Building Rapport And Adapting

I meet so many different types of people in my sales meetings, some I just really connect with and others I don’t. Is there any advice you can offer with the ones that I just don’t click with?

I had exactly the same challenge when I sold IT software many years ago. The person I normally met with was an IT director or IT Manager and sometimes a FD would get involved as well; no matter how hard I tried to have a conversation about things outside of work, to try and build a rapport, it never seemed to work and I really struggled to find that connection.

A couple of years later I was introduced to a behaviour matrix model by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist, which explains how people’s behaviour can be placed into one of four quadrants whom all share similar traits. People like to deal with people like them, therefore once you understand a person’s behaviour, your job as a sales professional, is to adapt your behaviour around theirs. This makes them more comfortable and you will build rapport on their level, not yours. In my book, Coffee’s for closers, I explain this in much further depth and you will learn how to identify their behaviour by a variety of ways like the look of their office, the words they use, their body language etc. and most importantly how to adapt around them.

The other thing I can suggest to find a connection when out on meetings is to use a technique called matching, which comes from NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). As the name suggests, you match the person’s body language, so if they have their legs crossed, you cross their legs, if they are leaning forward then do the same. Equally match their tone of voice, their pace of speech, the language they use etc. By matching them discreetly, will again make them more comfortable and they will be more receptive to your suggestions and ideas.

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