Build Rapport to Succeed in Sales

Post by Meghan Reid

Great salespeople are skilled at building rapport. They can put the lead at ease, generate conversation, and sometimes even make people laugh! Building rapport is an important sales skill because it makes the person on the other end find you more likable—and generally speaking, people do business with people they like. Three of Acquirent’s core values help build rapport.

1. Maintaining a positive attitude at all times.

2. Asking good questions.

3. Shutting up and listening!

BE INTERESTED IN THE PERSON

As Dale Carnegie writes in, How to Win Friends and Influence People, “If you want to be interesting, be interested.” Be interested in the person on the other line and you start to have a conversation that is more person to person, rather than just a salesperson pushing a product. I truly believe that the human connection gets you much farther in a sale than just about any other aspect. Being positive, asking the right questions and truly listening to the prospect are essential in making the prospect feel as though you are interested in them as a person, and more importantly, in their business!

BUILD RAPPORT TO MAKE THE SALE

We have a lot of great salespeople on our team that are very good at building rapport—their positive attitude is infectious. However, building rapport is not an end in and of itself. What we are currently working on is how to translate that rapport into a sales skill that serves to build value in our product. We can use friendly conversation to push the sale further along by communicating to the lead that our product has a great value that is essential for their business.

Fundamentally, having great rapport can be used as a means to find out more about a business. After I make Jeanette the accountant laugh, I can use that rapport to segue the conversation to find out what payment method her business is using to pay for fuel, and what issues they are having with their current method? I can use my great relationship with Gary, the business owner of a plumbing company, and my knowledge that his oldest son got into Northwestern University to seize the opportunity to express to Gary how important the Wright Express card will be in controlling his fuel expenses.

People connect with individuals, so I can use that as sales skill to help them find solutions to their problems.

PUSH THE SALE FURTHER

The point I’m trying to make is that rapport is important as a means to an end—and that end is to push the sale further along. Pushing the sale along can learn more info from a gatekeeper, appeal to that influencer so she communicates to her boss how my service can help the company and finally, get that decision maker to sign the deal.

Once you build rapport, people forget about their schedule and give you a little more of their time. Great salespeople seize the opportunity to talk about the value their product will bring to the business, the benefits that will help them save time and money and the features that they won’t find anywhere else. Otherwise, you’re just having a pleasant conversation!

Take advantage of your next sales call by building rapport with your customers. Then seize the opportunity!

As Sales Manager for the Wright Express team at Acquirent, Meghan Reid is responsible for training and managing the day to day activity of the 11 salespeople to ultimately grow the team beyond that point. Her excellent work and experience outside of Acquirent allows her to successfully lead the team. Meghan is from Milwaukee, newly married with two Boston terriers and two cats, and lives in the Old Irving Park on Chicago’s northwest side.