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Rapport: what it is and how to use this powerful weapon of persuasion in favor of your agency

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Learn how Rapport can generate more sales and retention for your agency

Have you ever stopped to wonder why there are people we identify with and like in the very first minute of conversation? Or did you try to understand how we could talk to someone for hours and have the impression that it was just seconds? Surely, at some point in your existence, you’ve had that feeling that “the saint knocked”. Let’s put it in context to make things clearer. A group of people on the street are mingled. They communicate in an easy-to-understand way and everyone is interested in what is said and heard. What does this common everyday scene represent? A new term for our vocabulary! In cases like this, we say that individuals are in rapport.

Still a little confused? Anthony Robbins, American strategist, writer and motivational speaker, explains it better. According to him:

 R apport is the ability to step into someone’s world, make them feel that you understand them and that you have a strong bond in common. It’s the ability to go fully from your world map to his world map.

Some people call it empathy, affinity, tuning, connection. The expressions used to try to translate the word rapport are as diverse as possible. However, one point is unquestionable: rapport is a prerequisite for successful communication. Whether in your agency, in counseling, in a sale, in personal matters or in professional life. It works anywhere and with anyone.

But what is rapport in the dictionary, mes amis?

Of French origin, the word rapporter, in its literal sense, means “to bring it back” or “to create a relationship”. It refers to the synchronization that makes it possible to establish a harmonic relationship. In connotative language, the concept originates from psychology, used to designate the technique of creating an empathetic bond with another person. The objective is to generate confidence in the communication process.

When using rapport, the person you are talking to becomes more open and receptive. Thus, it interacts more, exchanges and receives information with less resistance.

Also studied in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), the technique is often implemented by sales professionals. Especially when it comes to negotiating and opening doors for an effective and stable business relationship. After all, who doesn’t like to buy, sell and relate to people who are similar or who identify in some way?

So far so good. “So, if I have ideas similar to those of a friend, family member or co-worker, I can say I’m in rapport with them?” Not exactly like that. It is at this time that people are most confused and think they have already captured the concept 100%!

When we talk about rapport, it means saying that there is receptivity to what the other person is talking about. And not necessarily that you need to agree on gender, number and degree with what is being said. You know when you’re in rapport because it’s like something magical is happening. Everyone feels they are listened to and heard. Unconsciously, we have that comfortable feeling of “this person understands me, I can be calmer”.

Calm down there! To create rapport, it’s not enough just to create a connection with each other. It is necessary for the other to connect with you too. Establishing this synergy means making an exchange with the interlocutor, showing signs of similarity. There is no way to force rapport. It requires a genuine demonstration of interest in the other person’s opinion and thoughts.

And why should I think about creating rapport today?

In addition to being one of the fastest and most efficient ways to generate trust, cooperation and comfort in a dialogue, there are a number of benefits made possible by those who use the rapport technique. Which ones are they?

  • Establish trust instantly. Whether through a connection made through eye contact, facial expression, body posture, or emotional balance. Sometimes we identify with certain people not only through verbal communication (words and content), but through gestures, tone of voice (timbre) and volume (intensity).
  • The power to improve — and even save — a relationship, whether personal or professional. Rapport is considered a great lever to increase your interpersonal relationships. Who doesn’t want to become a more empathetic and influential person?
  • We have a tendency to trust individuals like us. With this, through rapport it is easier to suggest and persuade another person. Whether to sell a product or an idea, make that pick-up in a bar or even change a belief or paradigm.
  • When someone feels more comfortable sharing their thoughts and truly demonstrating what they’re feeling, it’s much easier to lead them down the right path. No wonder that the technique is widely used by many psychologists and coaches around the world.
  • Now let’s get to the most interesting part! You might be thinking “how can I start practicing if it’s normally something that happens unintentionally? Are there any tips or recommendations for anyone who wants to become the master of rapport?”
  • For our happiness, SIIIIIIIM!

Tips and techniques rapport that you can apply within the agency

  • Although it is something that happens, most of the time, in an authentic and genuine way, you can intentionally work some techniques to get into rapport with other people. At first it may seem forced, but little by little the habits become intrinsic and, increasingly, efficient and natural. After all, when we feel that we are being listened to with genuine interest, a world of possibilities for good communication begins to emerge.
  • To help you out, Blue World City recommends you some tips — which may seem silly at first glance — but which have enormous power when it comes to empathy and can be used starting today:

1. Smile

  • It is considered the universal key to rapport. A smile can disarm anyone and make big difficulties seem easy to solve. Whether in a live conversation, over Skype or even over the phone — we can tell when the person is smiling, even if they are there on the other side. It doesn’t hurt, it’s free and can bring unimaginable results!

2. Treat each other by name

  • Dale Carnegie, the pope of human relations, would already say: “remember that a person’s name is for him the sweetest and most important sound that exists in any language”. And who are we to disagree? It seems irrelevant, but calling someone by name, especially those we don’t see very often, makes all the difference!

3. Be optimistic

  • Is there anything better than hanging out with positive people? The kind that doesn’t think about problems, but about solutions. They are contagious wherever they go, as they are light and spread good energy. Optimistic people convey confidence, a sense of power and make us want to be close to them. How are you? Isn’t he complaining for nothing?

4. Be patient

  • Anyone who enjoys the Star Wars trilogy must remember one of Master Yoda’s most famous phrases. “Patience you must have, my young Padawan.” Whether it’s to deal with differences, achieve desired results, understand other people’s timing, wait for chaotic traffic or even the effect of training and diet. In any situation in our lives, we need to be tolerant, work with anxiety and know how to listen, because when someone speaks it is because they want to be listened to.

5. Search connections

  • To get along well in family, at work, with friends and in love life, it is necessary to understand the universe of each one. As much as it sometimes seems like you have nothing in common with the other person, try to find any information that connects them.
  • Country region, state, city, football team, politics, religion, movies, bands, TV shows, culinary preferences. Everything goes here! In times of internet — look at the stalking out there — it is very unlikely that you will not find any data on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram that can serve as a link between you.
  • In addition to these simple but super effective tips, there are also some well-established techniques in the professional field when it comes to rapport. Among them, one of the most famous and used is mirroring, well known in the sales area.

As the name implies, the technique consists of mirroring the main body language elements of the person we are talking to. For example, if I’m serving or trying to sell something to a potential customer, I can replicate their posture, gestures, facial expressions, breathing, tone of voice, or other factors that make it easy to build empathy.

It’s simple. If I’m dealing with someone who is more introverted, calm, barely gestures and speaks in a low tone, it doesn’t make any sense for me to go overboard with arm movements, voice intensity, or even nervous gasping. You also need to notice when you’re not intimate enough—or the person isn’t as receptive—to make jokes or other games.

However, if I notice that another person is more outgoing, is always laughing and is open, I may feel more comfortable acting in a totally different way than the first situation.

The only precaution you should take when using the mirroring technique is to apply it gradually. It is necessary to be very careful so that it doesn’t turn into a true “imitation game” and people don’t think they’re being made fun of. You can’t be too careful!

The key point here is the follow-up. At first you must follow, and then lead. Step by step. Think of a dance: first you accompany your partner in the heat of the music and, soon after, he will accompany you. When we’re at a high level of rapport, it’s possible for the person to start mirroring you. At that moment, she starts to accept ideas, suggestions, negotiations, seductions better.

But what if I’m having a relationship with someone over the internet, for example. Can you still apply the mirroring technique?

Of course it can!

You can pay attention to the way the other person writes, whether the language is more formal or relaxed. After that, it is possible to mirror some words. So if you’re using slang on the other side of your computer or cell phone, you might consider inserting some into the conversation as well. If the person abbreviates words, why not follow the same line?

If you find yourself in a friendly world, another suggestion is to start using emojis in communication. For example, if the subject is happy, funny, exciting or deserves a celebration, you can abuse the “happy faces/crying with laughter/motivational”. It sounds simple, but it also helps to increase the level of empathy between you two!

All these rapport tips and techniques provide an atmosphere of harmony, trust and reciprocity.  The message it will be sending to the other person’s unconscious is that you are alike. By demonstrating this to someone, whether online or live and in color, the chances of succeeding in any communication are 100% higher!

Not without reason is a technique so used by commercial teams! With rapport, the level of trust increases, interpersonal tension decreases, making the future (or current) client feel more at ease. From there, he begins to honestly expose his real needs, desires, goals, challenges, dreams and anxieties.

Rapport and sales: the infallible pair

Have you ever stopped to notice that all people love to buy but hate it when something tries to be sold to them? Why is this happening?

When someone from the commercial area tries to sell without first creating a relationship, the information is processed in the brain in a completely different way. According to specialists, even before you try to close, the sale will already be lost, as the message given is that you just want to sell and don’t care about the rest. In some cases, it may even work, but it will only be a short-term result.

On the other hand, when you create rapport in the first place, in addition to being easier to sell, you will be building a relationship that will enable long-term sales. The customer realizes that you really want to help them solve a problem and is not just concerned with “taking the order”. When that happens, you create a connection, empathy reigns, and after that, even objections disappear.

You just have to be careful not to be an extremist. It is essential to always keep in mind that if people are hiring any service from your agency, it is because they have some difficulty and a goal, and not because you want to know how their family and their dog are doing. She wants you to present data, numbers and indicators. Need to know how you can help solve a problem she has.

Always remember: building rapport is not making a relational sale. It should be built to make the person more comfortable and secure, taking into account that a pleasant conversation is much more likely to have a positive result than a forced or forced conversation.

Being an expert in your field of business and, at the same time, being able to create empathy with your potential customers is a great asset, which can bring many benefits if you know how to use both tools correctly. Just don’t forget the reason you’re there: to sell!

Now that you’ve understood the importance of the rapport technique and also discovered how to apply it in your daily life, it’s time to use this powerful weapon of persuasion in your favor. For a world with relationships – personal and professional – more empathetic, true, harmonious and successful! I vote! Is that you? What are you waiting for to start?

Common questions:

What is Rapport?

It is the technique of creating an empathetic bond with another person. In this way, communication is made with less resistance from both parties.

Why create Rapport?

Rapport is a fast and efficient way to generate trust, cooperation and dialogue. Therefore, it is very useful for interpersonal relationships and negotiations.

Top Rapport Techniques?

Some rapport techniques are: smiling, calling the other person by name, being optimistic, patient, and always looking for connections, meaning things you and the other person may have in common.

What is Rapport’s connection with sales?

Building a connection with the customer is essential to make the sale more secure and more objective, which is why Rapport is so important.