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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How Important Is Rapport? Sales Workshop #2

We talked about gaining the trust of your customer in the previous article and how they simply won't buy from you unless they trust you. So, questions arise about how to earn trust from a potential client or customer.

One important way to earn your customer's trust is to let them see and feel that you believe in the product that you are selling. There is no faking it. You must believe in the product that you are selling. You must sell your product to yourself first.

If you are simply going through the motions of your sales presentation and you don't sincerely believe that your product is worthwhile or necessary, it will be written all over your face. Your presentation will come across as phony, rehearsed and shallow. You will be doing a job to get paid for instead of providing a valuable product or service to your customer. When customers genuinely sense that you are passionate and sincere about what you are doing, they are more likely to trust you.

When you are genuinely concerned about your customer's best interests, they sense it and they begin to trust you. These are the first steps to building rapport. You can chat with them all day about their kids and grand-kids, their dog, their favorite sports or favorite food, but this only builds a surface relationship, one that feels forced and mechanical. Sure, personal interest is great, but your customer is not stupid. They know that you have been taught to ask those types of questions and that you really don't care about those answers.

But when you are passionate about your product, you will be asking a different type of question. You will be asking the type of questions that searches out and discovers what their product needs are. Let's use an example. If you are selling a long-term care insurance product, you might ask them what their plans are in the event of a long term disability.

You might ask them tactfully if they believe that their mate or other family member could lift them if they weren't able to care for themselves. This shows the potential client that you are thinking down the road for them and that you care about whether or not they are going to be in distress if difficult times come to them and they are unprepared. Showing concern about your customer builds trust and rapport.

Here's another example. When you are trying to sell a business loan to a landscaping or lawn maintenance business owner, you might ask them if they might be needing some new equipment as the season begins to ramp up. You might express understanding about the fact that cash flow is usually tight at the beginning of the season. If they say that they don't want to add any more debt, you could suggest they use a loan to consolidate their other debts and free up some cash.

Many times, the best way to discern what questions to ask is by listening better to the reasons behind the "No's". Customers will usually tell you how to fill their product needs when they express their objections. If they say, "I want to think about it", this usually means that you have not convinced them that they need your product, that the product is worth the price that you are asking or they are not sure they trust you or your company.

It's easy to see that the opposite is true. If someone likes and trusts you and your company, if they are certain that they need what you are selling and that the price is right, they will buy from you. Think about it, if you trust that a restaurant is friendly, clean and safe, if you are hungry and this restaurant provides the food you need and it's priced fair, there is nothing to stop you from eating there. That's rapport. A close and harmonious relationship between people who understand each other needs and communicate well.

The key words there are: understanding needs and communicating.

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