Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are punctual: being early is on time, and being on time is late."

Day: April 19, 2024

What do you do if you want to build rapport with potential clients during a sales call?

What do you do if you want to build rapport with potential clients during a sales call?

In my role as a fractional Vice President of Sales, I frequently coach relatively inexperienced salespeople on techniques to improve their revenue. Recently, I was asked, “What do you do if you want to build rapport with potential clients during a sales call?” It was a great conversation with this inexperienced salesperson, and I wanted to share the highlights of our conversation.

Building rapport is critical in any sales process as it helps establish trust and create a favorable environment for business discussions. Here are several effective strategies to enhance rapport-building during sales calls:

Engage with Personalized Approaches

Start by researching your potential client. If possible, understand their business, industry challenges, and personal interests. This information allows you to tailor your conversation, making it relevant and engaging right from the start. Personalization shows that you value the client’s unique needs and are not merely delivering a generic sales pitch.

Practice Active Listening

Active listening involves more than just hearing the words another person says. Active listening is understanding the underlying emotions and intentions. Show that you are listening by summarizing the client’s words and asking clarifying questions. This ensures you are on the same page and demonstrates your respect and attention to their concerns.

Share Relevant Stories and Experiences

Stories are a powerful tool in building connections. Sharing anecdotes that relate to the client’s situation can illustrate your understanding and empathy. Whether it’s a challenge you’ve helped another client overcome or a personal story that relates to the topic at hand, make sure it resonates with the core issues or interests of the client.

Remember, stories will be remembered. The better you tell stories, the more the listener will remember and appreciate you.

Mirror and Match

Mirroring and matching are techniques where you subtly mimic the client’s body language, tone of voice, or speech patterns. This should be done cautiously and naturally to avoid seeming insincere. When executed well, this technique can lead to increased feelings of alignment and comfort on the client’s part.

Use Positive Language

Positive language can help foster positive interaction. Even when discussing challenges or responding to objections, frame your responses positively. This helps maintain an upbeat atmosphere and encourages a constructive dialogue.

Actionable Advice for Implementation

At the end of your next sales call preparation, take a few moments to:

  1. Gather insightful information about the client and their business.
  2. Plan open-ended questions that encourage discussion.
  3. Think of relevant stories and experiences you can share.
  4. Practice mirroring techniques with a colleague to get feedback on your approach.

By consciously integrating these practices into your sales calls, you’ll find that building rapport becomes a more natural and effective component of your sales strategy. Remember, the goal is to make the potential client feel valued and understood, paving the way for a successful business relationship.