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Building Rapport: Gaining Steam From Open to Close

September 20th, 2017

Think about the last time you made a purchase: how did the clerk at the store treat you? Were you left with a positive or negative impression of the business? If the clerk doesn’t build rapport with you during this one visit, he or she could potentially determine whether or not you return to use that business again.

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In a similar fashion, every touch your sales team makes with leads and customers influences them in a similar fashion. From the moment the initial point of contact is made, your openers or agents should focus on building rapport. If customer experience is negative at any point during the buyer’s journey, they are unlikely to move forward with your company.

So how do you build rapport with prospects and continue once they become clients? There are a few ways to establish trust between your agents and leads from the very beginning.

Demeanor

Phone presence is half of the equation when it comes to telemarketing and inside sales. Agents have little else to rely on but a friendly, outgoing energy when prospecting or selling on the phone. Without this demeanor, they will not seem as approachable to customers. Those with poor phone presence come off as less approachable and therefore less trustworthy. A warm demeanor on the phones is the baseline to building rapport with every lead and customer an agent speaks with.

Consistency

Insist that your agents remain consistent on follow-ups and appointments to prove dedication to their leads. With the help of redial rules, you can ensure your agents reach out to a lead a certain number of times before removing them from a list. In a similar fashion, staying consistent with current customers shows that your agents care about their business’ well-being.

Attention to Timing

It is important to pay attention to the times you reach out to prospects and customers. Always ask the best time to reach out to them to avoid interrupting important meetings or other engagements they have. Be sure to schedule appointments or make a note in your CRM of the best times to follow up with leads and customers to continue building rapport throughout the sales process.

Preferred Method of Communication

Reaching out to prospects on their time is necessary but it also helps build rapport when you reach out through their preferred method of communication. Some do not mind phone calls but others would rather you reach out to them through email or SMS messaging. When you use a software like CallTools.com, you can call, email, or text message a lead or customer without leaving the platform. This makes reaching prospects and clients on their terms especially quick and easy.

The Small Things

Use the notes section of your CRM to take down any small pieces of information that may help with rapport in the future. If the prospect or client mentions their child or a trip they’re taking, follow-up not only on your pitch but on the information you provide. When your agents show leads that they pay attention to what they say, it contributes to building rapport.

Necessary from Start to Continuation

The process of building rapport is never truly over; after a lead moves through the sales funnel and becomes a customer, rapport continues on through customer experience. You can establish company-wide expectations for how to handle customer interactions through consistent team meetings and training.

With the help of contact center software geared towards relationship management, like CallTools.com, maintaining favorable relationships with prospects and customers is simple. Building rapport helps grow customer relationships which, in turn, helps your company expand in the long run. Don’t discount the importance of interacting with customers from the beginning!