Establishing rapport with someone is one of the most important things you can do. People are more likely to work with you if you both have good rapport. But, rapport is more than just being nice. It is the process of building trust by meeting someone empathetically where they are. It has been found that forty percent of a sale’s presentation success is based on rapport. Being able to establish rapport affects your income, or lack thereof. It is very important that you can do so correctly.
You’re probably aware that most communication is nonverbal.
Eighty percent of communication is drawn from nonverbal cues. To build rapport quickly, make sure you pay attention to their rate of speech, body language, and key words; you want to mirror and match all three. People like people who are similar to themselves. If the person you are talking with talks very slow and takes time to process things, make sure you don’t speak too fast. It can make them feel rushed and uneasy. If they are sitting back in their chair listening, you don’t want to be leaned across the table at them. To make them more comfortable, you need to lean back as well. If they are saying some phrase repeatedly as they talk, try to use those words as well. Some of their key phrases are good to repeat back to them.
You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression, and most people decide if they like you within minutes of just meeting you.
Here are some thoughts on this:
- One of the best ways to start off meeting someone is by being on time, if not five minutes early. If for some reason you have to be late, give them a call. Show them that you respect their time and let them know if you’re running behind schedule.
- Another way to make a good first impression is to be dressed well and well-groomed. Even if people don’t realize it, they’re probably judging you based on how you look.
- You also want to have a firm handshake. No matter if you’re a man or woman, a firm handshake shows confidence. You don’t want to try to break the other person’s hand, but a firm handshake is better than a flimsy one.
- Lastly, be sure to smile. Smiling makes you feel better and is contagious, so they smile and feel better too. You can still have serious conversations and find time to smile. It makes a lot of difference.
Next you want to find common interests.
Be genuinely concerned with what they are concerned about. People can tell when you’re faking or when you are not listening. Make sure to listen and actually care about what they are saying. Before someone will work with you, they need to be able to trust you. If you are genuinely listening to them, they’ll know that you care. Try to make sure that you don’t interrupt either. If they are talking, let them finish before you respond.
Establishing rapport is not something that just happens. It is a skill that you have to build. You need to practice all the time to make it second nature to you. Decide today to start practicing building rapport with everyone you meet. The more you practice, the better you become and it will become easier to do when it really matters.