Building Rapport: How and Why
The key to a good listing presentation is reading your audience and tailoring your pitch to their needs and interests. “Build rapport, and then shut up and listen,” says real estate speaker David Knox of David Knox Productions in Minneapolis.
TIP: Watch as well as listen. Experts say that 55 percent of communication is through facial expressions and body language, 38 percent is through the tone and inflection of the voice, and only 7 percent is through actual words.
- Mirror their demeanor. Be casual and call prospects by their first names if they do so first. Try to adapt your personality to their style.
- Paraphrase what the prospect says and repeat it back. This technique reinforces the idea that you understand their concerns and helps avoid early misunderstandings.
- Give your full attention to the speaker. Don’t be formulating your next remark.
- Don’t rush in to talk. Be sure the speaker is finished so you will not interrupt.
- Be aware of any cultural differences. Watch for cues about the use of humor, eye contact, touching, and the roles of different individuals in the group.
- Don’t rush into a business conversation unless the prospect does. Make small talk, sit down, pay a compliment, and get the prospect to relax.
- Invite prospects to tell you their concerns. “Two-thirds of moves are generated by very emotional issues—divorce, for instance—so getting personal is important. The key is to let them get personal,” says Knox. “Ask open-ended questions and they’ll take you into their issues.”
- Ask permission before you proceed with the presentation.
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