In the business world, having mutually beneficial relationships with clients directly determines your business growth and profitability. To get to that point involves relationship building, which starts with building rapport! Here are my tips.
Find common interests
Common ground automatically establishes a feeling of friendliness and seems to break down the invisible barrier that can sometimes feel apparent when meeting a client for the first time.
The key to finding common ground is by asking open-ended questions. For example, “Did you have a good weekend?” can only have a “yes” or “no” answer. However, “What did you do on the weekend?” invites a lot more detail. You may find that your client went to the same event as you, watched a sport you love or dined at your favourite restaurant.
Once you have found a common interest you’ll find the conversation will flow more easily.
Maintain eye contact
Having the right amount of eye contact helps you make a great first impression. Studies have shown that people who make higher levels of eye contact are perceived to be more trustworthy, honest and sincere.
It’s also essential to dress appropriately. Despite what the saying says, most of us do judge a book by its cover, meaning your appearance is extremely important.
Pick up the phone
It’s easy to simply email or text someone rather than picking up the phone and actually talking. However, by calling, you find out more about the client and are able to strengthen your relationship. Going that extra mile will really make you stand out, and you may even be exposed to more opportunities.
Building rapport with new clients is something that will take time and effort, but it will help you reap long-term rewards.
How do you build rapport with your clients?