When we ask salespeople to list their strengths most include rapport and relationship building, getting on with people and listening. When we then ask the customers to list what they dislike about salespeople they usually include they are over-familiar, they don't listen, they are complacent, they only call us when THEY want something.
This is interesting because when you then analyse what sales people count on to win they will tell you product, price, brand and relationships. But we have all had the best solution at the lowest price but lost the deal we were outsold because we built relationships poorly and/or with the wrong people contrary to what we initially thought.
When it comes to building relationships and rapport are you really as good as you think you are? Ask your self:-
- Do I actually listen when I am on a sales call?
- Do I prove / show I am listening?
- Do I display empathy?
- Do I get on the same wavelength as the customer?
- Do I show interest in them, their company, their situation?
- Do I talk "with" the customer or "at" the customer?
- Do I communicate in a way that the customer likes and is at ease with too many statistics not enough statistics, to quick fire too slow, not detailed enough - too pedantic, too formal too informal?
Building good rapport is not just about being friendly, buying lunch, playing golf, asking about the family. Its about communicating effectively and in style the customer prefers. Building rapport is about proactively making it happen not reactively letting it happen.