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How to Build Relevant Rapport

How to Build Relevant Rapport

We all know the importance of building rapport over the phone. Let’s face it, people tend to do business with people they like, know or trust.

What you may not know, though, is that talking about the latest sports scores or schmoozing about vacation spots is not an effective way to build rapport and often just lengthens the call, dilutes your message, and gets you no closer to the deal than you were before you wasted all that time.

If you want to truly connect to your prospect and build the kind of rapport that will actually influence and lead to a closed deal, then you need to learn how build what I call, “Relevant Rapport.”

Relevant rapport means taking the time to talk about the issues your prospect is going through or what they’re trying to solve, and then expanding on these relevant issues and letting them know you understand exactly what they’re trying to accomplish and explaining how you are uniquely qualified to help them.

Remember, your prospects have a need they are looking to you to help them fulfill, and the more they feel you understand their needs and can help them, the more likely it is they will do business with you.

So, how do you build relevant rapport? You start by asking questions related to their specific work related situation.

For example, instead of asking:

“So where did you go on vacation?” Ask:

“Now that you’re back from vacation, I’ll bet you’ve got lots to catch up on. How can I help you?” Or,

“You’re probably buried now that you’re back on vacation. I’d be happy to refill your normal order from last month and take that bit of business off your plate. Would that help you?”

Instead of asking:

“Are you excited about the upcoming football season?” Ask:

“As we head into the fall, what are your top three priorities for increasing revenue?”

Then layer by asking:

“You know _________, I’m working with another client who is facing the same challenge this quarter. What I proposed for him is to (then explain your solution). Do you think that might help you as well?”

The point of relevant rapport is that your prospect will like you more and trust you more if you show an interest in their problems related to business, rather than their problems outside of business

. Just remember that your prospect is under just as much pressure to do their job as you are to do yours. Who would you be more interested in talking to – a prospect who wants to talk about the latest diet, or a prospect who wants to place an order?

Thought so. I challenge you this week to go out and begin connecting with your prospects on issues related to what they are doing for 8 to 9 hours a day – trying to get their jobs done. When you can show them how to do that better, faster or easier, then you will have truly made the connection with them that counts the most. That’s what building relevant rapport is all about.

About the author

Do you have an underperforming inside sales team? Talk to Mike to see how he can help you and your team reach your revenue goals. To learn more about Mike, visit his website: