1. Don’t interrupt
This may come across as an easy one but it can happen a lot more often than you think…Often someone will be talking about an experience that you relate to, and before letting them finish, you’re adding your own personal view to the conversation. This can interject their train of thought and steer the conversation in a different direction so try not to interrupt so they really feel like they’re being listened to.
2. Be curious and ask questions
There’s nothing worse as a sales pitch if you sit there in front of the client and tell them all the reasons you should be hired due to experience, skills and what you have done for previous clients. Chances are your client has already done the research on you so it’s time to put the focus on the client. Show interests in them and their business and what it is exactly that their after, not what you think is best for them.
3. Mirror tonality
If your clients walk into a room and they’re super loud and outgoing, mirroring this type of personality is important so you can relate to each other. If a client comes in and they’re a bit more reserved or take some time to warm up, if you’re still loud and more ‘in your face’ they could be put off and you could lose a potential client. Mirroring the tonality of your client can further build strong rapport by moving at their speed, keeping you on the same page.
4. Keep eye contact
Another super important one is keeping eye contact with your client when you are speaking to them and when they are speaking to you. If your eyes wander to other people or things in the room or you look up or down, the client may feel as if they don’t have your full attention and you aren’t fully present in the conversation. Keep engaged by maintain eye contact regardless of who’s speaking.
5. Find common ground
The relationship you have doesn’t have to be strictly business, but you can get to know each other a bit more personally. Discover what the client likes to do outside of business and work such as hobbies, sports and travelling…there will be at least a couple of things you can relate to making it easier to build a connection.
6. Show real interest in them and their business
Don’t just ask about their current business position and where they want to take it, but show genuine interest how they got here in the first place. How did they start the business? What got them into this industry in the first place? This can not only help in building towards great rapport but give you a better understanding of their business to provide the best possible product or service for them.