The first rule of prospect engagement is to build a rapport. To a large extent your rapport defines your success or failure.  Now the RapportBig question is how do you build rapport with your prospect?

Remember the first impression is the best impression and it takes 12 subsequent visits to change the first impression.  And in few cases you might need external help to change your prospect’s mind.  In this post I will share few powerful tips to build rapport with your prospect.

  1. Research your prospect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.  Find one common thing you share with your prospect.  Use this as your lever to encourage sales compliance.
  2. Before the meeting maintain a POWER POSTURE for at least two minutes.  This exercise gives you a powerful and confident countenance.  Our body has mirror neurons that mirror behavior of people around.  Confident countenance creates confident engagement.
  3. Maintain eye contact, Smile and give a firm handshake.  This reflects a warm and confident personality.
  4. Distance: We work in a multi-culture environment hence understand and maintain a professional proximity when talking to your prospect.
  5. Begin your discussion with non – business agenda item and sequence of discussions should proceed as follows:  Home and followed by Family – Friends – Entertainment – Work and Vision.
  6. Ensure that you sit diagonally opposite to your prospect and not directly opposite that creates a negative force.
  7. Mirror your prospect’s (words per minute) speed of speaking.  It helps put your prospect at ease.
  8. Mirror your prospects body language – be discreet and not too obvious.  Mirroring creates a bonding.
  9. If practical invite your prospect for a meeting over a cup of coffee or lunch outside his office environment.  This drops your prospect’s defense  and helps close the sales faster.
  10. Address him by his name; ensure you pronounce the name correctly.  Your name is the sweetest sound.
  11. Listen more than you talk rather encourage prospect to talk more by asking smart questions.
  12. Paraphrase your prospects sentences and feed him back.
  13. Ask small favours from your prospect.

Finally objective of the tips are to shorten your sales cycle because 80% of the sales are closed on your 12th engagement.