How to Develop Positive Business Relations Using Rapport Techniques
This is a guest post by Diana Clark. Want to contribute? Check out the 2017 publishing calendar.
Business success often depends largely on positive relationships with current and potential partners and customers. This is true for all companies, regardless of size, since collaboration and partnering constitutes a great value for the business. Often, success in finding strong partners and client leads depends on the ability of business leaders to forge positive interpersonal relations.
Establishing these relationships may seem easy on the surface, but one has to apply extraordinary effort to succeed. Although establishing and maintaining business relationships can sometimes feel draining, the rewards can be extremely important for the business. A relationship with a business partner, developed over days or even months, can result in higher profits, valuable connections and a positive reputation.
Let’s review some rapport techniques that are effective for forging positive business relationships.
1. Discover the power of small talk
Meeting someone who may be important for your business can be an intimidating thing. If you feel nervous and shy and struggle to connect in a meaningful way, it is very likely that your potential partner will sense that. That’s bad.
Explore the art of small talk to avoid this. For example, you can opt to use simple conversation starters to ease your way into a meaningful and positive conversation. It can be as simple as ordering the same lunch, liking the same basketball team, or using the same admission service in college. Whatever option you choose, remember to focus on similarities, not differences.
2. Use the person’s name
If you have trouble remembering names, now is a good time to eliminate that. Calling your potential or current business partner by name is an important part of building rapport. For example, salespersons learn this technique to connect with clients, to build rapport quickly and close the sale (just remember how many times they called you by name before trying to sell you something and you’ll realize what we’re talking about here).
Of course, you don’t have to call someone by name every time you address them but bear in mind that it is a great way to build an immediate connection and by repeating it a couple of times, you'll be sure to remember their name.
3. Honesty is key
It’s very easy to recognize fake emotions and words during the conversation. For example, people always know when you make a fake compliment or put on a fake smile because it’s obvious. These strategies can also be very harmful to forging positive business relationships because they show that you are lacking honesty in the conversation.
In contrast, being honest and genuine will produce the needed effect. Building rapport with someone who expresses real feelings and doesn’t try to fake compliment you is much easier and beneficial in the case of business relationships.
4. Acknowledge even if you disagree
In the business world, opinions of parties often differ, so finding a common ground is commonly preferred. However, you need to understand that you still can build rapport with someone whose opinion seems wrong to you (and occasionally you have to). This can be done by appreciating this person’s opinion despite the disagreement.
You don’t have to agree with that person and take his or her side. Acknowledge their opinion and say that you appreciate it because it has good solutions. Never admit that their opinion is not valuable at all. The person will also appreciate that you respect the feelings and opinions expressed by others.
5. Handshake and smile
You won’t believe how easy it is to forget to shake hands and even smile when you are very nervous. As the result, the meeting might get started in a different way than expected and we want everything to go smoothly, right? When you are having a business meeting, you want people to be attracted to the positive aura you have because it’s a great way to connect with them.
To attract people, you want to demonstrate your positive nature. A great way to do this is to engage in a formal, yet friendly handshake and smile (remember not to make it ear-to-ear smile (unless you really are that happy) - people recognize fake easily).
6. Use communication modalities
Each person has their own communication style (visual, auditory, cognitive, or kinesthetic). In the business world, recognizing them in conversation is extremely important because it allows you to tailor your own style to the style of that person. As the result, communication with you will be easy and natural.
For example, if you have learned that your partner is a visual communicator, you can say things like “I get the picture” or “looks good to me.” If the person you’re speaking with is an auditory communicator, saying something like “sounds good to me” will be more appropriate. Identify which type of communication your business partner prefers, and it’ll make it easier for you to develop a relationship.
So in conclusion…
Rapport is all about making that two-way connection. How do you know that you are doing it right? You acknowledge and connect with an individual in a meaningful and positive way. That’s rapport.
About Diana Clark
Diana Clark is a small business coach who helps people to make the transition from full-time employees to successful entrepreneur. Also she uses her unique writing gifts to inspire others and provides career advising for college graduates at College papers. Follow Diana on Linkedin.
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