Establishing a rapport
Let's face it, people buy from who they like, know and trust. Establishing a rapport with your customers will help you earn their trust and respect. Building a rapport with your customer will provide you with the opportunity to get to know your customer better as well as they will get to know you. Your customers will become invested not just in your service but in you. This trust can increase your sales, increase customer retention, and lead to priceless customer referrals.
Make sure that you are making a sincere connection with your customers. Sometime chit-chat may come across as unnatural because it feels forced, generic, or superficial. Try these strategies to achieve a level of sincerity and build a genuine rapport before, during, and after your contact with your customers.
Show up as a professional
Be in a clean uniform, and you don't look like you just crawled out of Mrs. Jone's sub-area. Make sure you have a clean, spare uniform in your vehicle that you change into. Use a hand brush to sweep off the webs or leaf debris from your clothes, boots, and hair.
Be on time
"Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable!" was a phrase coined by the author Eric Jerome Dickey. Being late to an appointment without calling your customer before about being late is unacceptable. It shows a lack of respect for your customer's time, and trying to build trust at this point will not happen. You just blew an opportunity for a sale.
Building rapport is all about staying true to yourself. Channel your inner Oscar Wilde, who once said, "be yourself—everyone else is already taken." Your customers can smell an act from a mile away. Don't try to be anything you're not by creating a new persona or adopting a "sales-like" tone. Relax, smile, and go in with a positive attitude. Look them in the eye and use their name when greeting them. If you don't know how to pronounce their name, start the conversation by asking and using it often during your discussion.
Ask good questions.
After you have introduced yourself, start asking good qualifying questions.
- How did they find your company
- Why did you decide to call our company
- Ask them to show you why they called you.
- What pest do they think they have, where have they seen it, and who is affected?
- Ask them to show you where they have observed the pests.
Show real interest
Building rapport with your customer will be challenging if you only focus on closing the sale. Customers want to feel like they have an opportunity to share what they're thinking, including their desires, fears, and problems. More importantly, they want to feel like they're being heard. The more you can show you're listening to them by trying to relate, the more likely they will keep talking. Be aware of what's happening here and now rather than thinking of what they will say next. Make sure that you are in tune with the customer's verbal and non-verbal cues.
Each time you meet with a customer, ask good discovery questions and build rapport with them. By creating a relationship and connecting with your customers, the sales processes will become a more comfortable and engaging experience for both you and the customer, leading to more successful sales and long-term customers.