Basics of building rapport

rap·port: Noun ~a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.


Eye-Contact and hand gestures will keep the audience’s attention

Rapport is a tricky subject because it is a subjective thing. There is an extraordinarily small amount of objectivity when it comes to how to build it. Fortunately for you, as the agent and expert, you have it within you to understand these essential tools that will create fellowship with employees, business partners; not just clients.

If you do not know what I am talking about, then soon you will. Below is practical information you can take into any situation and immediately increases the likelihood of a positive and memorable experience.

Smile

This is harped on because it works. It is a sign of kindness. People desire kindness out of people, and when it is recognized typically, it is accepted. A kind smile does not have to be the best smile ever. It only needs to be sincere and visible through your eyes. Practice your smile, make it your own, and be genuine in it.

Listen

In conversation, it is essential to engage your brain’s listening part immediately. Listening will help emphasize the intangibles your audience will subconsciously pick up on; Things like remembering personal details, recalling common interests, or making a connecting joke if the situation calls for it. Be remembered as the insurance agent and an impressive person who listened to them or, even better, solved their problem.

  • To master listening, it is imperative to know your product or topic; proper preparation prevents selling something you know they need and creates a positive and memorable experience for people in an industry that is touted as greedy or immoral. It’s our job to change perspective and build real value.

As the conversation progresses, you will find out what kind of person you are dealing with to adapt your speech and conduct yourself accordingly.

This last bit is significant, and it applies to the entire transaction from the hello to the goodbye. Be intentional. Do not wear a fake smile. Do not ignore people when they speak and ask them to repeat themselves multiple times. Maintaining eye contact while speaking and being spoken to will help you retain more information during and after the interaction. Be deliberate in your desire to help and never harm.

Two women discussing how to mimic behavior in people.
Smile, listen and lean in. People will mimic this behavior.

Smile with your eyes and listen to what they say. Be present and focused on helping that person on the other end of the phone or face to face. Yes, smile with your eyes on the phone as well. Others around you and the person you are talking to can hear it.

Promote positive energy. You have an untapped amount of it to give.

Using your personality is a massive part of building rapport. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses is an invaluable tool. Consider this ability the forge from which all other skills are born.

Sharpen the natural tools in the kit, but pay attention to another’s toolbag, do not envy their ability but find a way to tailor it to your skillset and practice your new skill. There is almost always something you can glean from another individual.

Most people want to get through the conversation feeling like they made a good impression and maybe snag a couple of solid applications that will make a positive difference for that person. Create good habits, and you will become more adept at building rapport with anyone you meet. With the increase in rapport will come more increase in daily success.

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