The better we become at this, the better relationships we'll have and the more we'll sell.
But how can we find out more about our prospects and customers and build that rapport? 4 sales tips for building rapport 1) Check out the prospect's office - if you are cold calling and find yourself in a prospect's office, discreetly examine it for pictures, awards, and various other items that identify the prospect's hobbies, interests, alma mater, and other similar facts that may help you build rapport during the cold call.
Comment on these items and ask about them.
2) Ask rapport building questions - Here are some sample questions and statements you can use when building rapport on the cold call: o "Are you from this area originally?" o "How did you get here?" (If the prospect is from another area of the country.
) o "I see you went to the University of Massachusetts (looking at the diploma on the wall)-I went there too.
When were you there?" o "Did you play any sports or were you involved in any activities there?" o "I noticed all the birdhouses outside.
Is that something you've been interested in for a while?" (If you're visiting the prospect at her home.
) o "Wow, that's a neat sculpture.
" (Or picture, or whatever it is.
Just make the comment and let the prospect react to it.
) o "How did you two meet?" (To a couple you are meeting with.
) o "How did you get the golf trophy?" o "I used to drive a Cadillac a few years ago.
Is that a picture of yours?" o "Is that a picture of your children?" (You then want to follow with, how old, do they play any sports, other extracurricular activities?) o "What business are you in?" (If the prospect is an individual at home.
) o "What did you do for work?" (If the prospect is retired.
) o "How did you get into that business?" o "What are your favorite activities outside of work?" o "What are your personal goals at this point?" o "How do you like the United States?" (If the prospect is from another country.
) The more "pleasant" personal information you acquire, the better are your chances of making a good impression on the cold call.
Obviously, the most useful topics for discussion are ones in which you share an interest or in which you can share your own stories.
Which leads to our next point.
3) Share your personal information as well.
- When you share personal information, you become more "real" to the prospect.
At the same time, be careful NOT TO dominate the conversation.
Let the prospect have the spotlight.
You want them to get to know you too however, the primary focus should be on them.
4) Other areas to look at - Ask how long the prospect has been with his company, and what other companies he has worked for.
You may have some connections with the previous companies, if not the current one.
What about the person's name? Do you know anyone with the same last name? Even if the person you know is from another part of the country, you can ask if the prospect has relatives there.
Also, listen for accents that may give you an idea of the prospect's origins.
Ask about local sports teams and local events.
It truly is a small world.
Begin probing with the above questions and see what turns up.
When you do finally hit a common area of interest, the rapport will begin to build quickly.
And that is your key objective during the cold call.
Whatever information you do obtain on the cold call, add it to the prospect's profile.
Continue to gather more personal information on future calls.
Your overall long-term objective is to get lots of information and turn your customers into friends.