In every communication situation that we’re in, there are two primary things at play. There’s their expectations, based on their experiences and the experiences of other people they’ve talked to. Then there’s our behavior.
Which part of that do we have control over? We have the ability to make good connections really quickly, or blow it really quickly.
I get asked by lots of organizations to come in and talk about this. There’s an organization that brought me in to talk to about 150 people. I was talking about the ability to use bonding and rapport to make good connections really quickly, and about how many bad sales training programs teach to go into someone’s office and ask about personal items on their desk.
There was a young lady sitting towards the front, and I could physically see her getting uncomfortable.
I said to her, “I’ve got the feeling that you’ve got something that connects with this.”
She responded, “I worked for a company that told us we need to go in and find a picture and start asking questions.”
I asked, “What’s the issue?”
She said, “I did that. I was in somebody’s office, and there was a family picture there. I told my prospect, ‘That’s a beautiful family. Tell me about them.’
“It was like somebody snapped their fingers. The entire tone of the meeting changed. The next thing I know, I was being escorted out of the office. Not forcibly, but it was time for me to go.
“I find out a few days later that it was his family. About six weeks earlier, one of his kids had passed away.”
Now the company she’d been working with when she had that experience had spent a ton of money to have someone come in and train them. That person helped them find those commonalities to ask questions about. She did what she had been trained to do and what she thought was appropriate. And that caused the prospect to immediately and emotionally disconnect.
In her world, with what she was selling, that was easily millions of dollars in potential income.
The chances of her ever getting a repeat appointment? Pretty slim, I’m guessing. In fact, even if it’s someone else from her company, they’re probably not even getting in the door.
Bonding and rapport to make good connections is not about finding things in your prospect’s office and chatting about them. In fact, that’s dangerous and could just as easily lead to a bad experience. It’s all about connecting with them subconsciously by first observing them and following their lead, both verbally and nonverbally.