The first step to the sale is establishing rapport. That goes beyond “Hi, how are you?” You will close more sales if you truly focus on the first two steps “big time”.
Depending on which person you are listening to, they will have some variation of the following 7 steps to every sale.
Every company needs training on establishing rapport. Many think by saying “hello, how are you?” rapport was reached. Actually, I do not suggest even saying that to someone you don’t know on the phone. It labels you as a salesperson. They know you don’t really care much anyhow if you don’t know them. To establish rapport, you need to go deeper. By looking at their “about” page on their website, you will often find personal information which can referenced. This can include family, number of children, geographic location and interests (perhaps soccer). This gives you a way to establish a relationship.
(By the way, if they rush you, you can say- “I see you are busy right now. When would be a good time to call back for about a 15-20 minute conversation which can result in your company —- (decreasing costs, increasing revenue – list a couple of benefits of working with you”)?
One way to establish rapport is ask powerful questions. Find common areas of interest and say “tell me more about that”.
Be entertaining. Enjoy your calls. They will feel it. When necessary and possible, demonstrate that you understand because you share a similar experience. Show you truly understand.
Many companies and/or individual business owners keep a database with personal information. Go a step further and even if you don’t do business together at this time, send them articles and jokes you feel might be of interest. They could end up referring you to others as well because you are such an easy person to speak with and the relationship is an important part of how you do business and their feelings towards you. Being highly competent in your field is vital as well.
Rapport building should be practiced. I role play this vital step with my clients. You will close more sales when you start with a strong, solid rapport step with your prospects/clients.
What’s worked for you? Anything backfire? We learn from our mistakes as well. Please share your tips on establishing rapport. Be sure to “follow” my blog so you get the other steps.