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For many salespeople, building rapport is a skill that needs to be learned. It’s not always easy for sales reps to build relationships with potential or existing clients. Asking direct and relevant questions is a great launch fine-tuning the art of building rapport. In this episode, we learn more about how to do this well.
Andrew Sletter has been in the same company, the Window and Door Store for 10 years. Their company sells windows and doors with a focus on in-home sales. They work directly with the consumer and are with their customers for every step of the process, including installation. The company’s office is located in Bismarck, North Dakota and they handle the North Dakota and Western Minnesota market.
Andrew doesn’t see himself as a true salesman. He believes that many salespeople are doing themselves a disservice by trying to fit into a particular profile. Andrew isn’t an influencer or a promoter. Based on his DISC personality profile, he is more of the perfectionist individual. In his career, he’s seen all different types of personalities become successful in sales. Many sales reps feel the pressure to become somebody they’re not but as a sales manager, Andrew knows salespeople just need to be true to who they are and learn the skills needed to have a great career.
Though Andrew didn’t set out to become a sales leader, he honed his skills to become successful. Daniel Pink, the author of the book To Sell is Human, writes that surprisingly, the best salespeople aren’t the extroverts or the introverts. It’s the ambiverts that make it to the top of the chain. Why? The ambiverts tend to have the characteristics of both and it serves them well. If you aren’t an ambivert, though, take heart. Andrew knows anyone who can hold a conversation with somebody has what it takes to become a great salesperson.
An important skill that salespeople need to have is the ability to know when and if a product or service is a good fit for a potential client. With direct-to-consumer businesses this is especially important. Building trust and rapport in the early stages of inquiry will help with this evaluation. If done correctly, not only will this prospect become a new client, there is an opportunity to develop the relationship into a life-long customer.
Building rapport is about having trust between two people. If a salesperson states their product is the best in the industry, but hasn’t built trust, the consumer can determine very quickly they don’t want to work with that individual. The consumer today is very savvy. They’ve usually done the research even before approaching the salesperson. They already know about the product and the industry and will purchase with the sales rep who aligns with their value system. It is up to the salesperson to uncover those values in order to close the sale.
Rapport is more than just value-based selling. For Andrew, it’s also about authentic selling. The number one deciding factor of whether or not a consumer is going to purchase is the credibility of the salesperson. Credibility and rapport first, product or service second. It’s the job of the salesperson to uncover the prospect’s values because if the values aren’t in alignment, the ability to close is greatly diminished. Selling to modern consumer requires wisdom and discovery. The sales goal has to be secondary to the customer’s needs.
From the beginning a salesperson needs to have a conversation with the prospect. Allow them to tell their story because it’s their story that needs to be heard. Be ready with a set of questions to ask every client.
Ask directed and relevant questions. What are their fears, concerns, projections? This exchange helps the salesperson determine the client’s motivation and it gives the consumer the confidence their needs are being heard. When values align, the closing rate increases dramatically.
Building rapport is especially critical in the season we’re in, when people are dealing with so much uncertainty. Clients need to feel they’re part of a conversation and a team. As salespeople, we support our families by helping our clients solve their problems. We’re all consumers. Let’s be the people we’d want to purchase from ourselves.
Don’t rush the process. Too often a salesperson tries to determine the outcome of the sales without first building trust. Put in the time and ask direct and relevant questions.
This episode is brought to you in part by TSE Certified Sales Training Program. It’s a course designed to help new and struggling sellers to master the fundamentals of sales and close more deals. It will help them elevate their sales game. Sign up now and get the first two modules for free! You can go and visit www.thesalesevangelist.com/closemoredeals also call us at (561) 570-5077.
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Donald is the host of the popular sales podcast,"The Sales Evangelist". He is the founder of The Sales Evangelist Consulting Firm where he helps small companies develop killer sales process to scale their business and increase growth. Donald is also an award-winning speaker, sales trainer, and coach. He's a big fan of traveling, South Florida staycations and high-quality family time. Donald has a belief that “anyone” can sell if they have the desire and receives the proper training.