BUILD RAPPORT TO SELL BETTER
Create A Personal Connection Before You Speak
by Bill Cole, MS, MA
You sell yourself and your company every time you speak. You may be "speaking" to an "audience" of one or one hundred or one thousand. Maybe you do team sales presentations, or you speak to market yourself. Whatever the reason and venue, you want to make a positive impact, influence your audience, and move them to action. To do that, you have to make a connection with them. You need to build rapport.
Warm Up Your Audience Before You Even Show Up
Your audience hopes they are coming to hear you say something valuable and pertinent to them. They want your material to relate to their needs, wants and desires. If you deliver a canned presentation that isn't customized for them, they feel their time has been wasted. They also want to know who you are as a person. If you wait to build rapport until you first walk out to meet your audience, you'll miss an important advance connection with them. You'll probably also make yourself unnecessarily uncomfortable, and your awkwardness will be transmitted to your audience. The result? A poor emotional connection. A poor speech. How do you make sure your efforts will be on target? Part of the answer is in making a personal connection and seeking their input before your program begins. Here are five ways you can build excellent, fast rapport with your audience in advance.
Most importantly, you want to show your audience that you respect them for spending their valuable upcoming time with you. They'll know you care. They'll know you're not just some big-ego speaker with no time for "the little people". They'll begin to like you, and that's critical in helping you create quick rapport with people, and in paving a smooth pathway into your speech.
Deepen Your Rapport-Building On Site
Now you're ready to show up for your program. You've connected with your audience in advance, you've customized their data into your program, and all is ready. Knowing you're mentally and emotionally ready to perform, you can now "work your audience" to create a deeper rapport and connection before "the show" begins. This is where the real immediate audience connection magic happens.
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