How do salespeople build relationships with prospects?
By laying the foundation of trust, brick by brick!
Okay, the joke may have not been great, but the message still stands:
Building rapport is a communication skill that sales reps should master in 2023.
There is no magic formula or step-by-step guide for creating genuine, long-term relationships.
Every prospect is different. It’s impossible to fulfill their needs, desires, and interests exactly the same way.
Yet, certain behaviors and techniques can make building relationships easier.
Building rapport is important because according to a Dale Carnegie study, 81% of respondents would consider buying again from a company represented by a salesperson they trust.
As a sales expert, you know it is much easier to nurture existing customers than get new ones. The same concept applies to prospects. Closing deals with familiar prospects is easier because you’ve had time to build a relationship with them.
Establishing trust and building rapport from the early stages of the sales process makes it easier for you to:
bring in more revenue
If sales reps want to create genuine relationships with their prospects, they need to have a strategy in place. So without further ado, let’s dive right in.
What Does It Mean To Build Rapport?
To build rapport is to create a genuine relationship with your prospects that goes beyond selling the product. It helps you become a trusted advisor to your clients rather than a vendor.
Sales reps need to work towards becoming a trusted advisor for their prospects, going from
Bob, the sales guy who works at XYZ company
Bob, our trusted advisor from XYZ company.
3 Main Benefits Of Building Rapport With Prospects
Benefit 1: The Power Of Trust
Trust is one of the biggest things in sales. The ability to make your prospects trust you has a significant impact on your success in closing deals.
When a prospect trusts the salesperson, the prospect is more likely to have open conversations, listen to their recommendations, and make a buying decision.
long-term relationships easier to maintain
upselling and additional services easier to pitch
referrals easier to get
You should aim to become your prospect’s go-to trusted advisor for anything related to your service.
When prospects see you as an expert on the subject and as someone who can be trusted, they will want to work with you because both of you will benefit.
As a trusted advisor, you are able to add value to your prospects even before they become clients. This sets the foundation for a strong partnership.
Benefit 2: Prospects See You As A Person
Prospects start seeing you more as a person than just a product. This happens because rapport involves creating personal connections.
Actively listening and showing genuine interest builds trust and reliability.
People tend to buy from those they like, and by consistently showing interest and asking the right questions, you can earn their trust.
Benefit 3: Increased Referrals
Referrals are a powerful form of marketing as you gain more customers without having to spend money on advertising. People are more likely to trust the opinions of people that they know rather than advertising.
By establishing trust and comfort with prospects, you create an environment where they feel understood and this can lead to increased customer satisfaction. When this happens, they are more likely to recommend you to others, expanding your customer base and driving growth.
In fact, 84% of B2B decision-makers start the buying process with a referral and referrals are 4 times more likely to make a purchase. Referrals are key to sales success.
2 Wrong Ways To Build Rapport
If you’re trying to build rapport with your prospects, there are two practices that you need to avoid at all costs:
trying too hard to be someone you’re not to please the prospect
not adapting to the personality of your prospect
Trying Too Hard To Be Someone You Are NOT
Starting to build a relationship too late in the process makes it harder to establish a strong connection. It’s important to start building rapport from day one.
But, it’s also very important to avoid being someone you’re not in order to please your prospects. You may come across as too insincere, which does not help with relationship building.
Step up your game by answering extra questions and letting your unique qualities and strengths shine through. Authenticity is key to building trust and credibility.
Not Adapting To Your Prospect’s Personality
Prospects must be able to notice your commitment from the very beginning. One way to do so is by adapting to your prospect’s personality. No matter if your prospect is super energetic or a calmer, laid-back person, make an effort to understand and tailor your approach to fit their individual personality.
3 Right Ways To Build Rapport (With Examples)
Tip 1: Find Your Uniqueness
Our unique traits make us who we are. We all have distinct characteristics that set us apart and make us one-of-a-kind.
In the world of sales, building relationships is as important as selling products. Establishing connections is key to sales success.
To establish a strong rapport with prospects, don’t try to remember a script. Try to get to know the person behind the role. Try to be more yourself. Not only talk about the product but also take ownership of your uniqueness, know your selling style, and base it on your strengths.
This approach will not only help you boost product sales but also create lasting personal relationships.
Tip 2: Separate Yourself From The Product
Sales reps should not identify themselves too closely with the product they are selling. They must objectively represent the product and make recommendations that are in the best interest of the customer.
So when engaging with prospects, share some facts about yourself. Talk a bit about your personal story and why you joined the company you work at. The point here is to let them get to know you besides the product. The interaction becomes more human and genuine.
Online interaction might make this a bit harder but not impossible. Working from home has become very popular so try to look for clues in their surroundings that you can relate with.
For example, if you see sports gear, art, or other personal items in the background, use it as a conversation starter.
Tip 3: Be Human And Humanize Yourself
As stated before, working from home has become a common practice over the past two years. The shift to remote work has brought in a few challenges, such as unexpected interruptions during important calls or meetings.
But, it’s important to remember that this is a normal part of working from home and it’s a reflection of the reality of our lives. No one is perfect and mistakes can happen anytime. Prospects understand this and are not expecting you to be perfect all the time.
In fact, apologizing for interruptions shows that you are human and that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions.
For instance, if your dog starts barking too loud in the middle of a call or your air conditioner makes too much noise, simply apologize.
A brief apology is all that is needed. Prospects will appreciate your honesty and understanding. Plus, these small interruptions won’t harm your professionalism.
Start Building Rapport With Your B2B Prospects In 2023
To build rapport with your prospects is to:
take the time to understand their pain points
show a genuine interest in their business
establish a strong relationship
earn their trust
Focusing on what makes you unique, distancing yourself from the product, and being more human will pay off in the end.
Customer experience is very important, so give your prospects and your clients value in your service at all times.
Let FiveRings Marketing help you with establishing relationships, generating sales, and increasing revenue.
Overview, an AI-based inspection company, needed to get its first few customers, build a repeatable sales process, and get customer feedback to guide its product roadmap.
The team at FiveRings managed to provide the following results:
Closed first cold deal within 3 months with a well-known company
Closed over $700K in deals since beginning the partnership
Averaging 28 booked meetings per month against a target of 20
Grow revenue by letting us help you close more deals. Book a meeting with us to learn how.