Establishing Rapport with Your Potential Sales Clients

By Tom Hopkins

Your clients feel comfortable around you when you know how to establish rapport with them, which is what selling situations are all about — establishing common ground. People like to be around people who are similar to them. Bringing out the similarities you share with your prospects proves that at least one salesperson is not an alien being from another solar system.

You’re not even from the dark side of the moon — you’re just like them: You have a family, you have a job, you have similar values, and when you’re seeking any product other than the one you represent, you work with salespeople, too, just like your prospects. You just happen to be more of an expert on the particular product line or service you represent than your prospects are — and you’re happy to use your knowledge to their advantage.

In fact, following are just the words to say to let your potential customer know that you’re a normal person. If you sense that the other party is concerned that you may not be on the same page as they are, say something like this:

Ms. Williams, when I’m not helping people get involved with my product, I’m a consumer, just like you, looking for quality products at the best price. What I hope for when I’m shopping is to find someone who can help me understand all the facts about the item I’m interested in so I can make a wise decision. Today, I’d like to earn your confidence in me as an expert on state‐of‐the‐art sound systems. So feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Don’t wince at the thought of using these words — they’ve been proven to work successfully in lowering barriers people put up when dealing with salespeople. Although no one likes hearing canned material, it’s only canned if you let it sound that way. In sales, how you say it is as important as what you say. Always remember to speak with a sincere concern for your customers. If you’re not truly concerned for them, you shouldn’t be in this field.