Building rapport is important, but don’t forget that your goal is to sell a great service to someone who really needs it.
Have you ever met with a client and “clicked” instantly – and before you know it, you are having a great, wide-ranging conversation, and you are on a voyage of personal discovery? You both know Jim from Acme Corp, grew up in neighbouring towns, and vacation just 3 kilometres from each other every summer… Wow!! Who knew!! This is just – a-maz-ing!!
This is when your sales call can become a visit instead of an opportunity to do business. If you love connecting with people (guilty, your honour!), then perhaps you just made a friend, but lost the chance to do business together.
Instead, wrap up the icebreaker, use the personal connection to establish credibility then stop. Move to the business of seeing if you can help your client by learning where they are with your services.
- Do they use your type of product or service already?
- Are they happy with it?
- Who is the incumbent supplier?
- Where would they like to see an improvement?
Let them tell their story and see if they want your help. Then respond to that story by telling them how you can help them save money and solve the problems they just told you about by using your services and products.
Building rapport is important to building a long-term business relationship where you both benefit, but don’t forget that your goal in that meeting is to sell a great service to someone who really needs it, not swapping life stories. Save the visiting for after the deal is done!