Conversational Selling Skills – Establishing Rapport

When selling it’s important to have a process…steps that you follow each and every time to help a prospect complete the buyer journey and, hopefully, choose to do business with you. The first step has got to be establishing rapport. If you’ve been in sales a while you were probably taught to start a meeting by thanking your prospect for their time, then showing them why your product or service is the best, why your customer service is the best, and how they “get you” when they buy from your company, and who wouldn’t want to deal with you??!!

We need to establish rapport in the beginning of the sales process so that prospects begin to like and trust us, and we need to build on that foundation of like and trust in every subsequent interaction.

“Nice weather we’re having.” “How ‘bout those Mets?” “Did you happen to see ________________?” (fill in the blank with whatever movie or tv program people are currently talking about) These are the type of traditional things salespeople say to get the ball rolling, and if all you’ve got it, “Nice weather we’re having,” then use that, but there’s a better way.

The goal is to get the prospect to start to like and trust you, and you do that by focusing the conversation on THEM, not you. By getting them to talk about their favorite subject. There’s a simple way to make that happen, and I’ll expand on it next week. For now, just remember that as much as you want to dive right into your “pitch,” and as much as your prospect wants you to dive right into your pitch (so they can finish with you and move onto the next thing on their schedule), that’s simply not what works. You’ve got to invest the time up front to establish rapport. It will pay you big dividends!