Building lasting rapport with your prospects and customers is a crucial step in achieving sales success but as we enter unprecedented times during the COVID-19 pandemic, the way we develop relationships and nurture them is moving online.
Relationship building is no small feat, it’s not about creating one-off connections but continually nurturing and growing relationships. Read on for some tips on how to build lasting rapport with your customers or prospects in order to keep your relationships healthy and growing, especially in such a difficult time.
There’s a lot of things you can do to build relationships as outlined here, but if your motivations seem disingenuous - as if you’re just out for a sale - then your efforts will have the opposite effect. When sharing content online, be sensitive. Offer support and guidance to let your clients and prospects know that you are there and always act with authenticity and honesty, and especially in these times.
Know Your Customer’s Personality Type
Another part of the art of relationship building includes taking time to assess your prospect’s personality type. A lasting rapport will look completely different from one customer to the next. While some people are happy to discuss their home life and interests, others prefer to keep things strictly business. Yet you can still build lasting rapport online in both cases just make sure you understand your customer’s comfort level when starting out a new relationship. Whatever their preferences, a meaningful relationship is always built on mutual trust and respect.
Listen to understand
Discovering your customer’s personality style and earning their trust and respect requires you to pay attention. Understanding is probably the most important tool when it comes to building lasting rapport. Whether online, over the phone or face-to-face, you’ll be able to start discovering their needs and preferences from your very first interaction.
Share Some of Yourself
A genuine relationship is a two-way street. You can’t hope to come across as genuine and build lasting rapport if you close yourself off. Of course, what you reveal especially on social media like LinkedIn, is up to you and your own comfort level as well as that of your customer. But if your customer shares a personal anecdote in your emails or LinkedIn messages, it’s a good gesture if you share one too. Sharing some of yourself also means being yourself and in times like this, a personal touch can be a great idea.
President & CEO
Canadian Professional Sales Association