This building rapport technique requires you to listen for your customer’s language patterns. This is a challenging skill to acquire but if you can start to be aware of your own communication style and that of others, you will quickly become a great rapport builder. When we use our customer’s preferred language style, we become like them, and we all know that people buy from people they know like and trust.
We communicate in 3 ways but we generally have a preference for one or a combination of 2 of the following ways.
1. Building Rapport Technique with Auditory People
These people communicate through their ears. They use language like “I hear what you are saying”, “Tell me more about it”, “Explain to me how it works”, “It sounds good”, “That rings a bell”, “I hear what you are saying”.
2. Building Rapport Technique with Visual People
These people communicate through their eyes. They use language like “I see what you mean”, “Can you show me how to do that”, “It looks like I will be going ahead with that appointment” , “I see what you mean”.
3. Building Rapport Technique with Kinaesthetic People
These people communicate through their feelings. They use language like, “I get the feeling this is not the right product for us”, “I would have to experience it to get to grips with what it is about”, “I need to grasp the concept”, “How do you feel about that?”.
Why Ask Questions?
It is important to ask great questions on a telephone sales call to build rapport early. That way you find out people’s needs before you start telling them what you have to offer. Ideally they should begin with What, Why, Where, When, How, Which and Who so that the customer has to expand on what they want and they cannot answer “no”. They should create pain with the customer or give them pleasure because those are the two reasons people want your services.
Making sales by phone requires skill. One of the main reasons some staff (particularly new staff) fail at prospecting is that they do not sound confident . Well, if you are new, understandably you may not feel confident so you might need to be trained in some simple techniques how to sound confident. You might have to fake it till you make it. This is so important as no-one is going to buy from someone who is not sounding confident in themselves or their product or service. Your job is to generate such confidence in your product or service and transfer your energy to the prospect on the other end of the phone.
When making sales by phone, here are 5 simple techniques to sound confident
People buy from people who are like them so we need to become as much like our customer as we can to build rapport. We have talked about ways to build rapport before in the telesales tips newsletters like copying a customer’s speed, talking the same auditory, visual or kinaesthetic language, asking open-ended questions and demonstrating listening skills. Now let’s look at another way to build rapport.
I was training a team in a large contact centre recently when one person said, “I really like this new script you have given us. It is much more concise and to the point and we have had a 33% increase in sales overall in our first week of using it. We have been taught to chat to the customer a lot more and ask them all about their pets before we start selling the idea of buying raffle tickets to raise money for the RSPCA.”. The light switch went on for me. Their trainer clearly did not have an awareness of the DISC profiling of the basic four different styles of people or customers. He was quite right to teach the chat style to his team to build rapport but only if the customer spoken to was an Influencer (I) on the DISC profiling system or a Steadiness (S) type of person on the Disc Profiling System. The S and the I are social people people who like to chat to you. However, if you are talking to the Dominance style of person (D) or the Conforming style of person (C) these people want you to get to the point, tell them why you rang and what the bottom line is, then get off the phone.
1. When you call someone with an offer and they say “NO,” you can call them again because the next time they might be in a different space. Persistence does work if you do it in a nice, non pushy way.
2. When negotiating, don’t drop the price too dramatically just to get the sale. It makes it look like you were trying to rip the client off in the first place and makes the client suspicious that the products have much less value.
3. Do not lie to get a sale. Offer the client the right option for them even if you lose a bit of commission.
4. Pay the client a compliment when you first meet them . Comments and criticism do not build rapport.
5. People like to know the name of the person they are dealing with so provide it.
6. Do not be too familiar with new clients. Not everyone likes hugs and kisses from a stranger.
7. Do not make the customer call you about an error on delivery. You call them as soon as you find out.
8. If a client complains, acknowledge the client straight away before they tell thousands of people .
Here’s the full story of what happened
I like to go to other Sales Trainer’s seminars occasionally to hear what they are teaching. My curiosity got the better of me when I actually went to hear Jordan Belfont, (from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”), now turned sales trainer after a stint in jail. Personally I felt very uncomfortable in his presence as he was a high pressure salesperson and swore every second sentence. It was interesting that his whole seminar session was all about your tone on the phone and the importance of it more than your actual sales skills. I agree with what he says with the proviso that you are selling with integrity. In the movie he used these tonalities to hoodwink the client into buying stocks which were not going to make them money.
Jordan’s top 5 phone tonalities you need to learn are:-
Certainty – Sounds like you are an expert in your field. You take control of the conversation and sound like the authority on the subject. (I quite agree, I call it “confidence” and that is what I teach all new salespeople how to be)
Sincerity – (When you love what you sell, that comes naturally and you can talk from the heart )
Sound reasonable – (Don’t ask the customer to buy the most expensive thing first)
Sound Intriguing – When you come to your offer, lower your voice to make it sound like a secret specially for them.
Caring – ( Become a problem solver, say “Let me ask you a question” and ask about them.)
Your Next Action Step
Listen to your voice on the phone, record your next sales presentation and give yourself a mark out of 10 for using each one of these tones in your sales call. That way your customer will be engaged and you will keep them on the phone longer.
You can find out my way of teaching the all important subject of tonality in my e-book “Don’t Get Hung up”
A hard copy version is also available in the book store. “Don’t Get Hung Up” Book
A postcard from Stephen, a salesman at Mcgrath Real Estate arrived the week before Father’s Day with a competition to win a $500 prize. “Write in 25 words or less why your Dad is the best”. I let my 2 sons know and asked them to do the competition. My younger son did it straight away and after 4 days of reminders, my older son had not done it. I asked him if there was a reason why he had not done it and he said, “Oh, it will just be an excuse for the real estate agent to keep ringing us or mailing us because they will want us to give our phone number and email.” I pointed out that the reason for doing it would be to win a prize for Dad and that he could easily unsubscribe from any information that was sent by the real estate agent in the future. He then sent his submission in but I feared it would have missed the deadline of 5pm Friday before Fathers Day.
As my older son predicted, sure enough, at 9.30 am on Saturday, the phone rang and it was Stephen from Mcgrath Real Estate.
Last week I went to a new dentist. I had never met him before so I told him very clearly what I wanted to achieve from the visit. I needed to replace a filling which had dropped out and I would like a clean and polish too, nothing more.
At this point he promptly tried to sell me on the idea of having x rays (He said that it was advisable to have x rays every 2 years) and he wanted to do a check-up too. There was a possibility (he said) I might have an infection in the gum above my crown. (I knew I had not got an infection as I had recently checked this). He would not stop talking for 12 minutes and then said he would not have time at this appointment to do anything more than the filling so I would have to come back for the clean and polish and pay for a second appointment.
The point of the story is, if he had just listened to what I wanted, he would have achieved the 2 tasks in the half hour appointment. I would then have trusted him, seen he could do a good job, and then I would have been happy to order more services that he suggested. Because he started selling at me the minute I arrived, he built zero rapport and trust with me.
Make sure you build trust and rapport on the phone and face to face before you ever start your sales pitch. Use open-ended questions and establish the customer’s needs, demonstrate listening skills and then you can customise your sales presentation to the customer.
Perhaps dentists should incorporate sales training in their apprenticeships do you think?