I'm sure you'll agree, building rapport and trust with your prospects is one of, if not the most important presentation skills you can learn. It's been said many times, people only buy from people they like and trust.

Have you ever had an experience with a salesperson and you have said to yourself "I will never buy anything from that person"? You have probably also had the experience where you hit it off with a salesperson and you would buy just about anything they recommend.


Because you didn't like or trust the first salesperson and you did like and trust the second. Why did you like and trust the second person so much? Because they took the time to build rapport with you. In simpler terms they probably showed a sincere interest in you and/or were like you.

The last sentence sums up the points I want to discuss in this article.

The first point you should learn in building rapport and trust with your prospects is, show a sincere interest in them. How do you do that? The first thing to remember is you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen twice as much as you talk. Sales really is all about asking the right questions and then shutting your mouth and waiting for the answers. Then ask another question and so on and so on.

The questions you ask initially should be about them, their interests, how many kids they have, what kind of car they drive, where they work, etc. Get to know them like you would a new friend and you'll build a deep rapport.

Find out as much as you can about them, all the time looking for common interests. You see the second point I talked about earlier was people like people who are like them. So find the common interests and expand on them.

Don't take this step lightly. This is very important! People love to talk about themselves. Don't you agree? So let them talk as long as they like. The more they talk and you show a sincere interest, the better the rapport.

The second way to establish rapport with your prospects quickly is called mirroring and matching. This rapport technique can be accomplished in a couple of different ways.

One way is to pay attention to their communication style. Do they like to get right down to business, tell stories or joke around? Do they talk soft, loud, quick or slow? Do they communicate visually (use words like see, clear, reveal), or auditory (use words like hear, clear as a bell, tune in), kinesthetic (use words like feel; get a handle on, concrete).

The second way is pay attention to how their sitting or standing. Are their legs crossed, arms folded, do they use their hands when they talk, do they lean forward with their arms on the desk.

Then once you understand their communication style, mirror and match them, in other words, do what they do. If they talk loud, then you talk loud. If their visual, use visual words in your communication.

If they cross their legs, then you cross your legs. Now, I'm not talking about right away, use some discretion. Don't immediately cross your legs when they do. Use a slight delay. This will take some practice. However, in time you can become a master at this.

Once you build rapport with them and they like you and trust you, and feel you care about them, then and only then should you begin to ask qualifying questions.

Many salespeople fail to build rapport and then can't figure out why the prospect won't buy.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Klein provides salespeople with effective strategies to increase their business while working less, guaranteed. Get free sales training by subscribing to our free newsletter "The Sales Advisor".