Building Rapport For More Revenue

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Building Rapport For More Revenue

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When I ask sales leaders to tell me what sets their best salespeople apart from the rest, I hear answers ranging from ‘they close more deals’ to ‘they’re great at conversation.’

Those answers aren’t wrong, but unfortunately, they can’t be replicated across a team. This leaves salespeople and their teams in the unfortunate position of relying on just a few salespeople with that ‘it’ factor to carry the weight of the pipeline.

When we delve into what makes the best salespeople able to have better conversations that close more deals, we discover these sales professionals have a high level of rapport – the ability to quickly build trust among their prospects.

Rapport has been something that salespeople had or didn’t – until now. To discover the process for how some of the best salespeople approach their calls to develop rapport, we sat down with Matt Lombardi, founder of Share. His job is to teach salespeople how to get donors to turn over large sums of money without receiving anything tangible in return. If anyone understands the power of leveraging rapport in a sales conversation, it’s Matt.

He showed us how building strong rapport and effectively qualifying prospects can be the linchpin of sales success.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: Matt said that he teaches his clients and salespeople to trigger the rapport-building process before they’re even on the phone or in front of a screen with their prospects. The more prepared and educated a salesperson can be about their prospects, Matt said, the more quickly they can establish rapport.

Some basic things Matt recommends every salesperson research about their prospect is their job title, the challenges and KPIs that come along with that, their length of time in that position in that company, and if their current company has the things that make a great client for you (that can involve everything from tech stack to revenue streams, depending on what you sell).

By initiating the trigger at this early stage, salespeople can approach potential clients with confidence, armed with a clear understanding of the prospect’s position and relevance to their sales objectives.

R – Repeatable: To make rapport-building a repeatable process, Matt says it’s first crucial to determine if the prospect can be your champion within their organization.

This involves assessing their responsiveness, excitement about the product, and their ability to advocate for your solution. This assessment is a fundamental part of the repeatable process as it sets the tone for your entire sales journey with this prospect and is an early benchmark for how much rapport is possible with them, too.

The next step is to identify who this champion can connect you with inside the organization that you can learn from and who can also advocate for you. This step ensures that you’re not only building rapport with the champion but also positioning yourself strategically within the prospect’s organization.

After learning about others in their organization, take the time to ask the prospect what frustrates them the most about their position, and what a day in their life is like. You’ll likely be surprised to learn about some areas of opportunity and your prospect will appreciate the fact that you’re interested in learning more about their challenges.

Next, ask your prospect about the vision they have of their position, department, and organization. Understanding where their destination is will allow you to position what you sell to help them get there.

Lastly, build rapport by being a partner in helping your prospect evaluate their budget and the organization’s need for your solution. This step ensures that you’re not only building rapport with the prospect but also aligning with their business goals and budget. Being seen as a partner will ensure that they’ll be more responsive and engaging after your initial conversation and throughout the sale.

I – Improvable:  To improve this system, Matt says to pay attention to where pushback occurs from prospects in the sales cycle, because that is likely where rapport is breaking down. This means identifying objections, concerns, or obstacles that prospects raise and looking at trends over time. By diligently monitoring and analyzing these points of resistance, sales professionals can pinpoint areas that require attention earlier in the sales cycle, ensuring you proactively address prospects’ concerns and needs at an earlier stage of the process.

M – Measurable: Matt says one of the most crucial metric to consider when developing rapport is prospect engagement. How excited are they to hear from you and how quickly do they return your calls, emails and messages? The speed at which prospects respond serves as an immediate indicator of the success of rapport-building efforts. Faster responses often signify that prospects are genuinely engaged and interested in the ongoing sales conversation.

Salespeople can also measure the time it takes them to move from an advocate to a decision maker. Our prospects take a risk in introducing us to their supervisors, so the more rapport we build the faster those introductions should happen in the sales cycle.

By establishing and consistently measuring these key metrics, sales professionals can take rapport from an inborn skill to a trainable and trackable process.

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