Rapport: What Role Does It Play in Customer Stickiness?

telesales professional taking a call

S/he who chases wins.  It’s a sales cliché that’s become hackneyed because it’s true.

But it goes unheeded by too many businesses. Team members assume a false sense of security once they’ve submitted a proposal to a prospect. They think their job is done.

In fact, their job is just beginning. A proposal is no guarantee of automatic rapport with a prospect. It’s just the start of the rapport building process.

So, deals don’t get closed ultimately, due to businesses overlooking the fundamental need to remain at the forefront of a prospect’s mind.

It’s largely a fear of rejection that prevents them from doing so.  This mental block acts as a barrier to communicating with prospects like they’re human beings (which they are!), and to establishing the ‘know, like and trust’ factor.

Rapport building takes time and effort. But it can reap rich rewards.

So, how can rapport be built as quickly and effectively as possible in a business setting where prospects need to be kept nice and sticky?

Look For a Link

“We’re exceptionally good at building rapport, even from cold, because we understand how to engage”, explains Paula Bates, Managing Director of Toucan Telemarketing.

“The fact of the matter is that you don’t get the order if you don’t ask for it. The most effective way to do that, without being pushy and spammy, is to engage with prospects in an informative, professional and friendly way”.

Paula suggests that looking for a link – no matter how old or tenuous – is one of the best ways to start building rapport.

A link is common ground and a natural conversation starter. It acts as a launchpad for a salesperson and a prospect to start to relating to each other as individuals. And, the more they get to know each other, the more they’ll start to like each other hopefully.

Talk to Prospects, Not at Them

“Going in to autopilot with prospects doesn’t work”, Paula continues. “We build successful client relationships by taking an interest in them and letting them have their say. They need to feel like they have a voice and that they’re part of the process, not just another sale.”

Logging answers is also standard process at Toucan Telemarketing. It prevents prospects having to repeat themselves again and again to salespeople who keep asking the same questions. It doesn’t demonstrate any rapport and it’s a surefire way of switching prospects off.

“Building rapport can be tough,” Paula concludes. “But, there’s no sale if there’s no relationship and no rapport.”

“Customers will stick if they like you. But they’ll run a mile if you’ve been rude, if you don’t take the time to listen to them, or if you give the impression of not caring about them. Rapport is literally a deal maker or breaker.“

Are you concerned that a lack of rapport is affecting your proposal to conversion ratio? Contact Paula Bates from Toucan Telemarketing at paula@toucantelemarketing.co.uk .