Build Rapport to Get in the Door: Part I

Building rapport

Our blog theme in February is about effective follow-up.  As we said in an EARLIER POST, top-performing agents secure more than 70% of their listings through persistent follow-up; in other words, after the initial call.

Today, we launch a two-part series on how to build rapport through effective conversation skills. This is something that doesn’t come easy for the vast majority of agents. Hopefully, we can share a few tips over the coming weeks to convince you to think differently about how you approach and engage your prospects.

A DIFFERENT PERSON

Always remember, there is one, primary goal to all prospecting, and especially follow-up:  GET IN THE DOOR! Once you’ve crossed the barrier, and have enough of the homeowner’s confidence to allow you in their door, you are well on your way to success.

But the first thing you need to do is acknowledge, and conquer the fear that is natural to most prospecting agents.

Prospects on the other end of the phone can sense your fear and anxiety. As such, it’s difficult for them to have confidence in your abilities.

As you become more comfortable with your conversational skills, you’ll sense a reduction in your anxiety, which puts you in a more powerful position during the call. As you attempt to build rapport during your prospecting conversations, you need to be:

  • Captivating… to grab their attention
  • Engaging… to create effective dialogue
  • Charming… to build trust

Many agents go into prospecting calls weighed down by negative self-talk: “I’m too shy,” “I’m not very gregarious,” “It’s hard for me to show emotion.” Again, the person on the other end of the call will likely sense you have those feelings.

There’s another approach to making these calls, and that is for you to adopt this mentality: YOU NEED TO BE A DIFFERENT PERSON!

In your personal time, you adopt various personas: mom, coach, friend, etc. But when you fire up your Vulcan 7 CRM each morning you need to view yourself as a PROSPECTING POWERHOUSE! Like a stage actor, you’re playing a role. You shed the persona that guides your personal life and becomes someone else, someone totally different. In fact, before you start calling, look at yourself in the mirror and AFFIRM that you are a PROSPECTING POWERHOUSE, and nothing can stop you.

PRE-CONVERSATION ROUTINE

Rapport-building conversations are most effective when achieving one or even both of the following goals:

  1. You entertain the prospect, creating a pleasurable experience for them.
  2. You provide utility, providing some level of value.

Before you make any call, wrap your head around these goals. Be clear about what you want. Conversation isn’t about you talking about yourself. It’s about listening, interjecting, and building engagement and rapport.

Most agents make the critical mistake of not preparing for each call. They don’t have a strategy or purpose for the call.

That’s why it’s important to have a routine before you begin calling. Get your head around shifting from your daily persona to your role as a prospecting powerhouse.

How will you transform yourself? Or, maybe put a better way, how do you get yourself pumped up to play that role to perfection? Perhaps you can:

  • Have a powerful affirmation that has worked in the past?
  • Play a song that inspires you?
  • Watch an inspiring scene from a movie that you love?

These ideas can serve as “triggers” that tell you it’s time to put on your game face.

In our next post on building rapport through effective conversation, we’ll look at important patterns that should guide your conversations, as well some of the pitfalls you might encounter by not preparing yourself for every call.