Sales experts have long touted the value of establishing rapport with prospects before moving into the sales conversation. This exercise includes looking around a prospect’s office to determine points of conversation or areas of commonality and then making small talk in order to bond with the prospect.
Recently, I suggested that salespeople should not use valuable sales time to engage people in social chit-chat. Not surprisingly, I received comments and emails from people who disagreed with me. And that’s OK.
But why are so many people stuck on this concept? There was a time when this strategy was extremely valid, useful and effective. However, decision makers in today’s hectic business world are far too busy to waste valuable time on social chit-chat. They honestly don’t care if you have something in common with them. And they certainly see through your attempts to use photos and awards to better connect with them.
If you really want to establish rapport with busy prospects, then get to the point of your meeting as quickly as you can. Or, ask them a question or two about their business.