Build rapport to earn customer's sale

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You can no longer afford to be aloof when closing a sale. Professional Builder columnist John Rymer explains why building rapport is essential to the sales process.

January 01, 2008
Sidebars:
Rymer's Rules

Think about the last time you were in a restaurant and the chef came out to ask each customer how they liked the meal. What did you say in the 10 second conversation? Odds are you nodded your head and said the food was great.

What if the chef spent 10 minutes with you, explaining he is trying new recipes and really wants your feedback. Would you be more open and honest with your answers? Sure you would.

What you've just experienced is rapport.

Have you ever tried to establish rapport with someone and got basic, surface responses instead of true feelings? That kind of conversation doesn't do anyone any good.

At the restaurant, I may think that even though I said everything was fine, I really didn't think it was outstanding. I probably won't be back. For the chef, it's better to hear that now so he can take steps to correct the problem.

When building rapport, you should be the kind of person who shows true concern for the customer's needs as opposed to just being pleasant. That is going to help you get inside the customer's mind as you work to get important information.

How to build rapport

Connecting with the customer is more than saying hello and answering questions. It's about reading clues from the customer so you can plan how to proceed.

Here are a few tips to remember:

  • Focus exclusively on your customer. Multi-tasking is the enemy of rapport building.
  • Don't qualify your buyers; let your buyers qualify you. Assume that everyone who enters your sales office will be your next sale. Showing true concern for every customer will become a habit and you will learn that many sales are made to those who did not look the part of a buyer when they entered your sales office.
  • Assume success. Your buyers want to buy a home from a builder who believes it has the best product to offer. Having people support your company is the best solution to your customers' needs.
  • Be genuine in your concern for your customers. People can detect a phony a mile away. It's your job to assist buyers in purchasing a new home — not to count the minutes it will take to earn a commission. If you believe in the value you bring to your customers, it will show through, and they will open up and let you truly understand their needs.

Establishing true rapport saves time and energy. Customers are willing to be direct in discussing their true needs and will provide you with what they need for homeownership.


Author Information
John Rymer is the founder of New Home Knowledge, which offers sales training for new home builders and real-estate professionals. He can be reached at john@newhomeknowledge.com

 

Rymer's Rules

Focus: Focus on your customer; don't multi-task.

Qualify: Let your buyers qualify you; don't qualify your buyers.

Be Authentic: Be genuine in your concern for your customers.

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