Sunday, April 27, 2014

Building Rapports with your Prospects

Building Rapport
How to Build Rapport with your Prospects? Learning the powerful and must-know technique which experienced sales professionals used to strengthen relationships with their clients.

What is Rapport?

Rapport is a close and ambiance relationship between 2 or more parties, in which the group of people feel similar with each other and can communicate well with one another. It is displayed in mutual attention, mutual understanding and coordinated behaviors. Building rapport with prospects is deemed as one of the most powerful and fundamental sales techniques, which is used by experienced salespersons to build strong relationships with their prospects, and allow them to gain trust and influence quickly and effectively.

How to Build Rapport?

(1) Mirroring

Mirroring is one of the common tactics used to build rapport with your prospect, by matching your body language, emotions, tone of speech and behaviors to that of your prospect. Notice his sitting posture, relaxed and cross-legged or sitting up straight, leaning forward or backward? Did he do any gesturing while speaking? If he leaned forward and indicate interest while conversing, you might want to follow suit too to show your interset. Match the tone and volume of his voice. Should he cracked a joke and started to laugh out loud, you might want to laugh out loud too.
However, take cautious care not to overdo this excessively, as you do not want to give your prospect an idea that you are parroting or mocking him.

(2) Maintain Eye Contact

It is important to keep an eye contact with your prospect when you are conversing with him, as it a basic social etiquette to do so and it is considered rude not to maintain eye contact to who you are talking to. Also, wondering eyes sometimes indicate a lack of interest with your client and topic, or might convey a sense of untruthfulness in your words.

(3) Share a Common Interest

This is the technique of deliberately finding something in common with your prospect, such as a shared interest, common likes or dislikes, with the aim of building a sense of camaraderie and trust. If you find that your prospect likes fishing which is also one of your hobby, talk to him about it or suggest a fishing trip together. If you find that he has 2 kids, probably you can share with him your experiences, both good or bad, that you had with your own children. Conservation of a common interest allow you to go deeper into the topics with your prospects, providing more value-added contents and depth into the conservation.

(4) Reciprocity

Giving gifts or doing someone a favor will sometimes trigger a feeling or obligation to return the favors, though you do not directly ask for something in return.

5 Levels of Rapports

In theory the intensity of rapport built with your clients can be distinguished into 5 separate levels, increasing gradually in intensity down each level depending on how deeply connected you are with your clients:

(1) Superficial - Greetings, simple introductory sentences (eg. How are you?)

(2) Details - Conveying of more information and details

(3) Thoughts and opinions - Exchanging of respective opinions

(4) Emotions - where feelings and emotions are involved

(5) Peak Experiences - Opening up and sharing of interests and topics which one is passionate and excited to talk about

HubPage - Building Rapport with your Prospects

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The 5 Levels of Human Needs

5 Levels of Human Needs
Abraham Maslow proposed in his paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" back in 1943 that human needs can be broadly categorized into 5 distinct levels. The most fundamental level of need being at the bottom, and higher levels progressively up to the top. He suggested that human will try to fulfill the most fundamental and basic needs at the bottom first, before he would feel a desire to achieve the higher levels of needs. Though human minds are complex and complicated by nature, and the likelihood of human trying to meet different levels of needs at the same time is possible. Maslow's theory of the 5 levels of human needs remained a very popular model even till today, and is widely used in sociology and psychology research, as well as management and sales training.

Human Needs Pyramid

(1) Physiological Needs

These are the physical elements required for human survival, which include air, water, food and shelter. These needs are met in all developed countries and most developing countries, except in some third-world countries distraught with civil war-fares, political unrest or unexpected natural disasters.
Sexual needs are sometimes classified in this category. Beer and perfume industries often use attractive models in their advertisements to cater to the sexual appeals of their potential customers.

(2) Safety Needs

This refers to a need of safety of their possessions and the ability to protect what they had already achieved after their basic or physiological needs are met. Humans require a need of safety of their lives, health and well-being, and also a protection against illness and unforeseen accidents, which is often applied in marketing strategies by insurance companies. In addition, human also seeks to attain financial and job security against potential loss of jobs and bank accounts protection.

(3) Love and Belonging 

This next level of need after security and safety refers to the need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their family, friends and social circles of working colleagues, religious groups and sport teams. People who do not participate in social activities actively often feel lonely and rejected. Teenagers from broken families often did things not in the most appropriate ways hoping to seek acceptance among his group of friends.

(4) Esteem

This refers to humans having a need to feel respected and valued by others. People often engage in a profession or hobby which allows them to contribute, and strive to climb up to the top of the corporate ladder and social status to gain recognition among others and peers. Others seek to gain fame and glory to fulfill this innate need. People who failed to achieve their goals in this aspect sometimes lead to low self-esteem or inferiority complex.

(5) Self-Actualization

This refers to one's desire to realize his fullest potential, and to accomplish the maximum that he can possibly do, to be the best that he can be. This often leads to people trying to seek the true meaning and purposes of his life. Some find the answer in his faith and religion, while others believe in helping others and giving back to the society. There are also people who prefers to contribute their efforts to the environment, endangered species, plants and animals.

HubPages - 5 Levels of Human Needs