12.5 Tips to Building Better Rapport on the Cell Phone

An 18th Century politician once said “The art of building rapport is making people feeling ‘connected’ to you.”

Fast forward to the 21st Century.  

Geoffrey Gitomer, author of the Little Red Book of Selling, says “You don’t need more prospects – you need more friends.”

And since we are a nation locked in it our cells with over 203 million America’s owning a cell phone, that’s why it’s important as ever to learn how to make friends on the phone.

But it’s also easier than ever, especially when you use NLP techniques like pacing, mirroring, voice tone and just plain old, everyday good manners.

Here are 12.5 tips to turn strangers on the phone into friends fast.

1. They need to be receptive. It is a good habit to always ask upfront if the person has time to talk. After the greetings, simply say, “Do you have time to talk?” Saying this makes you courteous and unobtrusive on the person’s space. When we do not have the time to talk, the only thoughts we have in our mind are wondering “How long will it be until this damn person shuts up because I’m driving in bad traffic!”

2. Let the caller know you are on a mobile phone so they can anticipate broken signals and other potential interruptions. When you are struggling with a bad signal, tell the caller you will get back to them when it is stronger.

2. Make up for no body language. Vary your voice expressions an extra 30%. If you are happy for the person about something, put an extra 30% of energy in your voice when saying “That is awesome. Congratulations.” If you are sad, then lose 30% of energy in your voice. The change of energy communicated through your voice will build a connection with your prospect.

3. Watch your voice level. Even though you’ll want to vary your voice expressions, be aware: people tend to talk louder on cell phones. And if your signal is bad, talking louder isn’t going to make it better.

4. Drop the tonality of your voice a degree. An enthusiastic, high-pitched voice will key everyone off that you are in for a sale. Lower your voice and ask to speak to the person like you were a police detective and you’ll get receptive prospects.

5. Be real. Expose yourself. During the short conversation, offer something personal: a minor flaw, the struggles you went through when you were trying to sell your house, what it was like to look for house while you were pregnant (if you were a woman, of course). This provides charm to your character.

6. Repeat their name. Our names are a sweet tune of music to our ears. It is a fast way to build a relationship.

7. Gain insight by listening. Prospect mood, hometown, and personality will all be revealed in just a few minutes on the phone. Listen for an accent.

8. Be sensitive for the mood of the prospect.If he is hot or gruff, just say “I can tell you’re busy. Why don’t be pick a more convenient time for me to call?”

9. Sell the appointment with a personal touch. If you know the prospect is a football fan, you might say, “I know I can help you sell your home. With a twenty minute appointment I can show you how I can help in fifteen minutes and with the remaining five minutes we can discuss who the Rams should draft.”

10. Get a person to talk about themselves. People love to talk about themselves, which allows you to discover important information about themselves.

11. Be aware of time. In the Northwest people expect you to get to the point immediately. In the Midwest, you might have ten minutes to build rapport. The key is to make a friend before you make a presentation.

12. Mirror speech. Words, phrases and images people use give us important information about the inner worlds they inhabit. By pacing this aspect of their speech, you are telling them that you understand them and they can trust you. When you’re talking with other people, it’s a good idea to incorporate as many of their words, phrases, and their images into your conversation as comfortably as you can. Don’t mimic other people’s accent or speak a jargon you don’t have mastery of. You should be sensitive of their level of vocabulary and imagery and try to reflect it as closely as you comfortably can. Avoid in your own speech any jargon that the other person doesn’t understand.

12.5.  This bears repeating: establish rapport before you begin your appointment pitch. The best way to win the appointment is to win the prospect.

Do you consider yourself a master of rapport…especially on the cell phone? If so, please share any tricks or tips!

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