Building rapport with your prospects is key to a successful sales call. But it can be tough to make yourself likeable through a cold call – here are some tips from our team.

Choose questions carefully.

If you’ve been following our blog, you know that our team is always trying to ask better questions. Rapport building starts when the call does, and asking a good opening question helps conversations go more smoothly.
We’ve moved away from classic questions like “How are you?” and “How’s your day going?”. Instead, our team practices selling with empathy, asking folks “How ya been?”. The informal phrasing implies a sense of familiarity, and piques the prospect’s curiosity.

Throughout the conversation, our team members balance features and benefits with a mix of open-ended questions and close-ended questions. The balance of the two depends on how the conversation is going – in a lot of situations, if folks haven’t opened up yet, open-ended questions can help keep the conversation running. If they’re happy to talk, close-ended questions can help diagnose pain points and illuminate them.

Listen carefully

Asking good questions doesn’t do much if you can’t build on the answers you get. This is a common piece of feedback for new reps – folks tend to focus on delivering the information they have prepared, rather than looping around to it as the conversation veers into that topic. Nothing throws off a conversation more than getting a one-word acknowledgement after a lengthy answer. 

Our team uses the “Three A’s” of active listening to have better conversations:

  1. Attitude – approach the conversation with an open mind, and be respectful. No interrupting!
  2. Attention – show that you’re paying attention. During a call, that means tossing in the occasional “hm?” or “mhm” to show that you’re listening.
  3. Adjustment – match the attitude of the person you’re chatting with and follow the flow of the conversation. Don’t try to steer it too hard in one direction – you’ll crash.

Find common interests

There’s a lot of ways to find common ground with someone. In some cases, you’ll see something intriguing and easy to mention on their social media pages before calling. In other cases, something will pop up during the conversation that’s pleasant to chat about. With our team working from home, that tends to be the sound of pets in the background. (And sometimes in the foreground during team Zoom meetings!) In some cases, it can be talking about the weather, or simply empathizing if the person you’re calling is having a tough day.

At the end of the day – and the end of the call – most folks buy based on emotion, not on logic. In order to drive results, the best thing our team can do is quickly build a relationship with the prospect. We’ll keep asking better questions and share the tips here!

If you’re a skilled communicator with a knack for asking great questions and quickly building relationships, we’d love to have you on the team – apply by following this link.