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We all tend to think that because we are salespeople, we automatically build rapport because we feel comfortable talking. Quite often, we are pushed into sales because someone has said we have "the gift of the gab".

There is an art to building rapport - it doesn't "just happen", as many customers don't want to deal with "salespeople" - maybe because they have had a poor experience in the past and they now think all salespeople are the same.

So, building rapport could be the big difference between your customer leaving without buying and leaving by thanking you for giving them a great time and doing business with you.

Our customers will give us clues to start building rapport - we have to look for them and listen for them.

Where do they live - how long have they lived there? What do they do other than (camp, ride motorcycles, etc.)?

Are they wearing anything that would allow you to strike up a conversation with them that is not about selling? A shirt with a logo for example, a front license plate on their personal vehicle?

All these things are rapport building starters. Let's be a regular person, not the typical "salesperson" who only wants to sell something. Customers will notice the difference immediately.

Building rapport is a great way to start a long and meaningful relationship - allow the sale happen, build rapport and don't force it - enjoy learning about the personal side of your customers.

Many of my friends were people who I built rapport with as customers - I first met my best friend by helping her to buy a car (I was a sales manager at the time) - we built rapport and we have been friends for over 35 years.

There are some wonderful people out there - get to know them, allow them to get to know you - these relationships will help your business.