10 Powerful Rapport Building Strategies of the Best Salespeople

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How would you like to sell like the Top 4% of the best salespeople in the world? I’m going to share a sales blueprint that is used by the top salespeople in the world to generate billions of dollars of sales. In this blog I will cover 10 powerful rapport building strategies of the best salespeople. Rapport building is the #1 skill that salespeople learn to get outstanding results.

The Sales Blueprint

The pyramid above describes key steps of the sales blueprint that you need to take a prospect through:

So where do you think the top sales people invest the most time in this pyramid?

The right answer is establishing rapport.

“40% of time of the top salespeople in the world is spent on building rapport with prospects and clients.”

So what is rapport and how do we develop it?

4 Elements of Rapport

Rapport can be established with a person if they:

  1. Like you.
  2. Trust you.
  3. Respect you.
  4.  and you enjoy personal credibility with them.

10 Powerful Ways to Develop Rapport:

1. Be their favourite cheerleader

Firstly find positive and authentic ways to be your prospect’s favourite cheerleader. Give genuine compliments. Be supportive in their journey. Celebrate their milestones. Everyone appreciates a cheerleader in their corner and this helps establish rapport. The best salespeople are a prospect’s favourite cheerleader.

2. Have tremendous empathy

The best salespeople develop and display tremendous empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and appreciate what your prospect is feeling. It is the ability to “stand in the other person’s shoes”. Because the best salespeople are masters of empathy they are able to quickly create and maintain rapport.

A simple way to develop empathy is to reflect on what you felt when you were in a similar situation. Furthermore you can mirror and match (see below) the person to empathise better.

3. Be more interested in them than anyone has ever been.

To be interesting, be interested! Expert rapport builders are genuinely interested in the person they are with. I know a number of people who have met Sir Richard Branson. When asking them what was one of the things that really stood out about him. All of them said the same thing: When you are having a conversation with him he has one hundred percent of his attention on you. You feel you are the only person there in the world for him at that moment.

The best salespeople take genuine interest in their client. So be fully present. Don’t fiddle with your phone while talking to a client. Notice the client’s body language and the tone of voice. This will enhance your ability to read the “non-verbal” conversation. Doing so helps build rapport.

4. Find common ground

Be like a detective that uncovers your clients common interests. This is one of the easiest ways to increases bonding with another person! I love playing the guitar and when I find a prospect that also shares that passion it immediately helps me connect to the person. We have something to talk about that is not related to business. Common interests or passions are a key to developing likeability and therefore rapport.

5. Have a sense of humour

Everyone loves someone who puts smile on their face or makes them laugh. One of my clients is a successful financial advisor and he specially curates a set of jokes that he knows one of his best client’s love. It can be some topical humour or just keen observation.


Model your favourite comedian or someone who you find funny from your life. Notice what sorts of phrases they use which makes you and others laugh. Making others laugh is a great way top salespeople develop rapport.

6. Be a great listener

Every great salesperson knows that she has two ears and one mouth – use them proportionately. Active listening develops trust and respect. Here are 5 simple ways in which you can develop your listening skills:

(a) Be fully present and relaxed.

(b) Face the speaker and make eye contact

(c) Don’t listen to respond. Be open minded. Listen without judgement or criticism of the speaker. Ask questions during pauses to clarify only.

(d) Allow your mind to create a mental model of what is being communicated.

(e) Pay attention to what is not being said. Be aware of the non-verbal communication.

7. Talk about everyone’s favourite person

So who is everyone’s favourite person? Me, myself and I! 🙂 I have never had a client complain when I talk about them. Have a series of questions that gives your prospect to talk about themselves. This gives your prospect permission to talk about themselves. This will reveal so much to you. The best salespeople are masters at asking questions.

8. Teach your community to be more successful

This is one of my favourite ways to develop rapport. Always use every meeting to educate your clients to be more successful. It may even be something that helps them succeed in their personal life.

We like, respect and trust people that are helping us succeed. The best salespeople are great connectors and sources of education to help their community succeed.

9. Mirroring & Matching

Mirroring and matching your clients body language and voice tonality is one of the most powerful ways to develop rapport. We like people like us.

My uncle is a great salesperson and I have seen him mirror and match everything from a client’s accent to his gestures. The client would open up and talk about so many things apart from business because he used this technique so effectively to create and deepen rapport. He had a great conversion rate of large deals as a result.

10. Use a CRM

Lastly, maintain a solid CRM and use this information to deepen rapport. Bestselling author and successful entrepreneur, Harvey McKay, maintains answers to 66 questions about his key clients in this Customer Relationship Management database. Everything from if the client is married or single. If he’s married then their spouse’s name, how many kids, how old? What are their names? Dates of birthdays, anniversaries etc.

Everyone of these answers are avenues through which his sales team is able to establish, maintain and deepen rapport.

What are your favourite ways to build rapport? Leave a comment below

If you enjoyed this article then you will also enjoy the following short video: How to increase your sales by 20%

6 Responses

  1. Truly a well written and very useful article…
    Point No.6 is especially so relevant and powerful by itself.

    Looking forward to many such useful nuggets of information from you, in the days to come… 🙂

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