Want to Build Positive Rapport with Your Customers? Follow These 4 Brand Management Tips.
This may sound like it’s going to be a 5th grade speech, but it’s necessary. Webster’s dictionary defines rapport as “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well”.
Rapport is something that is completely necessary when running a business—no matter what kind of business you run—as it helps you demonstrate your business’s personality.
If you’re a small deli in a small town, it’s best to know the people coming in and out of your store. Likewise, if you’re the top dog of a maple syrup conglomerate, you should have relationships with your clients. Here are 4 ways to build rapport with your customers.
1. Find a Commonality
No matter who you’re talking to, you can find one commonality. It may not be something that is very important to you, but it might be important to them. If it’s your first time speaking to this person, keep an open mind and find that one thing that connects you. To name just a few topics you could easily talk about:
- Local Events
Look for one thing that resonates with you—whether it be a past experience or a common interest related to their work. Finding some common ground can be a great start to any type of relationship.
2. Have a Friendly Conversation
When calling or meeting your clients, have a little chat before you dive right into business. Ask how their week is going. Did they do anything over the weekend? If they’re in a different area then you, be cliche, ask how the weather is. Whatever it may be, ask something on a personal level. Every little bit will help you build a relationship.
3. Remember the Little Things
So you did the first two steps and you know a few things about your new friend. Let’s call them your friend, not your client. Last month they told you they had a great vacation with their two kids before school starts.
You remembered so now you get to build some rapport, “So, are the kids enjoying being back in school?” Boom.
Your relationship just got a little stronger by remembering that one little thing. Whether it was their weekend, the big trip they were planning, a new grandchild, a graduation, etc.—whatever it may be, remember it.
4. Truly Listen
In a client-facing role, you need to learn to listen and truly hear what your client is saying. Just as you would listen to you friend outside of work, listen to your new friend at work. Whether it is about their personal life or work, hear what they’re saying. Especially when it comes to the work you’re providing for them it’s important that you allow them to express their feelings.
When doing so, make sure they know you’re listening by expressing your understanding of the situation. If you’re running a business that is B2B, your business is affecting their business and their business is important to them. Be sure to be there for them on every level, just as you would a friend.
The Importance of Positive Rapport for Your Brand Management Strategy
Building rapport among those you interact with at work is great for your career, but you’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn from your clients personally as well. Like it or not, you’re now the popular kid with so many friends and it’s going to take you a long way—both in and out of your professional world.