In the business and marketing world, experts agree that people do business with individuals they know, like and trust. Building rapport with others helps to establish the know-like-trust factor, thereby increasing your potential to do business with those you meet while networking. Rapport is a critical to growing your business, building trust, and improving your relationship with others. High levels of rapport allow potential clients to move through your sales cycle faster, converts clients to utilize your services longer, and helps them to easily and quickly begin referring business to you.
So, what is rapport? Rapport can be defined in a variety of ways however each has its place in the daily work of a professional. An online search defines rapport as:
*A relationship of mutual understanding or trust and agreement between people
* Commonality of perspective: being in “sync” with, or “being on the same wavelength” as the person you are talking with.
* A feeling of comfort or connectedness between people
* The presence of harmony, trust, and cooperation in relationship
Building rapport is a learned skill and understanding some basic yet key points about how you interact with others can significantly improve the rapport you have with them. Rapport can be gained by finding commonality, offering compliments when appropriate, acknowledging others, heart-based listening and effectively communicating. Even words, body language and tone all contribute to increasing or decreasing your rapport with others.
While entrepreneurs and professionals may realize the importance of rapport, many often forget to establish rapport first or struggle with understanding how to effectively and quickly build rapport to connect with new contacts. While establishing rapport with others is often subconscious and intuitive, the ability to build rapport is a skill that can be developed with training, tweaking, practice and awareness.
Note from Sabrina Risley: Check out my friend, George Ira Carroll, better known as “The Breakthrough Coach,” as he hosts his May 6, 2011 Breakthrough Seminar Instant Rapport and Lasting Relationships: 7 Unstoppable Steps to Expanding your Network and DOUBLING your Referral Business! I am honored to be a guest speaker at this seminar, sharing my perspective and tips on how to deepen budding personal & professional relationships.
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