In order to attract clients, you need to create rapport.
People want to work with someone they like.
It’s a skill that you need to develop and exercise.
You can practice it in your personal life. You will gain valuable experience and you will also make a lot of people feel happier.
It’s simple. You just listen. Really listen. Focus entirely on that one person at a time.
What do you say when you greet a friend? Hi! How’s it going? Well that’s pretty vague. The friend knows that your question just requires a simple answer, not a monologue.
But what happens if you instead ask a specific question?
- Hi! What was the best part of your day today?
- Hi! What made you happy today?
- Hi! What made you decide to wear green today?
That type of query shows that you are actually interested in what they will respond.
Let’s think about some other situations where you can indicate that you are genuinely interested in somebody.
Suppose you are checking out at the supermarket. The clerk looks tired and wishing he/she were not having to deal with all the annoying customers. Don’t be another irritant.
It doesn’t require much:
- You are really quick. I appreciate your efficiency.
- Your hair looks like you just had it styled.
- Celeste. That is such a pretty name.
If you haven’t tried focusing on something special about a clerk, I bet you’ll be surprised at how you can change her day.
It works on the phone too. If the person seems to need a little lift, give her one:
- I really appreciate it that you are separating my groceries into logical groups.
- You have such a nice voice. No wonder your were hired to speak on the phone.
- How’s your day going; have you talked to anybody from another country?
Instead of hating attending a networking event, try making it special for someone you don’t know. It’s easy to win new friends simply by showing genuine interest in her life or opinions.
- Have you met anyone yet tonight who you’d really be interested in getting to know better?
- What made you come to this meetup? Are you looking for business opportunities or friends?
- I noticed you the minute I walked into the room and just love that gorgeous necklace.
How about your closest relative or friend? Do you show an interest in what he or she is doing? Not just how was your day. That is too vague and doesn’t convey real interest in how life is feeling today. I hope you don’t tend to just have nondescript conversations with those that you care about the most but sometimes we forget to let them know that we really care about what they are doing or feeling.
When is the last time that you showed curiosity about your spouse’s views on what’s going on? Or your dad’s opinions about what would make the world a better place? When you get together with someone after hours or days apart, do you convey that you appreciate her ideas?
- How was your golf game? Did you have any especially good holes?
- Did you hear about the guy in South Dakota who won the lottery? What would you do first you were insanely rich?
- If we could go anywhere this weekend, where would you choose?
It takes so little effort to give a compliment or ask for an opinion.
Do you engage with people in a meaningful way? What other things to you say to them to indicate your sincere interest?