Building a rapport with customers (suppliers or colleagues for that matter) is a valuable skill to have. Some people naturally do it, others need to work a little bit harder. In this tutorial we share some hints and tips on how to build rapport with people from the on set.
Although these are 'techniques' I genuinely do want to have strong relationships with people I work with and the people I serve.
It's all too easy to just go through the motions, but let me warn you that in this case you will lack 'sincerity' and 'authenticity', two crucial elements that help build rapport.
Only use if you are genuine - other wise...don't bother!
Step 1 - Learn and remember people's names.
I'm not sure if I'm good or bad at remembering names. I think some people are naturally good at remembering names it's been that long since I thought about it! I do know from my work as a coach that some people struggle to remember names. If that is you then see our article on How to remember people's names. So here are couple of systems that help me however they do have a couple of systems that help me to remember names and recall names which I feel built rapport with the people I meet.
Step 2 - Do your research
Find out as much as you can about the organisation and people beforehand. There'll be info on everything from their company website, LinkedIn and Facebook. A simple Google search may give you some vital information.
Tread carefully here though, I'm not suggesting you stalk the person.
It will be incredibly cheesy, if a little scary if you say "I like the Hawaiian shirt you wore on holiday last year!"
and it will be very obvious if you say "my favourite hobby is rock climbing too!"
Especially if they haven't offered this information to you.
Step 3 - Be yourself
Drop the management speak, bullshit and jargon, and replace it with a confident and clear version of you!
Step 4 - Seek first to understand, then be understood
As Confucius said, "Seek first to understand, then be understood" the more you understand the other person, their viewpoint and their requirements, the quick you will build rapport.
If it's all ABOUT YOU, then rapport is hard to establish.
Here are some other articles