Establish Your Role with Body Language

We have already discussed the importance of body language in establishing rapport. Body language is also used to position you as a professional. Any Little League coach will agree that it is easy to spot a kid who looks like a baseball player. My own experience as a Little League baseball coach and girls softball coach taught me that a youngster that could flex their knees and get into good fielding position had better raw athletic ability than the one that stood upright, lock-kneed and fumbled with the glove.

The positioning play helps you establish your role by defining the scope and scale of what you have to offer and establishing you firmly on the high ground. Scope and scale are defined by finding the balance between general and specific in the language you use. Language also helps you secure the high ground that distinguishes you from your competitors. In addition to the language you use, the way you look and act determines what your suspects think of you. You will only be granted the high ground of professionalism if you look and act the part. When you establish your role as a professional you will be more credible and more convincing. To establish your role you have to talk the talk and walk the walk.

Players who look and act the part are more credible and more convincing. In the same way a softball coach makes a snap judgment about the skill of a softball player by the way she looks and acts, a suspect makes immediate decisions about the sales person and the product she represents. Sales people who look and act the part are more credible and more convincing and position themselves as professionals. For this reason, body language is an important part of establishing your role as credible and professional.

Build Better Rapport

Rapport is essential to communication. Without rapport, people don’t connect and communication is not meaningful or complete. Because Rapport is such an important tool for sales people, it is the name used for the first play in the Case Open Routine.

The purpose of the Rapport Play is to break the ice, to make a connection, and to lay the foundation for a relationship. When the Rapport Play is used correctly it builds credibility and establishes trust.

Here are seven rules to help you build better rapport with your suspects.

Rule Number One: Break the ice by introducing yourself first.

Rule Number Two: Make a connection without diverting from the business purpose. Introducing your company in the Rapport Play helps maintain focus on the business purpose.

Rule Number Three: The Rapport Play lays the groundwork for the relationship, but it does not develop a complete relationship. The mature relationship will develop as the sales process advances. The Rapport Play makes the necessary connection to advance the relationship.

Rule Number Four: The Rapport Play contains 12 words or less. Brevity is the key to simplicity, and simplicity is the key to skillful execution. In the word count, full names, names with titles, and full company names are only counted as a single word.

Rule Number Five: Voice quality influences the response of your suspects. Be positive, cheerful, and speak with confidence. The confidence of a sales person must be sufficient to overcome the suspect’s doubt.

Rule Number Six: Use non-verbal tools to enhance personal connection and build rapport.

Rule Number Seven: Establish personal dress and grooming standards that complement your ability to establish rapport without interfering with the message.

Sample Rapport Plays

Hello Mrs. Jones, I’m Scott Baird with Griffin Hill.

Mrs. Fischer, its Susan Campos. Helen Gamble suggested I give you a call.

Hello, my name is Sarah James with Johnson Consulting – you might have heard of us.

The Rapport Play is just that simple. Though you might have expected something stunning, the trick is to keep from jolting the suspect. Any kind of jolt risks slowing the sales process. The sales process is like climbing a mountain with the suspect or prospect. The challenge for the sales person is that if the climb becomes too challenging, the suspect or prospect is likely to stop climbing. The trick is to make the climb gradual enough that the suspect or prospect never feels the stress of gaining altitude. The ascent should be more like a gradual mountain path than a direct assault.