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How to Build Rapport with Anyone Authentically From Explearning

13 min
Average Score

Mary Daphne

Founder & Learning Content Director at Explearning

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In the dynamic world of sales, the ability to build rapport is a game-changer. Whether you're a seasoned sales rep or just starting, understanding the science behind human connection can significantly impact your success. In this session, we delve into the intricacies of rapport building, breaking down the inexplicable sense of connection and introducing practical strategies to overcome affinity bias.

Unveiling Affinity Bias

Affinity bias, a subconscious tendency to gravitate towards those we perceive as similar, can either limit our social network or lead us into an echo chamber of like-minded individuals. Breaking free from this bias requires conscious effort. The challenge is clear: conquer affinity bias to broaden perspectives and foster diverse connections.

Planting the Seed: Strategies for Rapport Building

1. Adopting the Right Attitude (RUA)

Nicholas Boothman's concept of a Really Useful Attitude (RUA) serves as a powerful tool in rapport building. Projecting positivity and empathy, an RUA encourages genuine curiosity about others, fostering an environment where connections can thrive. Watch this video session to learn more about adopting the RUA.

2. Getting in Sync

Mirroring your conversation partner's body language, tone, and tempo creates a subconscious connection. It's akin to dancing through a conversation, subtly signaling that you're on the same wavelength. Remember, moderation is key – aim for about 80% mirroring to avoid making the interaction awkward.

3. Asking Open-Ended Questions

Move beyond the pleasantries with open-ended questions that invite exploration. Phrasing inquiries with "how" and "why" encourages your conversation partner to share more, fostering a deeper connection. Learn more about crafting impactful questions in this insightful video session.

4. Practicing Active Listening

Communication is a two-way street, and active listening is the vehicle. Speak less, listen more, and engage all five senses to truly understand your conversation partner. The art of paraphrasing enhances active listening, demonstrating understanding and fostering a sense of connection.

5. Discovering Sensory Preferences

Every individual has primary, secondary, and tertiary sensory preferences that influence communication. Identifying and aligning with these preferences allows for more effective interaction. Learn how to uncover sensory preferences and enhance your communication skills in this session.

While it's natural to gravitate towards those who look and think like us, true growth lies in connecting with diverse individuals. By consciously applying these rapport-building strategies, sales reps can navigate beyond the comfort zone, learning new perspectives and uncovering unexpected opportunities.

Trust and rapport share an intricate and symbiotic relationship, forming the bedrock of successful interpersonal connections. Rapport serves as the gateway to trust, laying the foundation through shared experiences, open communication, and a genuine understanding of each other. It is the initial bridge that allows individuals to feel comfortable and familiar with one another. As rapport deepens, trust naturally follows suit. Trust, in turn, solidifies the connection, creating a sense of reliability and confidence in the relationship. 

The more robust the rapport, the more resilient the trust becomes. In essence, trust is the culmination of a well-nurtured rapport, highlighting the indispensable link between the two in fostering meaningful and enduring connections. Understanding this dynamic interplay is crucial for sales reps seeking to establish credibility and authenticity in their interactions.

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