You have probably heard this statement a lot, “Building rapport with your clients or prospects is key” and you probably have said to yourself, HOW do you do this and what questions are appropriate to ask? We have such a short window of time to make a connection with people and we have to make that time memorable. Successful selling is all about asking the right questions and making a connection is just as essential and just for clarification, WE ARE ALL IN SALES!

There is a difference between being “salesy” and being a trusted advisor in your market. If you find yourself taking someone to lunch but during the lunch trying to sell them on something is not genuine. People like doing business with those they like and TRUST and building that trust takes time and allows the opportunity for you to show that you are a subject matter expert in your field. In fact, 90% of companies report that they only do business with companies they trust. My recommendation is take your time with your prospects to nurture them no matter what your price tag is.

Try some of these effective questions in your next sales call.

  1. Where are you originally from? or Do you live close to your office? This is a great question even if you know the answer. Location based questions are a great way to create a relatable situation and bond when you have nothing in common.

    Why is this effective: This type of question allows for you to build on the conversation. so don’t just stop there. Continue to ask buildable questions like what brought you to this location or talk about a local coffee shop that is supposed to be really good. Maybe they will tell you they have children they need to drop off and commute to work, or perhaps they ride a motorcycle. They key is to get to know your prospects on a personal but professional level.

  2. I noticed you went to X College, What made you decide to go there: Most people are proud of where they went to school and they will be very happy you noticed. Linkedin is such a valuable tool to research a candidate or a prospect. If it’s updates, it will tell you what you need to know to ask effective questions.

    Why it’s effective: This type of question taps into the same psychology of why people lke to talk about themselves.

  3. Do you travel for work? However they answer this, you can find common ground. You may find that you travel to the same places or they travel to places you want to go and they can tell you all about it.

    Why it’s effective: This gives you great insight into their schedule and availability. This is great to keep in mind when scheduling meetings. This means the difference between being out of the office and not trying to avoid you. Try to always have direct ways of contact and not office personnel.

    Lastly, Building rapport is a marathon not a sprint. If you meet someone this month you can plan on booking them or closing the deal next month. Take your time to build quality prospects by nurturing them into long term loyal customers that refer business to you.