How to build rapport in a socially distanced world

Building rapport is essential to creating successful business relationships. It is a well-known belief that body language accounts for 55% of our communication effectiveness. Tonality accounts for 38% and our words just 7%. But in a world where it’s difficult to meet in person right now, how do you make sure you’re communicating as effectively as possible?

Post-Covid-19, people are seeking connection more than ever before; it’s time to capitalise using methods that will keep your prospects engaged and help you build that trust and affinity that leads to longstanding relationships.

Get your body language right: On a video call, presentation matters. Keep your attention on the call, make eye contact and demonstrate your interest in what they have to say through positive body language. Even if you’re on a voice call, endeavour to correct your posture and smile. It will have a positive effect on your communication style, your energy, your tone and even your vocabulary.

Say their name: When you use your prospect’s name regularly, you reassure them of your interest and hold their attention.

Mirroring to establish connection: If you mirror the way your prospect speaks, you will focus more attention on your words and sentiment rather than their surroundings. If they speak slowly, try to replicate it; if they speak quickly, try to keep up with their pace.

Tailor your approach: Try to identify how your prospect approaches business and tailor your own approach to suit. Some people tend to be conceptual and strategic and don’t like getting bogged down in detail. Conversely, detail-oriented people will be reassured by a detailed and analytical approach.

Matching communication style: Identify quickly if your prospect is a visual, auditory or kinesthetic communicator and match their style.  Listen for words like; see and look (visual), hear and listen (auditory), feel and sense (kinesthetic). Your prospect will feel better understood and a stronger connection if you mirror their words back to them using statements like: “let me show you”, “I hear what you’re saying” or “I sense there is an opportunity here”.

Active listening: Listen closely to what your prospect says and reaffirm their thoughts back to them, where you can to show that you’ve listened and are committed to finding the right solution for them.

Ask searching questions: These questions give your prospect the opportunity to talk about their pain points and give you far greater insight than limiting them to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. It also fosters a much more organic conversation, and the more your prospect is involved in the conversation, the more engaged they’ll be.

Demonstrate your expertise: Establish who you are and shed light on the problems you solve for customers, staying focused on the end-user benefits. This is where you can compound your active listening skills by demonstrating how your service could make a difference to their business.

Show empathy: Use phrases like “I understand where you’re coming from”. Showing genuine empathy helps you to gain the prospect’s trust and leads them towards accepting that you really may be able to help.

Communicate the purpose of your call: Always communicate clearly and professionally, the desired outcome of your conversation. Your prospect will appreciate knowing the purpose of your call from the outset and they will see that you value their time. At Air, we’re experienced in building rapport and shaping the right sales approach for our customers. To hear more about how we can help you achieve your sales goals, get in touch today or call us on 0345 241 3038.

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