A smile can transform a miserable person into a beacon of joy.
Yesterday I was listening to some recordings of a seminar and someone on the recording said something that really stuck with me. I tried to find the author but I couldn’t, so unfortunately I won’t have the source, but it goes like this:
Within rapport, anything is possible. Outside of rapport, nothing is possible.
Now, that might sound trivial, but really think about it. Go back to every transaction you’ve ever made, and overlay that thought onto it and see what I am talking about.
Just to give this a bit of context, let’s cut the Walmarts and Costcos out of the equation. Big retailers are subject for a different article.
For today, specifically, I’m talking about sales, or selling. And let’s face it, we’re all in sales.
If you own a fitness studio, and you’re trying to get someone who just walked into your studio to sign up, you’re in sales.
If you’re a consultant meeting with a prospect, you’re in sales.
If you’re going door-to-door selling vacuums, you’re in sales.
If you operate a mom-and-pop confectionery store, you’re in sales.
If you run a coffee shop, you’re in sales.
If you’re trying to convince your significant other to marry you, or even date you, you’re in sales.
If you’re trying to guide your child towards education and away from trouble, you’re in sales.
If you’re….then you’re in sales.
If you’re thinking, “He’s full of crap, I’m not in sales, and here’s why…” well, you better keep selling me ‘cause I don’t believe you 😉
We are all in sales. Life is sales.
And “sales” has been described as many things.
“Selling is the transfer of emotion from one person to another.”
“Selling is persuading someone on the merits of what you have to offer.”
“Selling is exchanging one item for another.”
“Selling is a transaction between buyer and seller.”
“Selling is convincing someone to buy something they don’t want.”
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Selling is many things, and your personal description of what selling is doesn’t really matter if you don’t have RAPPORT.
Rapport is what allows a sale to happen, but more importantly, to continue to happen.
Yes, a sale can be made without rapport. We’ve all been in that position where the salesperson was a real piece of work but we needed what they had to offer and we pushed past our emotions and bought anyways. But the second we left the transaction we say to ourselves, “what an %$@, I’m happy that’s over, and I’ll never go back.”
So yes, of course a sale can happen without rapport. But it’s far less likely. And it almost guarantees that it will not happen again. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone out of my way to purchase from someone across town because I didn’t like a closer option.
And in sales, especially if this is your career, someone is really only a customer once they buy AGAIN. The first sale isn’t the time to rejoice, it’s when they come back again that the true celebration can be had.
Getting back to rapport…
Rapport is many things, and nearly impossible to truly describe.
It’s that gut feeling that says, “I like this person,” or, “this person gives me the creeps.”
It’s what allows two people to engage effortlessly into conversation despite having never met before.
It’s what causes two strangers to smile, laugh, and connect.
It’s what allows someone to let their guard down, relax, and open up.
So again, with rapport, anything is possible, without rapport, nothing is possible.
When you just “connect” with someone, life is good. Heck, I’ve bought things I didn’t really want just because I liked the other person so much.
In my consulting business, I almost always try (when it makes sense) to meet in person for the first consultation because I want to know if I like the person I’m working with. And you better believe that there ARE prospects I’ve never followed up with because I don’t like them, or we’re just not a good “fit.”
My personal view is that you shouldn’t do business with EVERYONE. There are some people that aren’t worth the headaches, the troubles, the butting heads, etc.
I like to meet in person, light that spark, and go from there.
Which takes us to the age-old question… How do you build rapport?
I have no clue. I would be lying if I said I knew the one little secret to instantly build rapport. But I simply don’t.
Here’s what I do know, though: I’m good at it. And maybe if you were a fly on the wall, you could tell me what I’m doing so that I could become more aware of it.
In fact, as I’m writing this I’m thinking that I’m going to pay more attention and see if I can compile a little list of things I believe build rapport. But that’ll be for another article 😉
For now, focus less on selling, and more on being a good human being, a likeable person, someone who’s completely engaged into what the other person has to say, listen more than you talk, be agreeable, smile and be HAPPY.
Have a genuine love, curiosity, and interest in others, build rapport, and you’re well on your way to making that sale.
Until next time, to your success,
CEO RYS Group
The Blais family enjoying the views at Lake Tahoe.
RYS Group Inc.
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