There’s a lot of bullshit in old school sales training. Mirroring body language, fake-as-hell urgency, uncomfortably high enthusiasm—this is what they USED to say closed deals. But in modern times, They’re all crap. They simply don’t work. And they’re scaring off your potential buyers.
Instead, there are a few surprisingly simple ways you can instantly build rapport WITHOUT coming off as a weirdo. And that’s what we’re talking about in today’s video.
Now, before we jump in, let’s talk about the current state of sales. These days, more than ever, your time winning over a buyer is limited. With all the automation in marketing these days, most buyers can get the majority of the info they need from your website or your content funnels.
Added to that, most businesses are facing 3X as much competition as they would’ve been just 15 years ago.
So when you DO get a buyer on the phone, you’ve got to make your time count. Because if you don’t they’ll have plenty of other options to go with. And that’s where rapport comes in.
What Rapport Is & Why It’s Important
Essentially, rapport is how much your buyer trusts you. It’s what dictates whether or not they take your advice, listen to what you have to say, and ultimately choose to do business with you.
And like most ideas in sales, rapport comes down to a very human, very biological issue—are you part of their tribe or not? Are you on the same side or opposite ones?
See, the human brain is wired to keep us close to those we identify with (our tribe) and be skeptical of those we don’t (not our tribe). It’s called in-group/out-group thinking. And it’s this tendency that’s at the root of so many social and political problems today.
But to bring it back to sales, the better you are at building rapport, the more your buyer will think of you as part of their tribe. And that makes it 10X easier to close the sale.
How to Build Rapid Trust
How do you build rapid trust with potential buyers?
With such little time available to you, how can you earn the trust of a buyer quickly?
Well, technique number one is…
A) Great First Impressions
Nailing a great first impression.
First impressions set the foundation for the rest of your conversation. And for video calls, there are four ways to create a great first impression. First…
B) Tidy Up Your Appearance
Tidy up your appearance. No one likes working with a slob. And no one trusts one with a deal worth tens of thousands of dollars either. So spend some time looking sharp. But skip the diamond-encrusted jewelry here everyone. The goal is to hit a look that hints at success but doesn’t overdo it.
C) Upgrade Your Camera
Upgrade your camera. We’re already deep into the age of remote selling. So if your camera’s grainy, shell out the extra hundred bucks or so for a quality camera. Doing so will also make it easier to form a real, human connection.
D) Set the Stage
Set the stage. Make sure you have adequate lighting and a professional background here. That might mean moving the call to a more secluded area if you’re at home. Or maybe even getting a background screen you could pull down during calls.
Now, on the phone, things are a little different. Instead of visuals, we’re talking audio. So to nail your first impression over the phone, first…
Smile when you’re talking. No kidding here. Try it. People on the other end can tell when you’re smiling. And this tiny change can make a huge impact on whether your buyer decides to keep listening.
F) Speak Confidently
Speak confidently and assertively. If you’re worried you’re wasting a prospect’s time, they’re going to hear it in your voice. Instead, remember that you’re delivering real value here. Say your piece with confidence. And make sure your voice is loud (but not too loud) and clear as crystal.
G) Get to the Point
Get to the point. Your prospect’s time is limited. And the more you waste it with fluff and chit-chat, the more they’re going to resent you for it. Simple as that.
2. Drawing Them In
Drawing them in with a very biological, very human way of building trust. What is that you ask?
Making Eye Contact
Eye contact tells your prospect you’re listening. You’re engaged. And you’re ready to help.
In fact, we’re so biologically attuned to the importance of eye contact that we can tell when eye contact is just a little bit off. Have you ever noticed someone looking at your hair or ears? That’s just inches away, and yet, you can tell!
If you’re uncomfortable making so much eye contact, try looking between the person’s eyes. That’s close enough that they won’t be able to notice.
Now for phone calls, that’s a bit harder. So instead…
Make Ear Contact
Make ear contact. Let the prospect know you’re paying attention by listening more than talking. In fact, the top sales reps spend more time listening than they do talking. You should also regularly repeat your prospect’s concerns with phrases like, “So what I’m hearing you say is…” or “It sounds like you’re saying the problem is…”
This helps keep communication clear while also signaling, “Hey, I’m listening to your every word.”
3. Finding Common Ground
Finding common ground. As soon as you start speaking, find something of common interest.
A great place to start here is contacts, colleagues, or referral sources you have in common. This is without a doubt the most powerful social proof you have. And dropping a familiar name alone is often enough to keep them on the line.
If you don’t have any common contacts, it’s time to do your research. Look for any content they’ve put out on their socials, any industry news they’ve read or commented on. What you’re looking for here is leverage. What’s going to perk up their ears and get them saying, “Oh right, I know what he’s talking about.”
It’s the foot in the door you need to keep moving on.
4. Finding Common Ground on Steroids
Finding common ground on steroids. And that means finding a similar goal.
Sure they’re a buyer and you’re working in sales—different businesses, right? But you’re also people. And that means you two likely have similar goals.
Early retirement, building enough financial freedom to focus on hobbies, sending your kids to a great school—these are all goals you can both relate to.
And when you find these goals, you’re not only creating a deeper human connection. You’re also setting the groundwork for pain points to hit during your pitch.
That’s a win-win!
And when you use these four techniques together, you’re going to turn into a rapport-building machine.