The Secret of Making Your Customers Like You

If you want to create successful business relationships, you need to find a fast way to help people feel that they can trust you. The more they trust you, the more comfortable they will be about working with you.

When you have that atmosphere between two or more individuals, you can say you have ‘rapport’. The dictionary defines this as a ‘sympathetic relationship or understanding’.

One of the benefits of rapport is that it allows you to communicate much more quickly at an unconscious level. This happens because when people feel comfortable, there are less doubts and questions from the conscious mind.

To have rapport, you need to create a situation where your audience (whether it’s one person or a large group) will see you as being like them in some way and so will find it easier to develop an atmosphere of trust.

It is easier for them to trust you if they feel you are like them in some way. This also means there is more chance they will like you. Clearly if they like you and trust you, they are more likely to do business with you.

Here are some ways in which you can create rapport quickly:

• Match their sensory modality: Take note of the words that someone is using which indicate their preferred sensory modality and use similar words and phrases in conversation with them.

• Match their physiology: Discreetly reflecting back someone’s posture, hand gestures and movements in your own behavior will cause them say to themselves unconsciously that ‘this person is like me’.

• Matching their voice: If the person is slow and deliberate, they will feel comfortable if you are the same way. You should also try, when you speak, to use the keywords that they use a lot – such as “Alright”, “Actually”, “You know what I mean”.

• Matching how they deal with information: Some people are detail oriented and some prefer it brief. If you don’t match the other person’s way of dealing with information, you will find it difficult to build rapport – the detail-oriented person will be yearning for more information or the big-picture person will be yawning.

• Matching common experiences: Suppose you are a long way from home and meet a total stranger who turns out to be from your hometown. Before long, it’s likely you will find yourself in a very lively conversation. You can make use of this in your communication by finding some commonality with your audience to increase the chance of achieving rapport.

However, this will only work if you are yourself and true to your nature. If you pretend to be something you are not, you are going to build mistrust. Whenever you are not getting the results you need with customers, it is likely that you need to increase your rapport.

How can you show your customers and prospects that you have something in common with them so that you can build better rapport?