How to Build Rapport in 7 Seconds!
I had my first official sales training by a man who believed in being very assertive, almost pushy. At the time this conflicted with my reserved nature, and for the next 6 months didn't even make one sale.
I knew I had to change my approach. Meanwhile I realised there were two sales I had to make, first myself, so that my customer "believed" what I might have to say or recommend, then the second sale was the actual service I was providing.
By this understanding I started to work on building rapport. The system I created was so effective I was stunned. Customers would buy virtually anything and everything I recommended. I knew my system worked!
I then proceeded to teach other people in other industries, selling everything from new kitchens to carpet cleaning, from blinds to jewellery and the system worked, beyond my wildest expectations.
The "system" is based on this principle from Dale Carnegie's book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" ...
People are 10,000 times more interested in themselves than they are in you (or your product or service).
Too often in sales the sales person asks a few questions to learn more about their customers interests, then with that knowledge makes some recommendations. Then the sales person does the usual thing of "trying to close the sale".
This process is flawed for numerous reasons. First of all the sales person hasnt usually earnt the right to talk or give an opinion as they havent established the first sales step, selling themselves so they earn the right to speak and to recommend.
If you have enough rapport with a customer and I mean as much rapport as you would have with a friend of 10 years, then the customer will "trust" you and your opinion. What typically happens is the sales person creates their own objections by making recommendations too soon before enough rapport was established.
No one likes an opinionted person and this is typically the trap that sales people fall into, not building enough rapport before making a recommendation.
So how you do build massive rapport, in as little as 7 seconds?
The best method I teach others to use is understanding the persons DISC Profile. DISC profiles have been around since 1920 when Dr Marston observed peoples behaviour falling into 4 different categories. These being; outgoing and task orientated, outgoing and people orientated, task orientated and reserved and people orientated and reserved.
What that means is around 50% of the population are task orientated and about 50% are people orientated. Also that 50% of people are outgoing and 50% are reserved.
By understanding these figures I learnt that by being friendly with a customer you could be annoying them as 50% of people are task orientated people that are annoyed by friendly sales people. They don't feel any need to like the person they buy from.
While the other 50% of the population are people that need to like the person they buy from or they won't buy from them on principle. You'd be mazed at how accurate this is, ask your partner or friends about it if you don't believe me and you'll see that it's very true.
Now the secret to building rapport is to be friendly, if they are a friendly or people orientated person. Stop trying to be friendly if they are not reciprocating. It takes time to learn this skill, it took me about 6 months to pick which DISC profile a person is accurately and consistently.
Once I learnt this, the rewards were unbelievable. Even without knowing how to "close the sale" I had customers wanting to buy from me saying things like 'how do we work together', 'how do we get started', 'when can we start', all before they knew the price of my service! I found myself needing to say, 'do you mind if I outline the investment before we start?'
With this technique I realised I had created a selling system of "how not to get objections", where you simply don't get objections! This is in contrast to tryin to overcome objections written about in dozens of sales books. Rapport is the key and you build rapport when you're listening, not when you're talking.
Obviously there's a lot more to this system than I can talk about here, in fact its a whole book full of information, but understanding a persons DISC profile is the most powerful thing you can learn in sales, as you are learning how to communicate with people in their own language.
There's another step to selling with DISC profile which is to sell to outgoing versus reserved people.
However thats a lot more involved that space permits here.
Try to learn more about DISC profiles and study it. You can get to the stage where you can pick a persons profile in less than 7 seconds, even on the phone! When you know a person's DISC profile and communicate using it the rewards are fantastic.
Tim Stokes is a professional business coach awared "Worldwide Coach of the Year 2000". His understanding about DISC profiles is extraordinary and by teaching others his building rapport selling system his has achieved an impressive list of client testimonials from all industry types.
His best results of teaching someone his sales system was a 357% increase in sales in 30 days for an experienced real estate agent. Another was an increase from 3% conversion rate to a 75% conversion rate with 30% higher prices all in 6 months.