Applying some rapport techniques can cause a tricky sales situation to revert to a much more favorable scenario.
Empathy is a present and necessary feeling in human relationships. The moment of sale, therefore, is nothing more than a human being in a relationship with another(s).
Respect, politeness, harmony and a balanced tone of voice. They are necessary postures at any time of the day and are essential elements of rapport in sales.
The goals are the same, no matter the company. Everyone wants to sell more, better and always have satisfied customers. Right?
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But it is very difficult – not to say impossible – to achieve this without empathy. Without putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, showing yourself available and doing it assertively is not going anywhere in a healthy way.
In this article, we’ll talk about what rapport is. More than that, we will discuss its importance in sales and will list some techniques when negotiating.
In the end, we hope you understand how to apply and why it’s so important to put yourself in someone else’s shoes – in every possible situation.
Come on? Good reading!
First of all: what is rapport?
It comes from French – and from psychology – the origin of the word. Rapport (actually, rapporteur) means “bringing back” and/or “creating a relationship”.
This second meaning is the most common and refers to the technique of creating a harmonious connection between two or more parties.
The focus is on generating trust so that one of the people feels more susceptible, open to what the other person says or proposes, for example.
Interaction. Exchange of knowledge, experiences. All on the same hierarchical level. This is the application of rapport techniques.
And if we think about sales? It is, therefore, the search for a good impression as immediately as possible with the prospect.
But, it needs to be light, natural, without seeming forced or desperate.
The focus is on good customer relationships first, not achieving goals and objectives at all costs.
Still in sales – but it works for basically any relationship in life: rapport is receptivity, not necessarily acceptance.
Complicated? It’s about the prospect being open to hearing what you have to say.
But that does not mean that he agrees and accepts what you propose in terms of price, product, term, conditions, etc. Is different.
But just because you are listened to, because you have aroused the attention of those who listen to you, it’s a halfway house to closing sales.
If the other connects with you, then more than half has already been covered.
If not right away, it could be in the future. It may be some indication that this person does, even without having closed with you.
After all, you showed empathy and concern for the customer’s success. He listened to you and saw value in what you sell. And that’s what counts.
Why is rapport important, especially when it comes to sales?
Emotional connection. Mutual trust. Spirit of cooperation. These are some benefits of applying rapport in sales.
But we can extend this subject a little further when trying to show that the solution you offer is, indeed, the ideal one for the client.
Some advantages we can extract from this technique are:
- instant confidence, through visual, bodily or even a sentence connection;
- empathy for the tone of voice used and/or posture, especially in moments of “tension”;
- creating a relationship that can go beyond the salesperson-customer relationship;
- identification and reduction of the barrier, not just one person trying to sell to another;
- openness to new possibilities, such as using mental triggers to accelerate sales or get an upsell ;
- have greater power of persuasion to get what you want – but all within an honest and trusting relationship;
- Use the best trading techniques to get the best results every time, among others.
To put these techniques into practice, however, preparation is needed. It can often take place through sales coaching, for example.
There are a lot of seller values, of course. After all, you need to be authentic to appear sincere and truthful.
Therefore, we will discuss, below, some ways to apply the rapport technique to be able to sell more and better.
Tips for applying rapport techniques in sales
How to transmit to people in a more natural way what we think and, later, want? One way or another, when we get to be understood.
When we deliver the message we want to deliver, the way we design it, a good feeling is generated, isn’t it?
Therefore, we have separated some tips on how to apply rapport techniques in sales. These are some steps to more quickly gain the trust and attention of those who listen to you.
Then you can use some sales techniques to speed up closing, how about that?
Let’s check out the 8 tips we’ve separated?
1 – Search for a connection
Football, TV show, music, film, food, travel, weather (heat, cold, sun, rain)… whatever.
In order to achieve an openness that will lead to trust, it is necessary to seek an initial connection. Make yourself present in everyone’s world.
And, therefore, seeking some of these elements to connect is essential for this relationship to begin to be built.
Of course, it will depend a lot on the sales routine that the company has. How many calendars per day there are and how much time there is between them.
If there’s time, look for some information about the prospect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Integra, for example.
Sometimes a photo with the football team shirt is enough to “break the ice” initially and make the conversation about the product or service lighter at the start.
2 – Practice the so-called “mirroring”
This is one of the most famous techniques when we talk about sales and rapport. Mirroring is a copy of the way whoever is on the other end of the line with you behaves.
Tone of voice, mood, and length of sentences… basically anything that is “replicable” is done. The purpose of this is to generate natural empathy.
After all, it is a peer who is talking to the person. And, unconsciously, there is a greater openness and acceptance, immediately, to what is said.
3 – Show interest quickly and honestly
Conduct a previous study on the person or, in cases of B2B sales, the prospect’s company.
Afterward, ask a series of questions so that you can better understand not only the “pains” but also the routine that the organization has. This is an excellent method because you show immediate and genuine interest.
If you don’t, you’ll be sending a message from someone who is “forcing” something – and it will be easily noticeable.
4 – Treat the person by name
It may sound silly, but it makes a big difference. Always address the person by their name. Use in phrases such as:
“Well, then, Roberta, tell me better about how your company’s day-to-day works?”
Be assertive and friendly. Practice active listening and make pertinent interjections calling the person by their name.
You will show that you are attentive both to the sale (because you said something pertinent at the right time) and to the details – the name.
5 – Put yourself in the other’s shoes
Everyone has their routine, their tasks, obligations, problems and commitments of all kinds. So the seller, especially the SDR who is responsible for qualification, needs to put himself in the other’s shoes.
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And that happens at the time of the first call, as Aaron Ross says in his book, Predictable Recipe.
Within this context, a simple sentence can make all the difference: “Hello Paulo, am I calling you at a bad time?”
In theory, even if it is not the best time, such an approach generates a feeling of empathy. This can cause the person to avoid saying “no” and listening to what you have to say. It’s a respectful way of speaking.
After all, you show that your sale is not the most important thing at the moment, but the customer’s well-being and the value you want to pass on to them.
6 – Massage the ego
In complex sales, a kind of “ego pleasing” can be quite effective to generate connections or, in the middle of the negotiation, to get around some objections.
For this to work, however, it is necessary to have a previous study about who negotiates with you. Praise the company, for example.
Read a case on the prospect’s website, referring to your customers and make a positive comment about it.
The connection has been created and you can put your sales script into action.
7 – Moderate your voice tone
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The tone of voice defines a lot about how the conversation will be conducted. In inside sales it is a major factor for the success or failure of the negotiation.
Because of this, we return to tip number 2 – “mirroring”. To handle the negotiation more securely, use the same tone of voice as the potential customer.
Only, of course, if he speaks loudly, you don’t have to do the same, right? But, this is not a normal situation.
However, speaking too softly can convey an image of insecurity. That the seller is not convinced of what he is talking about, which can generate a bad feeling in those who listen.
Be natural and speak firmly, but always looking for a light connection.
If necessary, practice voice tone. Simulate situations of calm, tension, and how your voice will need to sound in all contexts.
Gather feedback from the sales leader. Practice makes perfect – or close to it.
And for a factor as important as tone of voice, it’s important to always stay in tune with best practices.
8 – Know the context when making contact
Ideally, always take time before each schedule to research the prospect.
To understand the context in which it is inserted, taking into account macro aspects such as the country’s economy, for example.
Therefore, have relevant information such as:
- Lead history with your company. Within the CRM it is possible to have mapped the entire purchase journey and the interactions that the sales force had with it. It helps to know what has already been and what needs to be said;
- Company information. Within the sales system, it is also possible to know the market in which it operates, number of employees, consultation with the CNPJ, names of owners, among others;
- Analysis of the person. This can be done through social networks to understand various things, from professional to personal issues, if there is this information.
But remember: don’t be invasive. Don’t make unnecessary comments within a degree of intimacy you simply don’t have with the person.
Having this information helps you understand which trading techniques may or may not make sense.
Don’t be desperate for a connection search. Making this moment a bad experience for the prospect is bad for the salesperson and for the company’s image.
How to make rapport in different situations?
There are situations and situations. Times when you need to connect with people with greater purchasing power.
Others with a minor. One thing, however, does not change. You have to be concerned about generating value for the company’s buyer persona.
Knowing how to behave in different situations helps a lot in this mission.
That’s why we’ve separated 3 distinct moments in which you need to “read” the person you’re talking to and apply the rapport technique more assertively. So how to apply this technique with….
Business-to-business sales generally involve more than one decision-maker. It will not be just the CEO who will likely carry out the decision-making.
It’s a more complex negotiation, so it’s vital to connect with everyone involved.
With inside sales, you’re sure to be connected via Skype, Hangouts or any other video conferencing platforms, right?
To identify the terrain you are on, ask each of the participants to introduce themselves. Ask for the name, title, time with the company and what you are looking for with the solution you sell.
Create an approach calling everyone by name, always, and look for some information about the company that is relevant and put it at the beginning of the conversation.
This will lighten the mood so you can get on with what needs to be said to secure the sale.
Do this by showing that you are an authority on the subject. A person who needs, who deserves to be heard.
With small accounts
Small accounts, read also small businesses. Startups. To apply rapport techniques here, you need to create a kind of “hero’s journey”.
Show how the product or service you sell will drive business growth. Talk about 2, 3, 4 years in the future, showing the gains that hiring will bring.
So, how to create connection is easier. The seller can ask about the beginning of the business, the difficulties, the famous “running”.
Finally, show yourself friendly and understanding with those who are starting and structuring the business.
With big accounts
“With big powers come big responsibilities”. You’ve probably heard this phrase at some point in your life. It doesn’t make as much sense to the salesperson as it does to the prospect.
Large companies do not feel safe for a full revolution in their operations. Even if this is necessary and diagnosed.
So, it won’t be the seller who will propose this, right? Identify a problem that the solution you sell “attacks” and focus on that.
Focus on a part of the whole, not the macro. It will make a lot more sense and acceptance will be greater. After all, the ultimate responsibility for moving the whole will rest with the company’s decision-makers.
And they need to be gradually convinced of the need for change. Taking a step the size of your leg will make it easier to connect with the prospect and, of course, sell.
So, how can we help you?
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you build connections and sell more and better.
The first one has some sales tips to apply on a daily basis.
The second addresses the difference between efficiency and effectiveness in sales.