In your next sales call, ask these 6 rapport-building questions. Have you ever received a sales call that started with a casual “How are things going?” question? Rapport-building questions, like this one, can help you create a relationship.
However, a simple question like “How’s it going?” has been so overdone that it sounds rehearsed and is immediately recognisable as a sales call.
And the fact is that being courteous but predictable will do little to help you cultivate genuine relationships with your prospects. When you only have a few seconds to leave an impact on them, why waste it on filler when you could be saying something far more impactful?
According to studies, it takes an average of seven calls to get someone to pick up the phone, so don’t squander all that effort by asking a superficial question like “How was your weekend?”
Instead, make it memorable so they’ll want to talk to you and remember you long after the call is over.
The Advantages of Developing Relationships with Prospects
It may appear in the rising realm of business that building a relationship is a superfluous luxury, and that every interaction with a client should be treated as a potential to finalise the transaction as rapidly as feasible.
In sales, however, this is not usually the case. Buyers want to know that they can trust salespeople, that their demands are being met, and that the salesperson they’re interacting with has the knowledge and skills to provide a solution to their difficulties.
It’s nearly impossible to accomplish this without first establishing a rapport with your prospect. This is true in the sense that putting money into rapport:
- Demonstrate that you’re paying attention to your prospects’ demands.
- Allows you to ask challenging questions that could otherwise deter a potential customer.
- Relaxes the prospect, allowing the talk to flow more easily.
- Questions to Establish Rapport.
It all comes down to asking the correct questions when it comes to selling. However, establishing positive relationships with your prospects is just as important as learning more about their business, goals, and pain spots.
To make your sales efforts even more fruitful, try using a few of these great examples of rapport-building questions in your next sales call.
1. “What are your goals?”
Open-ended questions like this demonstrate to potential clients that you’ll take an active role in learning about their difficulties and making it a priority to fix them. Calls to salespeople should go beyond merely asking about their identity and work. When you ask clarifying and thoughtful questions, it triggers a cascade of emotions in the minds of your prospects. It demonstrates that you are really concerned about their predicament and will provide ideas that will assist them in achieving their objectives.
Why Does It Work? Even though it’s a basic query, it has the potential to develop trust and make a sale, especially if the prospect sees your genuine want to help. Questions like this cause folks to pause before responding. It enables them to grasp the perspective you’re searching for by clarifying the issue and providing honest comments in return.
2. “What were you doing before joining [current company]?”
For sales talks, open-ended questions are like rocket fuel. Going beyond the standard ‘yes’ or ‘no’ inquiries allows your prospects to share with you, therefore you should listen more than you speak.
Career-related inquiries provide you with further information about their function in the firm and previous experiences. For example, if you’re speaking with someone who previously worked for a company with which you do business, you might use this to establish your own credibility. Look to see if you have any mutual ties, such as a friend who used to work for their previous employer.
Alternatively, you may find that the marketing director you’re speaking with was recently elevated to the job and hasn’t yet faced many of the issues that a marketing director will confront. In this situation, a component of your sales strategy could revolve around how you can assist them in making a positive first impression in their new position.
Why It Works: Career-related inquiries are extremely tailored and help to direct the conversation toward your prospective employer. And the majority of individuals enjoy talking about themselves. It makes us feel good and activates the same area of the brain that lights up when we consume nice food or engage in other self-gratifying behaviours, according to psychological studies.
3. “I Noticed You Attended X College.” That is a fantastic school. What did you enjoy the most?
Choosing a college is a big decision, and getting into the school of your dreams is even more difficult. The majority of people are proud of where they went to school (and the degree they received), and they’ll be glad you noticed.
This information is normally available on Facebook or LinkedIn. It only takes a few minutes to conduct a short search, and you’ll feel more prepared for your call as a result. Take it a step further by researching additional information about their school so you’ll have more conversation starters when you call.
If you can’t figure out where they went to college, it’s quite OK to inquire during a discussion. Make a mental note of it for your next phone call.
Why It Works: These inquiries tap into the same psychology that people enjoy discussing themselves. It allows people to discuss a personal aspect of their lives while also providing you with another way to communicate with them.
4. “I read your __ blog post. What are your thoughts about?”
You’re probably not flattering yourself properly if you believe flattery is always fake and will get you nowhere. Most people can detect worthless compliments and feigned interest a mile away, which is why any praise or plaudits should be given without any ulterior motive.
Being genuine to others, no matter the scenario, is vital to creating strong connections, as Dale Carnegie noted in his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
If you discuss anything your prospect said on LinkedIn or on their blog and ask for their opinion on a relevant topic, you should be genuinely interested in their response.
Why It Works: Taking note of what they generate demonstrates that you’re paying attention and are interested in what they’re saying. This flatters the majority of individuals. They believe they are adding value or are being helpful, which may aid in breaking down communication barriers and encouraging people to open up.
5. “The majority of people are unaware that I do XYZ.” Tell me anything about yourself that most people don’t know.”
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Theodore Roosevelt. Questioning your prospect with “Yes” or “No” answers will not help them warm up to you. Questions like “Tell me about yourself” ease both you and the prospect into the call.
Instead of sounding like they have an appointment with the Feds, your goal should be to have a heartfelt conversation with them. Open-ended questions about personal interests and hobbies add a human touch and reveal what is important to your buyer. You’ll also discover about their likes and dislikes, as well as their children, hobbies, passions, and values and beliefs. It’s possible that you’ll find out that you’ve shared something like experiences, maybe you both like rock climbing, love the same movies or music, or have both visited the Taj Mahal and loved its architecture.
Why It Works: One of the four elements of rapport-building is similarity. The foundation of open-ended questions like these is that they create a two-way communication channel that puts prospects at ease while also allowing you to keep the conversation continuing to get the information you need.
6. “What Would You Do If All of Your Problems Were Solved?”
When used correctly, hypothetical questions can make your talks with prospects more fascinating. For example, employing “Imagine” qualifies your prospect by transporting them from their current reality to a fantasy realm where anything is conceivable (and affordable). It also shows you where they are in the buyer’s journey and how likely you are to close a purchase with them now or in the near future.
A solid rule of thumb is to avoid asking pricing queries while answering rhetorical questions. Pricing discussion can be postponed until a later meeting. Your initial call with a new client should be focused on establishing rapport with the client.
Why It Works: Potential clients can fantasise by asking hypothetical queries. Their responses indicate their problems, allowing you to tailor your solution to match their requirements. They provide you with a window of opportunity by expressing dissatisfaction with their current solution. The purpose of this question is to identify the gap between the customer’s needs and their present solution, then emphasise and capitalise on your one-of-a-kind selling opportunity.
Building A Rapport is A Marathon
Whilst you aim to build as many relationships as possible, adding value to each discussion is even more crucial. Every interaction gives you a chance to leave a lasting impression, so take advantage of the possibility to engage with your prospects in a genuine way.
By asking the relevant questions, salespeople establish positive relationships. And, like any good relationship, it takes continual care and real attention to keep it going strong. Maintain consistency in your interactions to keep your connections going ahead.
You have a better chance of standing out for all the right reasons if you focus on asking rapport-building questions. You must spend time creating rapport — before, during, and after your encounters with prospects and leads.