For a sales person, creating rapport with any human being is an essential step that enables the customer to feel comfortable, and leads to a much more effective sales interaction. The best sales people create rapport with everyone.

Here are a few ways to build report:

Try an occasional bit of disarming honesty
In routine interchanges, say something that the customer is not expecting. For example, when he says, “How are you?” instead of the perfunctory “Fine,” try something like this: “Honestly, my day didn’t get off to a good start. One of the kids was sick this morning, and I was a half hour late getting out of the house. How are you?”

It’s disarming because it was unexpected. And, it’s honest, reveals something about you, and describes a situation to which almost everyone can relate. A good way to build rapport.

If you are one of those people who can make most people laugh most of the time, then you are equipped with a powerful rapport-building asset. There is something about laughing together that breaks down some of the barriers between people and removes some of the tension. It’s a great way to build rapport.

If you are not one of those people so gifted, then it’s better to stay away from this. Telling a joke that nobody gets, or having a glib comment being seen as sarcastic or caustic is NOT a good way to build rapport.

Use a sincere compliment
Everyone likes to be complimented. When you sincerely compliment a customer (or his company), you communicate that you are interested in him/her, that you have noticed something they do that stands out, and that you aren’t afraid to say something complimentary. Those are all good things.

Not so long ago, I entered a prospect’s office building for the first time. The lobby was quite dramatic, with a two story atrium, and a soaring piece of sculpture. When he came down to meet me, I immediately told him that the lobby was very impressive, and that I felt very comfortable and a bit inspired because of it. We chatted for a few minutes about it and I then followed him to his office, having achieved some rapport.

Dave Kahle is one of the world's leading sales authorities. He's written twelve books, presented in 47 states and eleven countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine, His book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been recognized by three international entities as "one of the five best English language business books.” Check out his latest book, The Heart of a Christian Sales Person.”