How would you rank your rapport building skills? The best right? I know me too. We’re always the best, but still, we never sell as much as we’d like. Now I will be the first to tell you that I was never really good at rapport building, quite frankly I sucked balls at it, especially talking with someone of the same sex.
You gamble? Word, nah I never do, think only idiots do it.
You watch sports? Nice, me? Nah, I rather go and play it than watch others.
You get the point, I was just as much rapport breaking as building. Now, this isn’t something that you master in just a day, but do anything long enough and you tend to pick up some pointers which can also help you in those awkward double dates when the girls run off to the bathroom for a minute (hour). You’re stuck sitting next to some random guy and need to drum up some conversation or, insert whatever non-selling situation you get tossed into (work with me a little bit here would ya).
Established rapport creates a comfort level that leads to trust
The easiest way, in short, to build real rapport is to smile, make small talk, find common interests and be likable. Now I will be the first to tell you after bringing in over 4,000 free members into Trading Experts, there are probably another 10,000 (at least) that hate my guts. Now here’s what I learned from the 4,000 who joined us and the 10,000 plus who told me to fuck off in so many ways. The real lesson came down to a few simple concepts. Ask questions, be real, listen and follow up. Most people have something interesting about themselves, you just have to find it. Continue to ask everyone how their weekend was or how crazy the weather has been and don't be surprised at the same boring ass responses you will get. The big switch for me when it went from work to fun was learning about other people’s backgrounds and their own wild stories. Now the more you can find out about who you are chatting with, the easier it is to relate to them and use analogies towards things they know. You don't have to be an expert on what they know or do, it's the effort that counts.
People don't buy from you because they understand what you are selling, they buy because they feel understood
There have been professional bodybuilders, and when I referenced them needing me as their spotter, they immediately understood the reference. When they asked how quickly they could make money, I would fire back and ask how quick it took to get that six pack? If I'm talking to an investor in real estate who knows that if he goes into a flip it can be at least a one to two-year project and asks me the same question, I would reply and him how fast it took to learn how to flip homes? The answer, it took him years. Same applies here, chief. Some of the best responses I get are when relating to how women put on makeup and how poorly I would be at doing the task that they've mastered so well (women love that one for some reason). I could go on for hours on this topic of relating analogies to the person you are talking to, hopefully, you are getting the point. Buyers like salespeople who are like them and who they can relate to.
The more you can relate to your prospect the easier it is to close
Rapport building is easy. Ask interesting questions, sit back (shut up), listen and find your follow up question to guide the conversation where you want it to go. Remember the one who does the asking is the one who does the selling, not the one who does the talking. Let's take an example of how I used two lessons that you will learn here (Rapport Building and Honeymooning, that we cover later).
Remi was a recent member who joined and was doing a great job, he asked for a book recommendation. We took the liberty to send him a book that we felt he would learn from as a surprise.
(Notice the thank you note that came with the book, hard to read I know, but remember we talked about thank you cards in last lesson Book Building.)
After the honeymoon (that we will get to later) we continue the conversation by saying my pleasure (never, I repeat never say no problem, when you say no problem you are inferring that they could be causing you a problem by contacting you, don't be dumb) and after that I followed it up with an open-ended question to see what Remi learned.
As you can see Remi learned a lot. When you build real rapport and form a real bond with someone, they will let their guard down and tell you the real truth, not the Snapchat filter story. After these long responses, I now have learned plenty about Remi and can continue this conversation based on what Remi has been doing as it's extremely interesting. So far I have found out he's working, commuting to school and trading (things that I did when I was in school, I did not read so he is a leg up on my former college self), these are plenty of real common factors that will help to continue to build our relationship (as weird as that sounds).
Be real, ask interesting open-ended questions, have good follow-ups to their answers, listen and focus on them, and in time the trickle of sales should turn into a continuous waterfall (however this comes with time, and time in the seat talking to prospects). So get out there and build some real rapport!
More Value Task - Now this is going to be a tricky one so your task will be to complete this with only 2 prospects. Your task is to build real rapport with your prospect, find out what they excel at and relate it (use an analogy) towards what you are selling. It might feel weird at first, but don't be a pussy, try it. Not once, I repeat once, has someone been offended or angry with an analogy.