Using Positive Rapport to Your Advantage

in Person

You know that feeling when you just "click" with someone and it seems like you've known them forever, even if you've just met? That's rapport in action. So let's take a quick look at building positive rapport and then see how we can use it to our advantage.

One rapport building cliche says you should mimic your customers but that's not a particularly good idea. Instead, one of the quickest ways is to actively listen to you customers and show them you've done that by using near enough their exact phrases back to them - almost parrot fashion - to show that you've listened.

So few of us really listen to what the other person is saying - we're usually too busy thinking about what we're going to say next - that we don't listen to much of what the other person is saying.

If that's you, play with the idea of actively listening to the other person next time you have a conversation. You can do this by repeating what they just said over in your head. It's easy once you've practiced it a few times but will probably feel a bit awkward at first because you're putting your mind outside its comfort zone. But after a while, active listening becomes almost second nature and you'll find that you can build up positive rapport pretty quickly that way.

And remember to smile - it's a simple thing and helps to project the image of you as a friendly person which in turn makes you more likeable in someone else's mind.

Of course, once you've established a positive rapport, it's important to keep it on track.

Don't suddenly think "OK, they like me, now I can sell hard to them". Because that will get their back up and turn them against you.

Instead, you're looking to build on the rapport - maybe even almost friendship - that you've built up.

Ideally you want the person you're dealing with to almost beg you to sell them something. That's when you know that the positive rapport you've so carefully built up is paying dividends.

If you don't get that far - and there's a good chance you won't for the first few attempts - it's still easier to use the relationship you've built up to get the order or whatever else it is you're trying to achieve.

But...

Remember that positive rapport is a bit like walking on thin ice.

It takes quite a while to form but milliseconds to break.

So be careful to make sure that everything else you do is congruent. Anything out of the ordinary or unexpected will stick out like a sore thumb and will likely snap the other person back into "why should I deal with them?" mode.

That goes doubly for any teenager you're trying to build up a good rapport with. They're naturally suspicious of any adults, so you need to tread extra carefully when you're trying to get one over them (for instance, to clean their room!).

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Trevor Johnson has 1 articles online

Find out more about building positive rapport and check out how you use NLP to build rapport.

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Using Positive Rapport to Your Advantage

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This article was published on 2011/07/15