4 Steps to Building Trust, Respect, and Rapport

February 12, 2019 by  

Anytime you’re communicating with other people, your ability to create rapport quickly is going to be the key to your success.
Building rapport is all about establishing a relationship with the person or people with whom you are speaking. Whether you are in a one-on-one sales conversation, speaking to a small group, or speaking to a large group, it is essentially the same basic techniques. If there is a wall between you and that other person, then it is your job is to remove that wall.

Here is an acronym for a technique to remove that wall: WALL
W: Watch
You must be very observant of the people with whom you are communicating; their surroundings, who they are with. That will be able to give you your first indications of how you may want to open your discussion.
When you are speaking with a group of people, you need to determine who the leader of the group is, who the center of influence is, who the most social person is, who likes to have fun, and who the more analytical person is. The reason for figuring all this out is because you will need to approach each of those people differently.
If you are meeting with a prospect or a client in their home, look around the home to see if you can find some clues that could be used as conversation starters, things that might create some common ground between you and them. If they are coming to your office, observe them carefully to see what they are looking for, what they pay attention to or what they seem to be looking at. This will help you to gain some insight into how to begin your discussion.

A: Ask
Next, based on your observations, your initial interaction with that person will bring in to play what you noticed. The best approach is to ask questions as this is the single best way to begin establishing trust, respect, and rapport, the key ingredients for building successful, meaningful, long-term relationships. When you ask questions you show a genuine interest in what they want, what they need, and what their interests are, so this will encourage them to slowly start opening up.

Here are some questions to consider:
1. What’s the biggest challenge you face in your business?
2. What brought you to our business today?
3. What type of product or service are you seeking?
4. What types of products have you already tried?
5. Whose services do you currently use?
These examples are nonthreatening and definitely not pushy. While you are questioning them, maintain your observations and they may offer up some cues or indicators that could guide you as you expand your explorations on how to move forward.

L: Listen
It is imperative to truly listen to what people are saying. So many sales and marketing professionals ask all the right questions, but they don’t really listen to the answers. Employ active listening, where you actually summarize back to the speaker what you did hear to show them that you respectfully listened to them.
This is another step in the establishment of those meaningful, long-lasting relationships that we want to build and maintain with our customers. By combining your listening skills with your watching skills, you will be able to determine if the questions you are asking are actually starting to build that trust and rapport.

L: Learn
Learning how to build rapport is means trying different approaches, watching, and listening, as well as observing the end result. When you do that you can learn from your time with the person and if necessary, can change your approach the next time you meet with them.
There is no one right way to build the all-important trust and rapport with other people, however, everyone who is in sales, marketing and speaking will likely agree that you must do it. So by learning what works for you and learning what works with your audience, your customers, and/or your clients, you will become more effective.

 So: Watch for clues.
     Ask powerful questions.
     Listen carefully to the answers that are given to you.
     Learn from every interaction.

In the end, if you become a good student of building trust, respect, and rapport, then over time you enjoy more success and a greater ability to generate those outcomes much more easily and quickly. Those skills are essential to success in sales, marketing and people managing in general, so you will definitely benefit from the skills in all aspects of your life.