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11 2011

Is it Rapport or Relationship?

Syndicated from: Fearless Selling Blog ~ Increase Your Sales

Yesterday’s post and email newsletter outlined my rationale of NOT making small talk during an initial meeting with a prospect or B2B decision maker simply because this sales strategy is outdated and is no longer relevant in today’s business world. Not surprisingly, many newsletter subscribers emailed their disagreement and they suggested that developing a relationship with a customer is still vital, especially in today’s competitive landscape. I don’t disagree with that. Relationships ARE still important. However, these relationships are not created by talking about the weather, the traffic or what someone did on their weekend. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, rapport is defined as; “relation marked by harmony, conformity, accord or affinity” Rapport usually means finding areas of commonality or discussing things of a personal nature. In today’s business world very few prospects and decision makers are interested in your “rapport-developing pre-sales-conversation chit chat.” In fact, Jeb Brooks of The Brooks Group, says that his company’s research has determined that 72% of Business to Business buyers find “small talk” to be negative and another 23% found it to be neutral, meaning it added nothing to the sales conversation (thanks for that insight Jeb!). However, you can develop an excellent relationship with prospects and customers and NEVER discuss personal issues, talk about awards they have won, or spend time on small talk. True business relationships are created when you, the seller, demonstrate that you have a clear and accurate understanding of the other person’s situation AND that you, your product or your service will help them address or solve that issue or issues. If you can achieve that then you will likely develop a good relationship. And the relationship is more important than rapport.   Interested in having me speak at a conference, meeting or other sales event? Give me a call: 905-633-7750 Tweet This

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