In Outbound Sales, Building Rapport is Key.
When you are working in outside sales, you only have a few moments to make a great first impression. Many people are predisposed to be wary of cold calls or door-to-door sales, which can make your job even more challenging. The best way to overcome this wariness is to establish fantastic rapport with potential customers within the first minute of your conversation. Here are some tips for making that happen.
1. Be Your Authentic Self
People tend to buy more often from salespeople they like. The only way they can get to know if they like you, however, is if you are being yourself. You may have a habit of pumping yourself up before you knock on the door, and that’s fine as long as your positive self-talk doesn’t result in an altered personality that you can’t pull off because it isn’t real. If you come across as over-exuberant while sales prospecting, it can be off-putting. Let your best personality strengths shine through, and you’re more likely to win them over.
2. Put Them at Ease
Give people a reason to let their guard down. Give customers a genuine smile, and take note of their nonverbal communication. If they barely open the door, respect their time and space by stepping back a little and stating your purpose early. If they invite you into their home or office, find something that you like about the space and give them a sincere compliment, opening up the opportunity for personal conversation before you get down to business. Pay attention to the cues they are giving you, and they will likely feel more comfortable around you.
3. Find Common Ground
Discovering interests or preferences you have in common is an easy way to build a connection with another person. This same principle can be applied to engaging customers while pursuing outside sales. By asking questions, you can get to know them better and guide the conversation to shared interests. If you can get them talking about something they love, they are more likely to enjoy the interaction and be open to continuing it. You may even find out they have a hobby that links them to the product or service that you sell, and this can help you establish a longstanding customer.
4. Show Understanding
According to scientific research, people tend to view listening behaviors such as open-mindedness and supportiveness as the main factor in determining how well the speaker communicates. It is likely that someone you meet during sales prospecting will say something with which you disagree. If you feel the urge to argue, take a breath and listen at first. Make sure that you understood their point. Then, present your ideas calmly and rationally. Not only does this help you discover their needs, it communicates that you value their opinion. You are much more likely to close on your sale if prospective customers feel heard and respected than if they feel dismissed or defensive.
5. Meet Their Needs
Ideally, the product or service you sell will be useful to the people you approach. Part of your job as a salesperson is to play matchmaker between the needs of prospective customers and the solutions you offer. As you establish rapport during the opening phase of your sales pitch, listen for clues about how what you’re selling can be helpful to them. Identify and articulate the specific ways that purchasing from you can solve the problem they’ve revealed to you. The better link you can provide between their need and your product’s usefulness, the more successful you will be.
Using these five sales tips can increase your chances of getting your foot in the door during outside sales. Listening well and helping people relax by being genuine and positive is the first step in establishing them as customers. To track how well your efforts at building rapport are going, SalesRabbit offers a sales app that monitors your team’s goals and keeps everyone in touch. If you want to find out how the app can help you, schedule a free demo to experience each of the app’s features by filling out the online form. See quantifiable results from your efforts to reach new customers.