Rapport Starts In The Body
Do You Mimic Your Customer?
Watch the people around you who seem most successful at gaining trust. They tend to have a physical way of relating to people.
They stand a little closer. They have relaxed open arms and pay attention to the other person. What they’re noticing whether by natural accident or on purpose -and I’m suggesting you can learn it if you don’t naturally do this- is the person’s unique body language.
How fast do they move or speak?
Where do their eyes go? How long do they stay there?
What kind of gestures does the person make?
And then intuitively or consciously, these natural sellers and relationship-builders mimic what the other person does.
Too often you have likely seen the opposite. A person tries hard but they use their own level of confidence, speed of communication, natural stance and ignore what’s happening for the other person. If you tuned in you can almost see the other person recoil or step back from the conversation. Clearly, a sale or future relationship with this person would be a challenge because they are not comfortable.
These small things are part of the difference between a natural seller or a studied one and someone who may have knowledge they want to use to help but can’t seem to bring clients to yes.
Knowing the cues to observe above – rate of speech, amount of eye contact, speed of movements or gestures – and adding one more thing can help you start bridging a gap between needing customers and attracting them. The one more thing is a warm up. Actors, athletes, even you as a trainer do or recommend warm ups before an event.
If this sounds crazy simple – it is. Too many of us forget other people are not nearly as aware or as willing to start exercise as we are!
Don’t try to rush into a complimentary consultation running late, or go from teaching a group to interacting with a single new person. Why? Your energy is entirely different and all about you when you do it. You’re pumped up and amped. Yes, we want a customer to want to catch your contagious energy but not every customer is ready for that. In fact more are opposite. They’re coming in quite intimidated and frustrated and what they’ve tried hasn’t worked so they’re also embarrassed. You being over-the-top may backfire.
If you have done your “warm ups” – taken a few minutes to go through the steps you’re going to go through once you’re with a person so you can assess their energy before you jump into a presentation – you’ll have a greater chance of closing the sale.
Say you’re closing rate is 40% right now with every customer you see. Review what it was about the 60% of meetings that didn’t work. Was the person sensitive to being sold from the beginning? Were they uncomfortable? Did you come on stronger than them by more than 5-10% in terms of body language, voice, rate of speech?
Those gaps make the difference between sale or no sale. Especially after you’ve got the low-hanging fruit. You have already got people who come in and are ready to start. You have people who get frustrated or get a doctor’s orders. They’re going to buy somewhere. For the person who isn’t aware yet that training makes that big a difference, you need better skills.
You can learn them. Start practicing and you’ll be surprised at how well all relationships start changing for you when you play off someone else’s energy instead of asking them to come to yours.