“Rapport” is often-times a very ill-defined and abused word.

So, when you think about it, most attempts at building rapport are actually quite repulsive.

Ever speak with someone who just sounded, like … way “too nice?”

It was weird, wasn’t it? Like, why is it so weird when people are overly nice?

I think it’s because it sounds like they want something and this sets off alarms in our subconscious minds.

Plus, we’ve all become busier and busier than ever, it seems … and when you consider how our attention spans seem to be shrinking even more and more, traditional attempts at “rapport-building” are really just annoying, when you think about it …

Like … “How are you today?”

People ask strangers this all the time, but meanwhile, we all know you don’t really care how I’m doing, and I don’t really care how you’re doing, either … I mean, we’re strangers and you’re trying to sell me something!

*(Which, I mean … by the way … so what?! Right? I mean, if I need help and you have something that can help me, who cares if you want to sell something, really. The problem with this is that we’re all oppositional and feel compelled to act like we don’t want something when we need it, so it’s just part of the human condition to fight back, especially when it comes to sales and making purchases).


But anyways, I have a theory about building rapport, and I’ve brought this up many times in training sessions:

“You want to build rapport?” I’ll ask. “Well, here’s how you do it: be a laser-focused pro, be respectful of time, get in and get out, take care of business of course, and guess what? … They’ll love you for it! They’ll thank you for your expert guidance and happily move out on whatever path you recommend.”

And it’s true … All of it.

I have data that backs this up … hundreds and hundreds of recorded calls from different team members of mine with different personalities speaking with all kinds of different leads from all over the country who are at all sorts of various levels of decision-making authority …

And we follow the same communications framework every time which produces the same very consistent and desirable results.

And I’m not talking about hard-scripting, either … but communications framework, where we have the 8 to 10-minute initial conversation mapped out in three different phases with right about 3-minutes’ worth of scripted material, total, and we use it to guide the conversations in a very logical and coherent manner.

And it sounds counter-intuitive, I know, to coach people on not sounding too nice, but believe me on this:

We never ask people how they’re doing … we never ask if we’re catching them at a good time … we never ask about the weather in Biloxi and we never ask about who won the game this past weekend.

What we do is, is we go into each call mentally prepared and laser-focused on delivering the best experience possible with our framework mapped out in front of us … and we execute on it.

We know what we’re gonna say before we have to say it, and because of this … tactic … we don’t really have to try and come up with something intelligent or clever to say at the moment of execution …

And to our potential clients, it all seems like an easy, carefree, naturally flowing experience, but to us, trust me … it’s all very well-planned out.

Because of all of this strategic preparation, it frees us up to really focus in on our approach and delivery, where we purposefully use the right tonalities at the right places with the right spacing and cadence and inflection to safely navigate the primitive parts of our potential clients’ brains and access their Neocortex to really connect and communicate on a conscious level.

I mean, think about it: Words are Powerful. Information is Powerful … and Tonality is very Powerful …

And really, over the phones … what else do you have?

These are your weapons, and we use them to consistently take potential clients from a state of uncertainty to a state of certainty all within a matter of an eight to ten minute call …

But … what a lot of people don’t know … is that there are actually two types of Certainty: and that’s Logical Certainty … and Emotional Certainty.

two types of certainty

So having the right words and information mapped out helps to build the case for Logical Certainty and delivering them in the right order with the right tonalities helps to build the case for Emotional Certainty.

And you can listen back to the recordings and hear the nervousness and combativeness in the potential clients’ voices at the beginning of the calls and how quickly they get comfortable and open up to us … because they feel like they’re working with experts …

And how by the end of those calls, they’re expressing genuine appreciation for our expert guidance and how they always say that they’re looking forward to the next steps …

So we set our sales team up with leads who are responsive, happy, ready, willing and able to take the next steps because they feel safe … and feel like they’re working with pros who care, who understand them and can help them fix whatever problem they’re experiencing that they don’t know how to fix on their own …

AND, really … it all starts … with just nailing … the first :28 seconds.


Published by Thomas Hurley

I am a father, husband, drummer, boater, marketer, communicator, animal-lover.

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