All good salespeople know that finding common ground can be the difference between closing and losing a sale. If a prospect likes and trusts you, what’s to stop them from buying from you? Nobody wants to feel like a number or transaction. That’s where rapport comes in.
While building rapport is sometimes a challenge, it’s definitely a skill that can be developed with repeated practice. Check out some tips below on how to establish rapport as an insurance agent.
1. Get to the Point
There’s nothing worse than a long-winded pitch on the phone. Not only does it sound insincere, but you’ll kill your chances of developing a relationship pretty quickly. Don’t waste your (or your prospect’s) time by asking “How is it going today?” In ten seconds tell the person who you are, who you are with, and why you are calling. Then you can continue with building rapport.
You can learn so much by just listening to your prospect for a few minutes. Pay attention to details like hometown, accent, personality, etc. This is a great way to find common ground. Is your prospect from somewhere you’ve traveled? Find some talking points either for now or later.
3. Be Upbeat and Humorous
If you can gauge the potential client’s personality, use some humor to set the tone. People typically enjoy laughing and don’t want to get the impression that you are a sales drone looking for a quick buck. This is an excellent way to build rapport and make the prospect feel at ease.
4. Be Sensitive to Circumstances
If you can sense the other person is in a poor mood or being short, be understanding. If it sounds like they are in a rush and just being polite, don’t try to extend the conversation at his/her inconvenience. Be respectful and ask if there’s a better time to call.
5. Be Observant
If you’re meeting with prospects for an appointment at their home, pay attention to your surroundings. Do they have pictures of grandchildren on the walls? Are there military awards on display? Ask open-ended questions. People love talking about themselves, so ask about what you see and have a genuine conversation. You’ll build a relationship in no time.