Building rapport with customers is important for making sales and keeping customers happy. Here are some tips:
Building rapport begins with the first contact you have with a potential customer and continues as the relationship evolves. Whether your fist contact is over the phone or in person, presenting a good impression of yourself and your company is key.
Before having a meeting with a potential client, look at their website to learn about them. This can give you clues about the size of their business and where they may need assistance. Perhaps, when looking at their social profiles, you see that they are not being consistently updated, so they may need help in that area. Or maybe they need a blog. Use a database to consistently update information about customers and potential customers and review the information before making calls.
Making an effort to get to know your customers beyond a superficial level can help to build rapport. What are their backgrounds, beliefs, wants, and what motivates them? Pay attention to what customers want and give them the information they need at the level they need it at. For example, if someone knows little about the product you are offering, you can help to explain more about it in basic language they can understand. If someone knows a lot of technical details about the product, you can adjust the way you speak to this person to match their level of knowledge. If someone is not ready to buy, ask them when they may be ready so you can follow up with them at that time.
Listen actively to the person without interruption and judgement while they speak and develop a genuine connection on an emotional level. Before responding, summarize the person’s main points. While having a meeting or call with someone, take notes. You can use these note for later tasks after the call or for asking clarifying questions at the end of the call. If they are experiencing issues with your product or service, give a genuine apology and communicate how you would feel in their situation. To have good rapport with customers, you need to know their pain points and let them know that you will work with them to find solutions.
Mirror the style of the person you are interacting with to build rapport. This can involve using words that they use, speaking in their volume and speed or joking if they joke. Giving a genuine compliment is another way to build rapport. Maybe they have a great website or maybe they waited patiently or made a great deal.
After having meetings with customers and potential customers send them a message thanking them for the meeting and re-cap the important points of the meeting and action steps or next steps. When working on things for customers or potential customers, keep them up to date on your progress. By keeping them informed, you show that you care and are moving toward delivering what was promised.
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