The level of rapport impacts the effectiveness of every one of your conversations—it goes a long way to determining their outcomes. Conversations are easier when rapport is present and are more difficult when rapport is missing.
Questions can be used to guide your conversations. They pave the path towards helping your clients understand their needs and discover ways to address them. But, to be effective using questions, you must use the right type of question at the right time.
Listening is more important than talking. Listening is most impactful when it is done actively with intention and purpose. The better you listen, the better you’ll be in creating powerful connections with your clients.
Needs-based conversations result in positive outcomes. They help your client see you as an ally and as someone who cares about him on a deeper level—beyond the normal expectations he has for a business relationship.
The reality is you can’t control another person, you can only control yourself. Before you can competently manage a conversation, you must be disciplined and self-aware.
Conversations work better when you are prepared. When you have a plan and a structure to follow you put yourself in a position to effectively manage and lead a conversation.
How a conversation starts matters. Engaging in a consultative needs-based conversation means discovering what your clients are seeking to accomplish and encouraging full participation.
In order to get an understanding of your clients' needs beyond a superficial level, you must probe for understanding. The more depth you achieve, the stronger your relationships become.
Speak to your clients’ needs and objections. Present ways to meet and satisfy their needs. Welcome their objections and take responsibility for helping to handle them.
Your goal is to problem solve and find solutions to satisfy your clients' needs. Then, you must gain agreement for action. The measure of a conversation is determined by the specific results it produces.