We know that people do business with those they know, like and trust.

The ability to build instant rapport is an essential ingredient for the success of any business.

You have but a moment to make a great first impression.

To put your prospective customer at ease.

To gain their trust and confidence.

Remember that rapport is not a conscious decision.

It happens at the level of the unconscious mind.

To be successful in developing rapport it’s important from the outset to engage in a warm and enjoyable exchange with your prospect.

I am gregarious by nature and using humour is my usual approach.

I’m always mindful of the mood of my prospect and the circumstances and I will temper my attitude to suit the occasion.


Assume You Already Have Rapport


Usually when I first meet someone I try to gauge how familiar I can be with them without coming across as brash or intrusive.

I really enjoy meeting new people.

I like to treat them as if I already know and trust them.

I hope that this will send out subconscious signals encouraging them to accept me in the same way.

This behaviour comes naturally to me and is consistent in my dealings with everyone.

It is important that the style of approach you embrace comes naturally to you, that it suits your personality.

To do otherwise would be pretentious and insincere, and people will sense this.


Face-to-Face Vs Telephone


Meeting face-to-face means greeting someone with good eye contact and a genuine easy smile.

Whereas over the phone you need to tune into their personality and respond appropriately to their tone of voice.

It takes practice.

Whatever the case, it’s about being naturally inquisitive and using good listening skills.

You should encourage your prospect in an undemanding way to disclose key information all the while gently guiding the conversation in the direction you would like it to go.

Use your powers of persuasion but keep in mind that people don’t like to be sold to.

They prefer to buy something because it meets a need or solves a problem.


Style of Communication


Learn to mirror the other person by matching the characteristics of their voice, including their tone, pitch, speed and volume.

Pay particular attention to their preferred style of communication.

Normally we converse using all three styles but each of us has a preference.

If you adjust your preferred style to match that of your prospect you will do better.


  • Visual communicator

You will notice that the visual communicator tends to use language like “I get the picture” or “I see what you mean”.

When speaking they will primarily look up or up and to the side as they process answers to your questions.

Generally they are fast talkers because it is a lot quicker to put visual memories into words.


  • Auditory communicator

An auditory communicator might use the phrase “I hear what you are saying” or “sounds good”.

Mostly they will move their eyes left to right or right to left (from ear to ear) as they have the need to hear what they are saying.

Usually these people speak at a moderate speed.


  • Kinaesthetic communicator

If your prospect prefers to engage using his kinaesthetic senses he could very well say something like “I get the feeling that” or “do you know what I mean?”

While talking they have the tendency to look down and to the right as they need to feel what they are saying.

Typically they will be slow talkers because it takes longer to feel a response and then to get it out.


Body Language


A very important way to make your prospect feel calm and relaxed is to match his body language, such as the way he stands or sits, his facial expressions and the gestures he makes.

But be careful … you don’t want to make it obvious!


Acknowledge & Approve


Be sure to acknowledge and approve of what your prospects have to say during the course of your conversation with them.

They will feel reassured knowing you are actively listening, that you value and respect their point of view.

With practice you will master these skills.