This article is about why rapport can be a bad thing and why you don’t always want to build it with your subject, client or prospect.
NLP Rapport and why you shouldn’t use it
The article has been taken from a brand new eCourse that I have recently created. The course is about Hypnotic Sales Mastery and is completely free for the moment so I can gather feedback and testimonials. Whilst the course is about sales this issue is so big I thought it would be of value to anyone, not just sales professionals.
Hypnotic Persuasion – Anti Rapport
Have you ever been phoned by a telemarketer that starts off by asking you how you are and then starts talking about the weather, your holidays or some other random small talk question? They do this because they have been told to build rapport with their prospect. Personally I can’t think of a better rapport breaker than being interrupted to be asked random questions from a total stranger in a situation where neither of you are interested in the answer. This section is about some of the fallacies and dangers of rapport in a sales context.
A few years ago I was making a bad job of selling dyslexia treatment. I was hopeless at it. It should have been an easy sale. The product was superb, I have a lot of credibility and skills in the area and the business had been set up well.
The problem was with a particular set of clients, specifically parents with dyslexic children. On one occasion the parents held out an “I can’t afford it” story to the point where I ended up losing money on the deal. But that wasn’t the painful bit. The painful bit was when they decided to delay the start of the programme because they were going off for a two week family holiday to Disneyland costing thousands of pounds.
Rapport a Two Edged Sword
It took me some soul searching to realise that the issue was me. We decided other people should sell the programme and suddenly the business started making huge amounts of money. This is because the salesman’s approach was to use the process.
The process we built included an initial paid for consultation. The salesman would take the parents through an intro to the company and the process, he would do an initial fact find to see if the child was suitable for our process, he would build my authority and status by calling me in to do some more in depth tests. He would then take them through the payment options and close the deal.
What I noticed was that when I ran the sales process I built so much rapport that I started aligning with the parents and their beliefs. A common belief in that market was that the services should be free and there are a lot of free health / educational services. The end result of that is that paid for services have a low perceived value. Whilst I completely believed in the service we provided in that moment with the rapport I had I would completely devalue the service because I was running the same expectations as the parents.
What our salesman was doing was constantly building the value of the service. He would take the parents through the life of their child with the problem and also with their problem solved. He would link the parents’ values about good parenting to what they were prepared to do to help their children. He would empathize enough to agree that the services should be provided free on the National Health Service. He would then explain the services that are provided on the NHS and then would explain what they get for “going private” with us.
If any one of those telemarketers had chosen to tell me the purpose of their call with an intro and a hook and then taken charge of the conversation leading it somewhere productive (that could include deciding not to buy) they would have been infinitely closer to a sale.
This article was an introduction to a video detailing processes and techniques to lead people and therefore get them to build rapport with you. If you want to see the video you can get a copy free as it is part of the Hypnotic Sales Persuasion course.
Or if you have already decided that you need to learn these skills to a high level quickly then have a look at Sales in the City.