Tip #1 Build Rapport
The most effective way to build rapport with one of your prospects is to get to the point of your phone call or meeting right away - establishing yourself as the lead of the conversation. Although you might have read advice that tells you to compliment the prospect, talk about the weather or sport so it puts them at ease - you can easily get into a 15 minute discussion which nobody has time for.
If you get right to the point then you're telling the prospect that you respect their time. Plus, it helps you stand out from everyone else talking about how they wish they were on holiday!
Tip #2 Ask Questions
Ask questions that position you as an expert and help build your credibility, and that show you've done your research on your prospects company. You don't want to sound like you're asking the same 10 questions to all of your customers, your prospects want to talk to a real person, not a robot.
Tip #3 Set The Agenda
If you want to be taken seriously then you need to take the lead in the sales conversation and recommend, not react. If you're proactive with your recommendations then you quickly become credible in the eyes of your prospect. Setting the agenda means showing buyers the path they need to take in order to reach their goals, plus telling them how you're best suited to help them!
Setting the agenda will set the trusted advisor relationship from the get go.
Tip #4 Watch Your Tone
It's not just what you say that matters, it's also your tone of voice. In particular your inflection, tempo, and rhyme are three major elements of voice that can help to grab your prospects attention. Use the tone in your voice to emphasise certain points of the conversation, such as when you're pointing out the benefits to them, or slow your rate of speaking right before getting to your main point.
Tip #5 Establish Credability
Anyone can use words such as 'amazing' 'leading' 'outstanding' to describe their product or service. Make sure that you establish credibility in yourself, and your service/product by telling stories, examples or statistics.
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