How to Establish Rapport In 15 Seconds

Establishing rapport with a prospect in the very beginning is perhaps the most important first step to earning the right to have a conversation that might eventually lead to a sale. Get it wrong, and that could mean the end of your call—and your chance to make a sale.

Given how important this step is, it’s sad to hear so many sales people get it wrong: They either rush into their pitch; talk over prospects; or use other ineffective techniques.

Here’s what not to do:

  1. DON’T open your conversation with, “How are you?”—if you haven’t even introduced yourself! This is a common (and annoying error).
  2. If your prospect asks you how you are (after you ask them), DON’T just say, “fine” or “good” and then launch into your pitch.
  3. In fact, DON’T launch into your pitch at all! Instead, see below what to do . . .

What you should do:

  1. Introduce yourself, “Hi, {prospect’s first name}, this is _____ ______ with  ________, how are you doing today?” THEN: Wait for them to respond! If they ask you how you’re doing, respond with, “I’m doing well today, thanks for asking.”
  2. If, after you ask how they’re doing, you hear annoyance in their voice, then always start what you’re going to say next with, “Briefly . . .” You MUST let them know that YOU know they are in a hurry or not happy to receive a sales call. Then…
  3. BE BRIEF! Let them know why you’re calling (in a sentence or two—MAX), and get to a question and let them interact: “Question for you: How do you (or your company) get involved in that?” (Customize this to what you’re selling, i.e., “Use that,” etc.)

If you follow this simple formula, you’ll earn the right to have a conversation, because you won’t sound like all the other salesy people calling and annoying your prospect.  

Try it and see for yourself!

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