Most folks know that rapport is a crucial element to any persuasive communication. However, as with all things that are crucial and at the same time, widely known, it’s common to trigger the “oh, I already know that…” response.
However, since without rapport, we can’t really do much without it and with really, really strong rapport, we really don’t need much else, it’s a good idea to make strong rapport the cornerstone of any persuasive communication.
One great way to do that is through the process or technique of “utilization.”
This basically means that anything they say, or do, can be used as part of the persuasive process.
Contrast this with the typical pushy salesperson, who sits there impatiently saying, “uh huh…uh huh…” waiting for the poor customer to take a breath so they unleash further onslaughts of sales game.
Instead, consider paying close attention to what they are doing, and saying, and focus on that, rather than looking for flipping whatever they are doing to what you want.
For example, somebody walks into an appliance store. The salesperson immediately swoops in, and says, “Hi! Can I help you?”
To which the unsuspecting customer says, “Oh, no, I’m just looking.”
To which the crafty sales person, trying to “reframe” their statement says,
“Are you looking to buy something?”
To which the poor customer runs away in terror.
Consider another approach, same situation, only this time, you wait a few minutes before approaching the customer. You see they walk in, look at the toaster ovens, then walk over and look at the microwaves, where they spend a bit longer, then wander back to the toaster ovens.
With this in mind, you approach with the following:
“Hi, I’m Al. I noticed you came in and looked at the toaster ovens, and then over at the microwaves, then back to the toaster ovens.”
Then just leave it at that. Let them respond however they respond. Instead of trying to control their actions and thoughts, you’ve paced them, showing them you value what they are doing and thinking.
This gives them time to feel comfortable with you, on their own terms, so they can start asking questions, and you can answer with helpful product information.
This will make you a helpful salesperson, instead of a pushy one. Which means they’ll come back to you again and again to buy all of their future things.
To learn an entire collection of language patterns and techniques that makes persuasion natural, easy and respectful, take a look at this: