When I opened my sales training company in 1998, I taught building rapport as the first step in a sales process designed to sell a prospect on buying products and services. However, looking back, it was something that was taught in order to close business, and not meant to be a manipulative technique.
Today, prospects have all the answers to every question in their back pocket and know how to protect themselves from being sold by salespeople. They likely believe that building rapport is just another way to sell them, so they have their guard up.
But why is building rapport so important in sales when prospects see through it? Because when the focus is on the prospect, they can sense the authenticity and you cut through the noise.
In today’s world where prospects have an abundance of information, they need people they can trust to have their back and help guide them. This is why building rapport is more important than ever before.
Matching and mirroring was the go-to method for building rapport in the past. If you sat the same way your prospect sat in their chair, it would send a subconscious message that you are just like them, and they could trust you.
However, to build real and long-lasting rapport, it’s essential to be genuinely interested in solving your prospect’s problems. You can achieve this by asking great questions, listening with your entire body, and being genuinely interested in what your prospect is saying.
By giving all of your attention to your prospect’s concerns, you will stand out in a world where there are so many options for their attention. Building rapport is crucial in sales, and it only takes your authentic desire to solve problems.