How to Build Rapport with Customers

Are you struggling with finding ways to build meaningful rapport with your customers? Then stick with me until the end of this article, because I’m going to go over five actual ways that you can start to build trust and rapport with your customers.

By the end of this article, you’re going to have a few easy ways that you can start building more meaningful customer relationships.

Tip 1: Cut out your “sales mode”.

The first tip I have for you is to cut your “sales mode”. We all know what we’re talking about here is that super high pitched or high energy state that you often will get into if you’re new in sales or just a little bit nervous about the prospect that you’re talking with. Now don’t get me wrong. There are some people that are super high energy and if that’s you, by all means, you do you. But for people like me, that aren’t super high energy, just naturally, it’s something in which you have to cut the sales mode.

What I found was that, by cutting the sales mode and being real with my customers, they gained much more trust in me. And as a result, whether they are going to buy from me today or a few years from now, that trust remained in place throughout the nature of our relationship.

Tip 2: Aim for your conversations to be 60/40 them to you.

The second tip I have for you is to aim for your conversations to be 60/40 them to you. What I mean by that is that, you should aim to have your prospects talking at these 60% of the time versus 40% of you talking.

Whenever I was training my teams, I actually took this concept even further. And I told my team to aim for 70/30. And the reason why is because oftentimes when we’re actually in the heat of the moment, we’ll end up talking even more. And so, it ends up being closer to 60/40. But either way, the important takeaway here is to prioritize your client first versus pushing your particular agenda in any sales conversation.

Ultimately, customers and prospects only care about their problems. They don’t really care all that much about your company. And so, you have to put them first and foremost and then reap the benefits from giving them value as a customer.

Tip 3: Know when to be the captain and when to be the backup.

The third tip I have for you when it comes to building rapport with your customers is to know when to be the captain and when to be the backup. You need to understand how your clients like to operate. Sometimes your clients are going to want to take the lead whereas in other times they’re going to you to take the lead.

I had a client who loved people in his department, knowing that he was the boss, and I got this impression from him based on our initial discovery call. So I straight up asked him, “Hey, do you want to take the lead in the next meeting?”

And he said, “Yeah, what do you need from me?” Knowing this, I decided to be real with him taking my tip from tip number one and ask him straight up, “Do you want, to lead the next meeting?” He said, “Yes.” So, then I was able to ask him, “Great, what do you need from me in order to help facilitate that?”

I’m a huge basketball nerd, so an analogy I can share is, sometimes you got to be Scottie Pippen with MJ, and then sometimes you got to be Scottie Pippen without MJ. Know which lane you have to be in, and then either lead the way or get out of the way.

Tip 4: Show that you’re actually listening… for real!

The fourth tip I have for you is to show that you’re actually listening for real. There’s a difference between saying, “I hear you” and showing, “I understand you.” Think about that for a little bit.

Don’t be the salesperson that simply nods their head and says yes, and then dives into their pitch. Instead, what you need to make sure is that truly understand the needs and concerns that your customers are bringing to you.

Everything that your customer shares with you is a golden nugget of information. And in the case where it’s not a golden nugget, you can always ask a powerful sales question to help you get there. Check out my article on powerful sales questions in case you haven’t already.

It’s really important that you learn the power of silence, as well as when to pair it back with your client to show that you’re actually actively listening. Say, for example, that you’re a social media agency working with a client who’s struggling with their content calendar. They’re telling you that they can’t build a steady content calendar because they simply don’t have time.

Well, from there, you might ask them what they’re finding the most difficult in terms of creating that time to build out their content calendar. And they might tell you that they love the content ideation process, but they just don’t have the amount of time that it takes to come up with really good ideas.

From this conversation, simply by actively listening to the needs of our customer, we would have a few opportunities to potentially pitch some new offerings that our agency could provide to help reduce the amount of time that it takes for this content ideation process. All while also still involving our customer in the process itself.

Tip 5: Remember the little things

The fifth tip I have for you when it comes to building rapport with your customers is to remember the little things. All it takes sometimes is remembering these small things that they tell you in every single one of your conversations with your customers.

If, for example, they tell you that they just grabbed lunch at Chipotle recently, you might want to consider getting them a Chipotle gift card as a small token of a appreciation, or whenever you think about them, it’s the next time that you’re working with them.

Simply by taking a step back and remembering the humanness of your customer can make a huge difference in how they perceive your company as well.

You don’t have to go to the extent of making those elaborate gift baskets that Michael Scott did with Dwight back in The Office, although I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt if your clients were to receive a gift basket from you.

I went over this more in-depth in my prior article on how to build customer loyalty so be sure to check that article out, if you haven’t already, when it comes to remembering the little things.

Big takeaways

There are two big takeaways from this article.

  1. The first one is to always remember to put your customer first and show it through your actions, as opposed to just your words. Talk less and listen more and aim to have that 60/40 split of them talking versus you talking.
  2. The second big takeaway is to understand what drives your customer and align your style to match their style. Customers like to work with people that are similar to them. And so by mirroring their style and working with them in their particular style, they’ll like you more and trust you more.

If you’d like to download my customer loyalty tips from this article, as well as my other customer success tips and tricks, be sure to get that in my Customer Success jumpstart kit in the link below.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Feel free to share this article with anybody that you think might benefit from learning how to build customer rapport.

That’s it for this time. I’ll catch you guys next time in which we’re going to go over, how to apologize to your customers when you mess up.