Monthly Archives: May 2015
Build Rapport with Six Critical Skills
Some people are extroverts; others are introverts. Some people have expressive communications styles; others get their points across quietly but with authority. There is no right way to be. The only right thing is to appreciate the other person and make an effort to build rapport.
In my last two blog posts, I discussed the importance of building rapport in the articles, Five Tips for Building Rapport and Building Rapport with WIIFO, not WIIFM. To be honest, building rapport is one of those concepts that often can’t be explained, but you know it when you see it. You hit it off with someone or get along well. Rapport is about building understanding and harmony with another person in a way that supports easier and more effective communication.
At Richardson, we often talk of the Six Critical Skills for consultative selling. They also are useful skills for rapport building, which is essential in differentiating yourself in a sales situations and establishing a personal connection.
Presence: Ability to project confidence, conviction, and interest in body language and voice Relating: Ability to use acknowledgment, rapport, and empathy to connect Questioning: Ability to explore needs and create dialogue Listening: Ability to understand content and emotional message Positioning: Ability to leverage client needs to be persuasive Checking: Ability to elicit feedback
The first two skills — Presence and Relating — come into play immediately upon » Continue Reading.
Building Rapport with WIIFO, not WIIFM
Salespeople can spend a lot of time on the road, traveling to meetings or client presentations. Thoughts naturally wander to internal dialogue: “How am I going to meet my goals?” or, “What’s in it for me?” — known as the shorthand, WIIFM.
When you get stuck in WIIFM, you’re not as “other” oriented as you should be. Building rapport is much easier and successful when you focus on what’s in it for others (WIIFO).
In conversation, focusing too much on your own thoughts and what you’ll say next stands in the way of personal connection and rapport. It is better to come to the discussion well versed on the area that you’re addressing and then to have that conversation with a nonjudgmental, open mind.
Consider the Buddhist parable of the empty cup. You can come into a conversation so full of information that nothing more gets in, just as pouring tea into an already full cup causes it to spill over. But, if you are ready to listen, becoming an “empty cup,” you can receive more than you came with.
Building rapport happens when there’s real openness about what is actually going on in the moment between you and the other person. You’re not talking to an organization, but an individual — a person, a human being — who is largely an emotional being. So, if you’re not connecting at an » Continue Reading.
Five Tips for How to Build Rapport
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
― Maya Angelou
When dealing with people — customers, prospects, colleagues, friends, family — it’s important to think about them not as creatures of logic, but as creatures of emotion. We are all human beings, and we engage our whole selves in conversations and relationships. Some people call this IQ and EQ, left brain/right brain, and even new brain/old brain.
The point is: People are complex beings who often draw on emotions more than logic, knowledge, or intellect when making connections with others. There’s a dynamic — changing energy or chemistry that passes between people. This is the basis of building rapport.
How can you be sure building rapport is positive ? Here are five tips on how to build rapport:
Be Positive: When engaging with another person, your attitude affects the kind of rapport that you build. Are you smiling? Is your body posture open? Do you exude confidence and enthusiasm? It’s not about being someone you’re not or looking like an excited cheerleader. It’s about showing genuine interest and being authentic in who you are. Be Present: Be mindful of the person you’re trying to build rapport with. Listen carefully to what he/she is saying. Try to understand his/her world and » Continue Reading.
Prospecting and networking apps for ATD Trade show and Conference attendees
If you were to time travel back a decade or two, you could revisit attending conferences with reams of promotional paper goods and boxes of business cards in tow. In the pre-tech era the traditional conference protocol was to bring plenty of hard copy materials, and never be caught short. It was better to come prepared with too many business cards than too few. Think about not being able to share your contact information with a person you just met at a conference that you’d love to collaborate with. If you weren’t carrying plenty of business cards, that could be one crucial missed opportunity.
Fast forward to today and how times have changed. Partly due to a more ecologically-minded approach to business and daily life and partly due to convenience, now paper goods have been largely replaced by handheld devices with storage capacities and technological sophistication unimaginable just even a short decade ago.
Has conference clutter been minimized in the modern age? Absolutely! But with tech innovations comes a new challenge: Selectively choosing from the many app options at one’s disposal. The scope of available apps can be dizzying, and dedicated conference attendees should have a streamlined list of what is most beneficial for their respective needs.
With the 2015 ATD International Conference & Exposition in full gear, there is no better time than the present to » Continue Reading.
Do You Know What Ensures the Greatest Payoff from Sales Training Investments? (The Answer Will Most Likely Surprise You.)
In a comprehensive survey of research and literature conducted more than 25 years ago, it was determined that there was a growing recognition of a “transfer problem” in corporate training and development. Specifically, in 1990, research analysts estimated that while companies around the world spent approximately $50 billion on training and development, no more than 10% of those expenditures actually result in transfer to the job.
Fast forward 25 years later, and the emerging trends of research on training transfer continue to reflect similar evidence that is just as sobering. Even though global spend to improve corporate performance has doubled over the past 25 years to more than $100 billion, analysts now estimate that, on average , less than 50% of program content is transferred to the work environment immediately after training, less than about 20% is being used at the end of 30 days, and only 10% of expenditures for training ever result in observable behavior change on the job.
So what haven’t we learned… yet?
Given how important skilled salespeople must be for an organization to continually achieve desired business results, we need to understand how to resolve the 25+ year old transfer problem and ensure the greatest payoff from our organization’s sales training program investment.
Researchers determined that there were three key roles acting to make training » Continue Reading.
Seven Tips to Improve your Trade Show Selling Experience
In my last post, Six Tips to Leverage Trade Shows as a Sales Prospecting Tool, I discussed ways to adopt a more targeted and strategic approach to leverage this tried-and-true sales prospecting tool. Now, I want to share seven tips for improving a sales rep’s interactions and overall trade show selling experience while working the booth.
Don’t pounce — I mentioned the issue of pouncing in my previous post, but it’s such an important point that I want to expand my comments. Demeanor and body language while working a trade show booth are critical to attracting people to stop and visit. It’s intimidating to have sales reps standing, arms crossed, and squinting to read the small print of someone’s name tag, clearly ready to pounce on anyone remotely interested in the company. To make sure that people feel comfortable and interested in coming to your booth, your messaging must be clear and engaging, and it must provide the promise of value. Also, as gimmicky as it may seem, good booth giveaways or promotions are important to initially draw people in.If someone comes into the booth and heads straight for the literature rack, without making eye contact, just kindly say, “Please let me know if there are any questions I can answer for you.” Most of the time, that » Continue Reading.
Andrea Grodnitzky to Present on Selling with Insights at the 2015 ATD International Conference and Expo
Andrea Grodnitzky, Richardson’s Senior Vice President of Global Performance Solutions, will be speaking at the ATD 2015 International Conference & Exposition in Orlando, FL on May 20.
Grodnitzky’s session will cover how, globally, organizations are implementing a selling with insights sales approach. She will discuss how these organizations are using insights to guide their clients to make the best decisions for their businesses. Buyers today are equipped with unprecedented access to data and information, but Grodnitzky believes they need knowledge and context to help them sort through the noise. This session will discuss how now, more than ever, the sales dialogue is a critical part of achieving sales success with this type of selling approach and what it really means to deliver an insight that will add value to clients.
“We are all aware of just how dramatically the selling landscape and buyer behavior has changed in our information-rich, always-accessible, digital world,” says Grodnitzky. “In this session, I will discuss not only why a selling with insights sales approach is necessary in today’s selling landscape, but more on what this approach really entails and how to roll it out in your organization.”
She continues: “This type of selling approach creates value, value creation builds trust, and trusted advisors influence today’s ultra-informed buyer. I hope that attendees will gain an understanding of how » Continue Reading.
Six Tips to Leverage Trade Shows as a Sales Prospecting Tool
Spring means trade show season, and it’s time to take them seriously. Trade shows fall in and out of fashion as a marketing and sales prospecting tool. But, whether you love them or hate them, it makes good business sense to recognize the significant level of financial, human, and time resources allocated to putting on and participating in a successful trade show.
In today’s cool digital marketing and sales world, trade shows aren’t the latest and shiniest tool in the box. Still, trade shows can be an extremely effective marketing and sales prospecting tool. It is precisely because of today’s digital marketing and sales environment that, to differentiate yourself, you need to seize and leverage every opportunity to meet with prospects and clients in person — and trade shows are the perfect tool to do so.
Here are six tips for leveraging trade shows as a sales prospecting tool.
1) Marketing and sales alignment — Don’t treat trade shows as a marketing event that requires sales to “show up and work the floor.” To be effective, marketing and sales must work together to develop a strategy and tactical plan on what they jointly want to accomplish. Even better, the two groups should create and sign a joint Service Level Agreement (SLA) prior to the show so that each can be held accountable by » Continue Reading.