Ok, other than the cheesy title we all know how important it is to build rapport with your clients in the world of sales. Trust is key and that goes hand in hand with building relationships and rapport.
As a newbie in the business of selling cars i've had to sit back and analyze a few things when it comes to rapport building. Its obvious that we need to establish trust right off the hop and allow our customer to feel comfortable with our meet and greet by matching body language and tone, giving a smile and saying "welcome and thanks for coming in...my name is...." However, I am finding that the real rapport building happens when you sit down with the client and get a good conversation in.
We all know that after the meet and greet comes qualifying, presentation, demonstration etc. We are trained that building rapport takes place during this process, focusing on the meet and greet and trailing into the other stages, remembering you have between 7-11min to gain the trust. I don't disagree with the process but I am not sure if its the only way, please let me know if you disagree? Here are my thoughts.
In order to build a proper trusting relationship you need to be focused on the customer for a period of time, while talking about THEM. Not you, the car you want to sell or your amazing dealership. Im starting to believe that the meet and greet is not enough to build a strong rapport. I think people today are beginning to get sick of the same old sales pitch. What if you build a trust factor by sitting down, focusing and getting a good understanding of the customer?
Why not extend the meet and greet into the office or over to your desk and ask to have a few minuets of their time so that you can understand their needs and wants? Well, I can answer my own question here. People believe that once your sitting at a sales persons desk your going to talk dollars and cents and they might not be ready for that.
Everyone is different and its important to use your judgment as to what is the best for the customer at that time, but with every customer building rapport will make the difference between you and the dealership down the street. So I say take that step to explain to the customer "id like to learn more about your needs and wants, ill move at your pace, follow me" go to your desk, sit down and start building trust. As long as the customer knows your intention is to get to know them, not to pressure them into a sale. In the end a customer is going to buy when they are ready, not when you tell them too. Lets hope they buy from the sales person they trust :)