How to Build Rapport with Clients
As a small business owner, you know that it’s important to build rapport with your clients. But how do you go about doing that? And what are the best ways to keep them happy? In this article, we’ll explore some tips for how to build rapport with clients and create strong relationships.
Before diving into specific tactics, let’s start with some basic rapport-building tips:
- Remember to always be professional. Act with integrity and be honest with your clients at all times.
- Work hard to exceed their expectations. Go above and beyond to deliver superior results.
- Stay in touch and communicate on a regular basis! Keep them updated on your progress and let them know you’re available.
Following these basic steps is a great start to nurturing your client relationships the right way from the start.
Establish common ground
An important step to building rapport with a client is finding commonalities you share between you. That way, the relationship becomes about more than buying and selling. Showing them you truly want to find solutions to their goals will lay the groundwork for a solid working relationship. Be observant. Listen for clues that indicate what they value or are passionate about, and find sincere ways to connect.
If this is a client you are not familiar with, do your homework in advance. Search social media outlets and explore their website. Find the theme of what is important and work from there. Be authentic!
Mirror your client’s body language
As the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Copying facial expressions, body language, and speech is a non-verbal way to show empathy. Mirroring your client’s body language will help establish trust. Most people do this without even realizing what a powerful communication tool it is. If you are aware of how significant this technique can be, you are on the right path to building rapport with a client.
Use the client’s name often
What a simple concept to add to your process for building rapport with clients. You are more likely to be heard if you use a client’s name while having a conversation. A person’s name is their favorite word in the world. By saying a person’s name in conversation, it shows them that you respect and value them. Let’s be clear—you must use their name correctly. Otherwise, you risk offending them and creating a barrier that will be difficult to break down.
Not only does using a person’s name show them that you are paying attention to them, but it is an easy way to build rapport faster. Remembering the name of a client you have met previously is just as important as saying their name correctly.
If they have to continue to remind you of their name and it shows you do not respect them enough to remember. Struggle with remembering names? Here are some easy ways to help you remember.
Ask questions and listen actively
Ask what their interests and goals are and show genuine interest. Be curious about what a client has to say and what they value especially in their business. As with all techniques of building rapport, it is crucial to show interest with authenticity.
If you can get a client talking about ideas they have to further their goals and plans, you will find helpful information for building your professional relationship. The art of active listening is invaluable, but understanding it takes mindful practice. Make a conscious effort to not only hear what your client is saying, but what message they are trying to send you.
Respond with empathy
Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings with another. It is important to have empathy because it helps us understand how a person feels. That way, we can respond appropriately to a situation. When building rapport with a client, show them you care by demonstrating you hear what they are saying. Use it to gather the true message of their statements.
For example, if they cancel a meeting due to illness, demonstrate your concern by asking about their recovery. It is easy to say you care, but taking the time to show it makes an authentic relationship grow.
Show interest in the client’s life and work
When talking with a client, show interest if they offer personal information about their life (if appropriate). For example, if a client has several photos and/or objects in their office relating to a particular interest or hobby, ask about it.
Discovering as much as you can about what your client cares about can lead to a more productive working relationship. Be aware of context clues, however. Some people are uncomfortable discussing their personal lives. Learn when to stop and when to keep going.
Learning how to build rapport with clients is essential to growing your business. You want them to feel comfortable coming to you for all their promotional product needs, and the only way to do that is by developing trust. Kaeser & Blair can help! We offer a number of support tools for our Business Owners. Plus, our team of experts is always here to lend a helping hand when you need it. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!