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How To Build Rapport With Prospects

Aug 17, 2007
If you are going to be successful in MLM or in any selling situation, then building rapport is essential. Building rapport with prospects is not something you are born with, but rather is a learned skill.

There are five major things that you need to focus on to build rapport.

The first essential skill is body language. You must learn to read body language. You can learn body language by checking out library books on the topic or by surfing the Internet for tips. You can also learn body language by simply paying attention when other people are around. Here are a few basics: eye contact is a must, avoidance can mean falsehood or mistrust with others. Keep arms in un-closed position, welcoming communication. Ditto with legs (don't sit with arms and legs crossed as it can mean you are closed to the other person). Maintain a nice, friendly smile (not tight lips). And don't get in the other person's space or face. Keep at a comfortable distance.

The next thing you should do is to get in a casual mode.
Relate in a comfortable manner with the other person. For instance, don't wear stiff new clothing and shoes that aren't broken in and hurt your feet. This can affect your own comfort, making you less at ease, regardless of who your prospect is. You want to be able to talk, laugh and enjoy the other person's company while you're building a relationship. No one wants to focus on whether they are having a bad hair day!

The third skill for rapport building is using some finesse. You must learn how to handle conversations and activities in a cordial and friendly manner using tact. For example, if your prospect is lewd or otherwise obnoxious (maybe drunk at an after dinner event), learn how to skillfully acknowledge him or her briefly, then turn your focus in a productive direction to seek out communication with another prospect, without hurting the other person's feelings, if possible. Sometimes etiquette books can help with this. Most often, though, look to the older and more experienced attendees in the room and follow their lead.

The next essental rapport building skill is handling conflict. You must learn how to handle difficult situations without falling apart at the seams.

Finally, you need to learn cooperation. Cooperating with and supporting one another should be a common goal with prospects. You'll both be seeking referrals down the road and want to be able to stick together and support each other in a professional, businesslike manner.

As the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Neither is rapport. Establishing and building relationships is a process. Mistakes will be made. By learning to get through rough spots, offering and accepting apologies and working things out, you'll reap rapport.
About the Author
Carlos Scarpero is a blogger who writes about internet marketing and MLM. Visit his blog at www.itsaboutresults.com and discover new and innovative ways to promote yourself online.
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