Understanding sales strategies is vital to any salesperson. One of those strategies, building rapport with a sales prospect, is paramount to being able to close a sale. A person is less likely to buy a product from someone who is interested only in their money and not them as a person. Find out how you can use a S.I.M.P.L.E. formula to build rapport in this segment from an interview with Dale Beaumont and David Staughton on sales strategies.
David Straughton is an in-demand corporate and public speaker. Founder of Think Big and trainer to hundreds of companies on topics such as generating sales, improving productivity and much more.
When it comes to making sales, how did you learn to build rapport with your prospects?
Over the next decade I spent time observing my sales staff in action and teaching new staff to build rapport with prospective clients. Some salespeople had a natural ability and others had to learn how to build rapport with prospects. I found that there are three steps to building rapid rapport in a sales relationship.
- Make a connection.
- Find common bonds (things that you both have in common).
- Give compliments (make sure you are genuine and sincere). I created the SIMPLE formula for making instant connections: S – smile and make eye contact. I – interest and empathy must be shown. M – match voice and body language. P – positive attitude and energy is required. L – listen more and ask better questions. E – emphasise their name and favourite keywords.
More recently, I have been involved in the training of professional services and consultants. I have seen the importance of presentation skills as an indicator of competence and confidence, and how to convey the right professional image and confident body language (even your the way you hold your chin location and spine can position communicate professionalism).
The ability to ask great questions is the most useful tool a salesperson can learn. Don’t worry so much about your prepared elevator pitch, practisce asking better questions! Advanced rapport and group rapport strategies include telling short stories, using anecdotes and humour effectively. Ask questions to get a ‘yes’ frame of mind – seek more ‘yes’ answers.
For more of this interview check out Dale Beaumont’s “Secrets of Top Sales Professionals Exposed!“.