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Seven Tips to Establish Rapport in Sales (Part II)

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.

4.  Respect the prospect’s time

A very minor tactic that we can implement to positively impact rapport is to always respect the prospect’s time.  If we are calling them, we need to make sure they are available and we are not interrupting anything.  If we are meeting with them, we need to confirm that they are still available and confirm if there is a particular time when they need the meeting to end.  We can take that one step further by demonstrating during the meeting that we are aware of the time and managing the flow of the meeting so that we do not over extend what the prospect has given us.

5.  Move on prospect’s terms

It is understandable to believe that we must push the prospect along and try move through the sales cycle as quickly as possible.  The one challenge with that is that if we are too pushy, we can negatively impact the rapport in sales.  And if that is correct, then it could be safe to assume that if we do the opposite of pushing the prospect by letting them lead in terms of direction and pace, then we could stand to increase rapport.

It is important to note that this approach is only good if we have executed well in other key areas like building pipeline, qualifying the prospectidentifying pain, building interest, trial closing, etc.  If we have checked those boxes, we can have more confidence in letting the prospect lead.  But if we have not, we may have to be more pushy when it is time to close and move forward.

Here are some questions that can build rapport in sales:

  • What direction to you want to go?
  • What do you want to do next?
  • When would you like me to check back with you?
  • When would you like to meet again?


6.  Listen to the prospect

One tactic that could possibly make you standout from other sales people and can increase rapport in sales is to simply listen to the prospect.  It can be a common for us to get excited about what we are selling and sometimes spend too much time talking.  But if we can stop and focus on listening to the prospect, and let them know that we are listening, we can stand to increase the level of rapport.

One step to shifting from talking to listening is to ask the prospect questions to get them talking.  From there, we can give visual cues like eye contact, nodding, and taking notes to let the prospect know that we are listening to everything they are saying.

7.  Understand the prospect

Taking listening one step further is the act of letting the prospect know that we understand them.  Knowing that someone understands where you are and what you are trying to say can create very positive feelings and these can lead to establishing rapport in sales.

A simple way to let the prospect know that you understand them is to periodically summarize and share back with the prospect what you have heard the prospect say.


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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales coaching helping sales pros to improve rapport in sales.

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This article was published on Sunday 18 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 I)
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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