Imagine this scenario: You walked into a room full of strangers who seem to be mingling and having a good time. Everybody but you seems to know each other, judging from the conversations rapidly thrown one after the other within every formed groups, as well as the roaring laughters at every sides of the corner –basically the whole scene. You begin to have second thoughts, now at complete lost and without an inkling on what to do next. But just as you were going to call it quits, suddenly somebody casually walks up to you, and comments on your watch. The next thing you know the both of you are shifting topics, first on golf, and then the news. Sounds familiar? Sure. Such connection is where the foundation of lifelong friendships is rooted, the basis of successful business relationships and even where marriage happens. Such, is the beauty of what we call rapport.
By its simple definition, rapport is an established mutual agreement and trust between people, usually private, which permits communication as well as influence. For this same reason, business salespersons, big or small, influential or not, value the importance of excellent customer service and effective communication. They know that engaging their customers in conversations strengthen connection and make their customers feel like an integral part of the business. The result? Customer loyalty is secured and the benefits of dealing with your business are positively reinforced.
Nonetheless, connections between people are infinitely vital not only for business, but mainly for human survival too. Most people generally want to be approachable and warm to attract and be liked by others. After all, nobody wants to be the brilliant and high performing company asset and yet conveniently ousted in meetings or group lunches due to his or her inability to get along with others. Indeed, placing a high importance in building rapport is an ingredient to a more successful business as well as an enriching bonus in your personal life.
We have 3 simple tips to get you on the right footing:
“First impression is a lasting impression,” Generally, most people disapprove of being seized up upon first meet and yet do not seem to realize that sometimes it simply cannot be helped. First impressions assessment are done by default. It is the judgment of the subconscious, made within seconds someone laid their eyes on you. Research has shown that first impressions are almost the one thing that really sticks in the mind’s eye of your observer, which is why it is crucial that you invest more time in the way you look, your clothes, hair, facial expressions and posture. Dressing thoughtfully for a meeting shows respect for the other person. When you dress with care, walk with command, extend your hand, smile, and greet a person with a secure tone of voice, you are letting that person know you are a person worthy of respect. It is an unspoken understanding.
"If you respect me, I'll respect you," which is a very good starting place for any relationship. “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” The key is to never rush into things. Similar to learning, building rapport requires a little sharing of information. In order to get into the hearts of a matter, one must first explore the content. In sales, for instance, nothing is more powerful than humor when it comes to building rapport quickly with your customer. Unfortunately, the salesman often forgets to look past the cover and so dives straight into business resulting in him walking away with no sales made. When you first meet someone, you should always try to find a common ground with the person - learn something about that person that you can relate to. You’ll miss a valuable opportunity to build rapport if you are inflexible and too rigid. Therefore, have a sense of humor and notice the difference.
“Words have meaning and names have power,” Dale Carnegie in his influential book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, dedicated a title specifically to stress on remembering names. He wrote, “Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Indeed, knowing someone by his or her name establishes rapport. Taking the time to remember a name and using it indicates you care. After all, sometimes it is the subtle things that produce the most enormous impact.
Building Rapport is a key essential skill in being an influential communicator. Learn even more about how to build rapport at the MWS Workshops. You would take back all the skills you will ever need to help break down the barriers, establish trust and connects people from all walks of life. Imagine, what it would be like to walk into any room and connect with anyone, anytime? MiniWorkshopSeries provides you with all the powerful tips, tools and techniques for you to excel at work and in life.