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The Sales Buzz Issue 127 -Rapport Building Throughout Your Sales Pitch
June 20, 2011

In this week's Sales Buzz:

Building rapport throughout your sales pitch to give your communication and relationship with the sales prospect that effective edge that will make closing the sale easier.

Rapport Building Throughout Your Sales Pitch

Rapport building is about more than just finding a subject for small talk with your sales prospect

A couple of decades ago managers and sales trainers would tell you to find some common ground with your prospect as soon as you can in the sales meeting.

Make a comment about photographs that will get them talking.

Ask them about the club tie they are wearing.

Assume they like a certain sport and ask about last nightís game.

Well things have moved on a bit and these old rapport building tactics wonít work anymore.

When selling B2B many prospects donít have personal trophies or photographs on the wall, and many share an office or hot desk. Others will want to get down to business because they are busy and donít have time for a chat about life outside of work.

In Direct Sales prospects are more aware of sales techniques and making comments about the cat or dog arenít enough. If you ask about the children in the photograph you can be opening all kinds of emotional doors because life is more complicated these days. Children donít grow up, get married to the opposite sex, and move next door raising kids.

Building Rapport in the first few mintes

Your relationship building should be different at each stage of the sales process.

At the sales introduction stage you should assess what each prospect needs to help create that important rapport between you:

How busy are they.

Based on their body language, words, and general behaviour you can tell if they want to get straight down to business, or do they look as if they want to get to know a little more about you and your business or products.

Do they take the lead

If they take the lead, and get right into a business topic, perhaps by asking a question, or opening with a line such as: So youíre here to show me... Then you go with their flow and get into business.

Do they want you to take the lead

With a buyer that says very little and looks to you to take the lead, what do you say first? Do you move into your sales pitch or do you start a conversation?

Low responders showing no cues

If you donít see any cues you can take the middle path. Start a conversation that is business related. Ask about the company, the buyer and his position, or use something that you have discovered about the company in your preparation for the meeting.

The key to building rapport is to read the signals projected by the prospect as they respond. In the example above where you took the middle path, you will see if they responded positively to your business based conversation starter.

If they did then build on it and when you sense that the time is right, they are relaxed and responding well, move into your sales introduction stage of your sales pitch. Link your conversation to the reason that you wanted to meet this buyer.

Then keep the same tone, communication style, and pace of conversation that has worked up to this point and use it throughout your sales pitch.

If the buyer did not respond well, to your middle path approach, then look at their reaction. There will be an indicator in their response that guides you to what they want.

The two types of response that are easy to spot when building rapport are:

1. The response that says Ė Hurry up and get to the point.

2. The one that tells you they want to know a bit more about you or your company before getting down to business.

Follow their lead to build rapport, then lead them to where you want to be.

Building Rapport With Your Sales Stages

The above is just about the first few minutes of your sales pitch as you start your sales introduction stage.

There is similar sales training that you should consider for all the other stages of your sales process. The rapport building techniques that you use in your sales questions stage will be different to the style of your sales presentation.

Each stage requires a different approach as you move along the sales process towards closing the sale. Think about the rapport building that you will use to keep deepening the relationship between you and your prospect as you progress through your sales pitch.

A good technique is to add these skills to each of your sales stages. To see more free sales training on rapport building throughout your sales pitch open the page on Sales skill training to build rapport...

I'm Stephen Craine from the website

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