If you are like most people, when you are in a situation (either business or social) when you are about to meet new people, you worry about what to say. Will the other person like me? Will I be a bore?
What you might not have thought about is the fact that the other person probably has exactly the same fear that you do!
In most business relationships, people buy people before they buy products or services. If you don’t like the sales person, you are very unlikely to buy. People buy based on knowing, liking and trusting the other person. Have you ever been in a situation where you have disliked or distrusted the sales person?
So rapport (a harmonious understanding relationship) is probably the most important element in selling.
A simple way to develop rapport is to use the most attractive word in the other person’s vocabulary – their own name. Yes, it is true, most people love the sound of their own name. Keep using the other person’s name… “John, tell me about x; Mary, how did you do that; Liz, do you like y”.
The second way to develop rapport is to be genuinely interested in them. Ask them questions and encourage them to talk about themselves – their business; their family; their interests; anything at all. In a business situation, it will help to ask them questions related to the business, but many love to be asked about their children or hobbies as well.
To quote Dale Carnegie, “…the royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures the most”.
Think about your own experiences – have you been put off by an insufferable bore at a social event? You know the person who doesn’t stop talking about themselves? Turn it around and let the other person talk about themselves – although they have done all the talking, they will think that you are one of the most interesting people they have ever met! You will develop rapport because you have asked questions and listened with genuine interest!
Go on. Try it!