The ability to build rapport with customers and prospects is vitally important. Why? Because if you have rapport with your customers, they are more likely to trust you, listen to you and communicate openly with you. This in turn enables you to interact more comfortably and work more effectively together. We instantly move from “adversaries” to “symbiotic partners.”
Rapport dramatically increases your chances of winning a sale. Having rapport means that when there are tough issues to discuss (for example, price increases) you can more easily find agreement and solutions and then move on.
Robert Birdwhistle, who researched communication in the 1970s, studied how face-to-face communication was received and responded to. His work suggests that your impact depends on three factors: how you look, how you sound and what you say. According to Birdwhistle, 55 percent of communication is body language, 38 percent the quality of the voice and only 7 percent the actual words spoken.