Customer Rapport: | Slowing Down Sales to Speed Up Results

I was working with an inside sales team. They have incoming sales calls all day, with quite a few customers who are very “to-the-point,” overly straight-forward, and sometimes even a little gruff or brusk.

For instance a prospect might call and exclaim,

“Hey, I need pricing and availability of part number: 102X190.”

Too often, because these prospects are so direct and so specific, the sales team is caught off guard. With speed and efficiency, sales reps locate the requested part — and blurt out the pricing and availability.

And what happens next?

The prospect says, “Thanks a lot. Let me get back to you….”

And usually… no sale happens!

Speediness Can Kill the Sale

Here’s what I advise my sales teams to do.

Sloooooow down — find out what your customer needs before you give them what they want. When a prospect calls and requests information on a product — you need to buy some time. This will give you the opportunity to start an interaction and begin creating some rapport:

“While I move over to my computer (or get to that particular screen) and look that product number up, let me ask you…

  • Who am I speaking with and where are you calling from?
  • What’s prompting the call?”
  • What are you looking to accomplish?”

Build customer rapport

Don’t be so quick to “spit out” your pricing and availability. Even if it means having to walk over to your desk or fiddling with a sluggish computer — use this time to your advantage. Building rapport is a crucial step in the selling process. It gives you the opportunity to discover some basic needs of the customer. By finding out what your customer values, you are able to move the needle — and close more sales!

Isn’t that what selling is all about?

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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).