You’ve all heard the expression that people buy from people they like, know and trust, right? When selling over the phone, the way we establish this is by building rapport.
And just because you can’t see your prospect doesn’t mean this is difficult to do — if you know how.
Use these three techniques to create ease, build rapport and get the person on the other end of the phone to like, know and trust you.
1) Listen and Acknowledge. Nothing kills rapport faster than if the person you’re speaking with feels like you’re not hearing what they are saying. To avoid this, do two things ?
#1 Pause, briefly after they are done talking and before you begin, and
#2 Acknowledge what they just said.
This can be accomplished with a simple, ?Oh, I understand," or ?I know what you mean," or even repeating part of what they just said.
2) Use Self-Disclosure. When listening, see if and how you can identify with what your prospect is saying. Then, share a little bit of your experience by saying something like, ?I know what you mean. I do the same thing," or ?That’s happened to me, too."
This is a great technique, but be careful with it! You don’t want to disclose too much — this is, after all, a business transaction and you’re looking to gain in new client not a new best friend.
3) Use Empathy. This is especially important if/when dealing with an angry or upset client. If something has gone wrong, resist the temptation to defend.
Instead, acknowledge that they are feeling upset or put out. Try,
?That must be so frustrating to wait a week for your order and then have it arrive incorrect. I’m so sorry that happened."
?I had something like this happen to me, too, and I know how frustrated you must be."
People want to be heard, they want their feelings acknowledged, and to know that someone cares. Using empathy in these situations not only calms them down, but helps build rapport as well.
I hope these ideas and techniques for building rapport help you establish the kind of trust it takes to build strong relationships while selling your product or service over the phone.
In the end, people do prefer to buy from people they like, know and trust. Now you know how to create that feeling.