salespeople open their meeting and immediately get down to business. Good and efficient, right? As their sales manager, I’d often watch them sitting on the edge of their seat, eagerly waiting to jump right in and show the client or prospect what they had to offer.
Building rapport doesn’t need to take long. A recent study at the University of British Columbia, found that a simple chat with the cashier at a coffee shop put customers in a better mood and gave them a sense of belonging. Not a surprise. But what can you do to help put your clients and prospects in a better frame of mind to meet?
Next time you interact with a client, watch yourself. What is the first thing you do? Is it down to business, or are you setting a better mood?
Here are seven simple steps to building better rapport:
1. Smile. Even if you’re on the phone, smile. It shows.
2. Make Eye Contact – If you’re not in-person, try using GoToMeeting or Skype. Showing your face on camera for even the first minute helps.
3. Make a Personal Connection – Start simple. The basic news, weather, and sports are just an opener to find a more personal connection.
4. Thank Them for Meeting –While this isn’t the time to jump into business yet, it is the right time to thank them for their time.
5. Confirm Why You Are Meeting – If you contracted ahead of time about the valid business reason for meeting, now is the time to repeat that, and ask if anything has changed.
6. Discuss How You Do Business – Don’t assume they know. If this is the first time you’re meeting, they may be assuming you’re just like most other salespeople they meet.
7. Review the agenda – Before getting down to business, give them the big picture first, and confirm that it sounds good to them.
Building a good rapport is the first step in an Hourglass Needs Analysis, and it’s a valuable start to every client meeting. Don’t feel you need to spend too long on building rapport, as the study showed, even the shortest of interactions can quickly put the prospect in a better mood.
Make your needs analysis appointments even stronger with our Hourglass Needs Analysis. Download here.