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Kiersten Toye
August 09, 2017

The Power of Personalized Rapport in Sales

People talking over coffee.jpg

Every person in our inner circle was a mere acquaintance or generic stranger at first. It is through the practice of socializing that we develop personal, memorable connections with others. Socialization has its place of importance in business, too, especially in regards to sales. A sales representative’s communication skills can impact a deal’s confirmation or dismissal with a potential lead. This working world reality justifies the need to establish effective, personalized rapport. To achieve that goal, consider the following items.

Research Their Corporate and Personal Profiles
Since leads expect sales reps to mention major facts about their company, take the next step by researching their personal interests. The reasoning behind this step aligns with a University of California study, which states the average person dedicates 30-40% of conversations telling others about their own experiences and status.

Aside from researching the company, keep an eye out for any press, websites or social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter connected to the lead. After all, even the biggest workaholics have their own identity outside their business sphere.

Doing this research can direct you toward discovering the lead’s favorite newspaper, sports teams, charities, films and other information that profiles them. Use these facts to strategize and personalize your lead pitch.

Open the Conversation with Relatability
The data gurus at Statista revealed that Americans only dedicated 0.65 hours a day on socializing for personal entertainment in 2016. In other words, people have little interest in conversing for fun, let alone conversing for business.

This data makes being relatable to leads a crucial task. Before dialing their number or meeting them for lunch, thoroughly strategize how you can incorporate their personal interests in your initial conversation. Go beyond “small talk” as your opening line by subtly mentioning something such as your curiosity in trying a meal from their favorite eatery or visiting the stadium of their favorite sports team.

Finding a common ground with your lead strengthens your probability of winning their attention and ultimately quickening the buyer’s journey.

Include Tidbits from Prior Conversations
Followups are an expectation in the lead conversion process. In actuality, 80% of sales require five follow-ups prior to closing. Though this information may sound discouraging, you can use the recurrence of contact to your advantage.

There’s a likeliness that the lead will disclose small facts about themselves during your first conversation. For example, the lead may discuss something as generic as what they had for lunch or as detailed as their son having their first baseball game. Solidify your attentiveness to  your lead’s input by recalling moments of your prior rapport in the following conversation. This action demonstrates that you’re open to putting the lead’s interests first, which increases the lead’s comfort in pursuing business with you as well their willingness to evaluate your company’s products or services.

Adding personalized rapport within business propositions beneficially impacts a sales representative's success in converting a lead into a buyer.

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