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Seven Tips to Establish Rapport in Sales (Part I)

Being able to effectively build rapport in sales will have a tremendous impact on improving sales results.  This is because not only do people buy from people they like, but more importantly having rapport will greatly improve a sales person’s ability


to control and manage an opportunity through a sales cycle.  Below are a few things that anybody can do to try to positively impact the level of rapport.

1.  Display Humility

Displaying humility with a prospect can greatly help with establishing a friendlier atmosphere.  This might actually sound counterintuitive as we have always been taught to act very confident and assertive and showing humility in many ways is the exact opposite of that as it is showing that you are modest and at times imperfect.

Of course when working in sales, you want to be confident in who you are, in the products you sell, and confident in the company you work for.  But to show the prospect at different times that you are human and in some ways very normal or average can help to create a more friendly and personal relationship.

2.  Compliment the competition

Another counterintuitive tactic to increase rapport in sales is to give a compliment to the competition that you are competing against for the business.  An example of this would be to share something that the competition is good at when talking about the prospect’s other options.  Of course you will want to follow this up with some areas where the competition might have weaknesses or where you clearly have strengths over them.

By sharing something positive about the competition, you will accomplish some very clear things at that exact moment.  First, you will display a tremendous amount of confidence since you are not afraid to share that type of information.  Secondly, you will present yourself more as an advisor than a sales person as you will be sharing valuable information.  Lastly, you will improve your level of credibility as if you are sharing what is good about the competition, you must be honest about everything else that you are sharing.


3.  Disqualify the prospect

Sticking with the counterintuitive theme, we can also drive rapport in sales by disqualifying the prospect.  This sales tactic can sometimes be referred to as the “takeaway” tactic, but it basically involves telling the prospect that they are not good for what you are selling.  Of course, we want to soften that a bit by turning it into more of a question or by expressing the possibility that they might not be a fit instead of stating definitive terminology.

By telling the prospect that you are not sure if what you have is right for them, you are likely to instantly decrease the prospect’s guard as they may view you as looking out for their best interest and that you are only going to move forward once you determine that they are a good fit and this can help to build rapport.

Of course this is an advanced tactic and should only be applied at the right times.  For example, if a prospect is demonstrating clear interest, you do not want to disqualify and question whether it is right.  Although, if a prospect is either in the neutral or negative position in term of interest, it can be very powerful to disqualify and question whether or not it makes sense.  Done correctly, this can not only help to bring the prospect back, it can also increase rapport in sales.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros to create rapport in sales.
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This article was published on Saturday 17 September, 2011.
Back to main topic: Sales Tactics
Using Reciprocation to Increase Sales
Three Practical Sales Tactics That Can Improve Results
Seven Tips to Establish Rapport in Sales (Part II)
Counterintuitive Sales Tactics – Disqualify Sales Prospects
Counterintuitive Sales Tactics – Outcomes when Disqualifying
Four Sales Tactics for Building Rapport with Clients
How to Develop Persuasive Sales Skills

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