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Build Rapport by Providing Value

My daughter is 5 and my son is 7.  Little kids build rapport no differently than new sales people: “You like purple?! I like Purple!!”  “You love Power Rangers?!?! I love Power Rangers!”

And they do so because it works.  You can get in the door with an entry-level person that way.  Make a quick sale that way.  We all love human connection and to find commonalities to build rapport.  Any great sales person will open up a relationship or presentation with names, questions, and do what they can to get the other person to know, like, and trust them.

And that will continue to work.  However, sales is changing.  The marketing and sales boundaries are merging.  Prospects no longer rely on the sales person to get all their information – they are informed when they look you up online.  They know your competitors and the reviews of you and your products.  People want to find out who you are before they meet you or reach out to you for a consult.  How you grow your know, like, and trust factor the way people want to research and buy becomes more important.  And if you don’t have some marketing aspects in your sales business, that will be hard for them.

The best way to build rapport online is by providing value.  Giving your prospects and clients free information, valuable information, that can help them.  It’s hard to build rapport when you’re non-stop promoting yourself or products.  (That is totally okay.  People should do it, but there has to be a mix of push and pull marketing.)  But if you give value to people, they like you more.  They begin to trust your experience and knowledge.  And they will begin to trust you.  People don’t buy anything from sales people they don’t trust.

So how do you provide value?  Here are three simple things you can do with your online presence, email campaigns, and interactions:

  1. Give your knowledge away for free.  The most successful people I see online are constantly staying in front of others and building rapport by giving their information away for free.  Why does this work?  Because it’s not a shortage of knowledge that people struggle with- it’s knowing what to do with it.  Even if you give them information, they will still need you to go into the details and break it down for them.
  2. Share your network with them.  My network might be my most cherished business resource.  If you can connect great people with others who can help them, you build rapport.  Connecting the right people is one of the most valuable things you can do.  And people just don’t do it enough.  People guard their network and want to control who has access to it.  And there needs to be some gate-keeping.  But, there are people you can connect and this provides immense value.  (Connecting people and being open with your network is not the same as someone prospecting your network.  I had someone do this with my network: use my name when I didn’t give her permission to.  She did this the wrong way and ruined her rapport with me.)
  3. Promote them.  Everyone is looking to promote themselves, but how many people do you look to promote each week?  If you promoted one person who really deserved it, you would make a huge deposit into their emotional bank account with you.  You don’t have to to this publicly all the time.  You could send a simple letter telling them how amazing they are and that you notice the work they are putting in.  People forget that kind words go a long way to building rapport.  Can you imagine how great someone would treat you if you just sent them a letter of appreciation without asking for something in return?!?!

So let’s graduate from entry-level rapport building skills to ones that are more effective, make you stand out, and actually get others to trust you!

If you have comments or would like more information about anything I wrote, check out my website: risewithrebecca.com or call me at 612-401-3190.

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