There Is No Such Things As Being Over Prepared
People do business with people they like. You’ve probably heard this hundreds of times, and it is one fact that freelance consultants can’t overlook. So how do you get your prospects to like you, quickly?
The answer is all about building rapport and making them comfortable, building trust, and making it easy to want to do business with you.
We’ve put together 4 tips that will show that you can build rapport with any prospective client.
Tip #1 – Do your homework
Researching the individual and organization that you are targeting is one of the best ways to build rapport with someone. First, every prospect is not good for your business, even if the money is right. Part of qualifying people and deals involves a lot of research. You want to understand the key decision makers and understand their business as much as you can before even having an initial conversation. Doing this will save you time in the long run.
When speaking or meeting with your prospects for the first time, you want them to feel like you already understand them and their needs. Of course you will learn more about them, directly from them, but it will show that you cared enough if you’ve already found out some basic information such as where they went to school or what they write about on social media.
There really is no substitution for preparation. Every time you interact with your prospects is another opportunity to research what they are doing so that you are prepared for your next interaction with them.
Tip #2 – Expose Yourself A Little
As you get to know your prospects, it’s important that the information sharing isn’t just one-sided. In your conversations, make sure to share a bit of personal information about yourself as well when it makes sense. Remember that you are building a relationship and that needs to be a two way thing. You may be surprised at the things you have in common with your prospect that can make conversations and meetings more natural. Building rapport is a lot about making the other person feel comfortable around you, comfortable enough from a business standpoint to share honestly with you their needs, pain points, and budget.
Tip #3 – Spend Less Time Talking and More Time Listening
When you are in meetings with your prospects, whether on the phone or in person, make sure that you are asking questions and listening much more than you are talking. People tend to rush into talking about themselves and what they can offer, but before you do that, confirm what you’ve researched by asking them very targeted questions. Asking questions is also a good way to build rapport – it shows that you are interested and you may learn a few new things that help with future conversations.
Your sales pitch about the value that you bring will be more aligned with their needs if you are very clear are on what their needs really are.
Tip #4 – Make Them Look Good
Many people that you will speak to have someone someone to answer to, and maybe even someone to impress. Always make them look good for choosing you as their partner. That’s not just about executing the engagement well, it’s also about customer service, and making them feel comfortable with you throughout the entire sales process. Remember, this engagement might be your prospect’s moment to shine in their organization and you want to be the partner that helped them to that.
Building rapport is something you should do throughout your sales process and through execution of the engagement with all of the people involved with the organizations you are targeting. You may not realize at the beginning of the relationship how much future work there may be or what referrals are in store for you by maintaining strong relationships.
Using the tips outlined in this article should help you maintain a focus on building rapport with prospects in the right way.