In our programs, when we talk about building rapport, most people think of the NLP process that involves mimicking a person’s behaviors and speech. They think that somehow, doing this will magically give them the upper hand in talking with people.
Don’t get me wrong. That stuff enhances the communication process. However, when we talk about building rapport in the sales process, I want you to focus on one thing.
I want you to start the process by “trying honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”note
Most other programs that teach rapport building techniques forget this underlying principle and focus only on the activity.
In our sales programs, the affinity rule is the first rule we discuss. It deals with building rapport and overcoming our prospect’s preoccupation. That rule is:
Get your prospect’s attention by talking briefly about something in which they are interested.
Now, to know your prospect’s interests, you need to do your research. You also need to understand their business processes. But more importantly, you need to see things from their point of view.
Building Rapport Requires A Different Perspective
When I started my sales career, my manager stated this simple sales principle a little differently. But the sentiment is the same. He said, “If you can see through John Brown’s eyes, then you can sell what John Brown buys.”
Today, I want you to remember this:
Sales is an away game.
In today’s sales environment, you need to get out of your own head. You have to be able to leave your own “stuff” behind, and get into the head of your prospect. If you can see things from their point of view, you can sell them what they want.
“How you look”, “what you say”, and “how you say it” are all communication pieces we use for building rapport with our prospects. However, this one principle of seeing things from the other person’s point of view is paramount. If you can’t get in their head and see the world through their eyes, then everything else becomes nothing more than cheap tricks designed to con your prospect.
Before you open your sales call, remember that selling is an away game. Build rapport by seeing the world through your prospect’s eyes. You’ll make your sales process infinitely easier to manage.
Note: Dale Carnegie’s 17th Human Relations principle from the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”