Step 1 of the key to successful salesWhen we think of successful selling, many think of making a sale of an item or service “at all costs”, but the word “sell” originates from a Norwegian word that actually means to “SERVE”. With this being the case, it’s more about service than selling. There are six main steps to selling successfully and each has its place and the sequence should really be adhered to so as to complete the process.

In this post I will talk about step 1, which is based on rapport. Rapport is very much at the forefront of any sales process, because it shows there is trust and the like factor is prominent too.

Rapport, Trust And The Successful Sales Process

When building Rapport, trust is a key factor. Relationships with our customers and prospects are vital to building that initial trust. Getting the client to know you and like you, leading to trust will help to build the rapport you will have with that person.

Once you have that relationship, the rapport you have built up can lead to success you thought would be a lot harder to attain. I was recently in a situation where I was asked to do a job. I did the initial job, and later was asked about taking on the next phase. During this time, the relationship was developing and the trust was evident. The last enquiry I have had was to provide a quote for some work, but I was actually given the budget that has to be adhered to. This information was not given to others, so it’s pretty cool to get that. The rapport is definitely strong enough to get the order because it’s me they want to do the work.

building rapport for successful sellingAnyone can get this kind of rapport when they take the right action and treat their potential client with respect. Having a natural and easy manner with them without being “pushy” is another great way to achieve the growing relationship and rapport. Offering practical advice with confidence is another. Your client may have a great idea, but it may be that there is a slight flaw in their thinking. The goal of the idea is right, but the way they execute it may be improved by your own thoughts and experience. Don’t dismiss the idea or the method, but ask if they think that it may be improved by your idea, which will prove to be more cost effective and save them more in the long term but give them exactly what they are trying to achieve.

My situation was one of saving energy. Because I worked for many years as an electrician and learned how to be more efficient with energy usage, the client listened to what I had to say. They wanted to reduce the energy output by using lower energy lighting. This would mean less actual light in places that needed it.

I suggested that the way to save money AND keep to the regulations for light levels and safety was to switch off the lighting instead of relying on the people working there to do it for them. What this required was movement sensors that work on light levels and a timer. If the natural light levels were sufficient, the lights would not switch on. If there was no movement detected in several minutes, the lights would switch off.

This would mean that the energy consumption would drop because the rooms that were being vacated for up to 2 hours at a time would have NO lighting using energy rather than lower energy, lower light capacity fittings remaining on.

I also suggested more efficient electric heating than was installed in the units concerned that were controlled by thermostat not already installed. This would also lead to savings.

The study is yet to be completed, but the essence was that the relationship and rapport was good enough to be able to suggest these changes without causing any offence.

In ANY sales process, the rapport you start with is perhaps the most important part of all, AND it’s the thing you need to get FIRST. Chase the sale and don’t build the rapport and you won’t get it. Build rapport and you can get REPEAT business all day long.

This has been Step 1 of 6 steps to successful selling. Look out for part 2 soon.


Barrie Evans

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