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How to Build Rapport With Janeen Vosper

We're always told that you need to create rapport to have better customers that know, like and trust you.

How to Build Rapport With Janeen Vosper

This week, we've got Janeen Vosper from to talk about rapport and how it works for your business. 

Key Takeaways:

• Rapport is building a connection with somebody on an unconscious level. 

• One of the most important factors of that is to be able to listen and really hear what their problem is and what you're going to address.

• There are definitely things that you can do that can make people uncomfortable. 

What Is Rapport

Tell me what is rapport. How do you know if you've built too much rapport? Can you build too much rapport? 

Janeen: You could build too much rapport. It could get a bit uncomfortable. 

Rapport is building a connection with somebody on an unconscious level. There's something about that person that you feel you really like that person. You've got a connection with the person but somehow you're not sure what it is.

How to Build Rapport With Anyone

How to Build Rapport With AnyoneSo how can you build that unconscious connection with somebody? 

You have those people that come to your house and door knock. You see them with a clipboard and they haven't even opened their mouth yet but you're thinking, what are they selling me? Has the rapport already started to be built before they even said "Hello?" Have you already built this idea of what they're going to be subconsciously before they've even opened their mouth?

Janeen: There's an automatic no. People don't realise that it happens when somebody is trying to sell us, and then that person has got to try and get through that no. I hate to say this but how that person looks makes a big difference with that connection. If somebody is in a suit and tie comes into a tradie's house, then there's going to be that disconnect immediately. If someone comes to the door and they're in jeans and T-shirt and a little more casual, then the clipboard might put you off initially, but there's something in there. At least there is a little bit more connection with that person.

How someone looks really does make a difference in that first instant. We've got about 3 seconds to form our first opinion.

Dress to impress depending on who you're trying to impress, I guess.

Selling Is About Relationships

Is it important? I find a lot of the time you go to different networking events and you'll just see that person that has this cringe factor. They just have this very salesperson approach. Am I just not their target audience? Why do I find that they're not connecting with me in a way that I like?

Janeen: When we're connecting with somebody and selling to somebody, it's about relationships. It's about having some form of commonality. We tend to like someone if they like us or if they understand our problem. When I do my sales coaching, it's all about solving problems. It's not about selling anything to anybody. I say I've never sold anything to anybody, but I get a lot of people to buy things from me, which is a different switch, because I just want to solve problems. That part is building rapport with someone.

If you're being sold at all the time being spoken at, nobody likes that. It just sort of gets you back up. We want to build relationships with somebody. It might have worked in the 1950s and 1960s when we had the door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesperson.

Actually, we had someone here a while ago who was trying to sell this vacuum cleaner worth $2,500. This guy was nice. My husband and I just were open to hearing about it because it looked like a really fancy vacuum cleaner, but he kept trying to push and push and push, so we just got our backs up. I think it's that pushing as opposed to solving a problem that trying to learn about the person you're solving the problem for.

Remove repetition in your operations so you can have more time for your clients.

Don’t Sell Ice to Eskimos

Job interviewI remember we're interviewing someone for a BDM role, and he said, "I can sell ice to Eskimos." I said none of our clients is Eskimos. And he clarified, it's the saying which means he can just sell anything, but he's not selling himself to me very well.

Janeen: That's the thing. It is part of selling yourself, but it's about listening. One of the other training I do is communication training, which is all part of sales and part of the professional speaking stuff. It's about listening. We have two ears, one mouth. Keep it to that love that.

I used to be quite overweight. I was very scared to talk to people. I was not confident at all. But I knew that our product was amazing and it would fit the right type of businesses that wanted to make sure that technology works like a utility.

In most homes and businesses, when you turn on the electricity, you want to know that it turns on. You don't need to know if it is coming from a coal factory, is, or storage energy? You just want to turn it on and know that it works. That's what we wanted to do for IT and all the different businesses around IT.

I was too scared to sell the product. I was too scared to talk to people because I was too scared to have "no" come to my ears. I didn't want to hear no because then I'll get sad. It was only after I became single that I learnt what I really wanted from another human. I saw that the dating scene wasn't that different from talking to a business. 

I lost a bunch of weight, and I felt more comfortable talking to people. I feel healthy in my outlook. And I felt like everything just worked. One of the things that I watched when I was overweight was Jordan Belfort on Tonality. That made me even more uncomfortable. 

For some of the people selling this sort of stuff, you're their income and they want you to buy their product. Is building rapport just about being genuine and knowing how to solve problems, or should you be worrying about tonality and looping techniques?

Don’t Overthink

Janeen: I find that you can overthink it. If you're overthinking it, you're not going to be yourself and you're not going to be natural. It's so important that you pick up skills as you go along and you learn skills on how to sell and how to do it well, how to communicate well, how to listen to what people's needs are, how to ask the right questions so that you get a full understanding of what their needs are so you can address their problems.

One of the most important factors of that is to be able to listen and really hear what their problem is and what you're going to address. Delivering it with a particular tone and even knowing how to put a comma in a sentence is important.

A woman, without her man, is nothing.

A woman: without her, man is nothing. 

There are two completely different ways of saying the same words. The tone is important. 

Ask the Right Questions

Ask the Right QuestionsJaneen: It's also important to know how to ask open-ended questions in a sales conversation so that you're getting those answers that you want and you can build on what the person is saying and you can help them. But it's also important to know when to ask closed questions so that you can stop and ask somebody for a sale.

Ask them a question that they're going to answer yes four times. If you went to a personal trainer, maybe they would ask would you like to lose weight? Yes. Would you like to do that before Christmas? Yes. Would you like to sign up and it's only going to be whatever a month. Yes.

Janeen: There is science behind that, and it depends on the situation. What you should have done in the instance before that is that you should have found out that those things are a priority to the person. 

Sometimes I think car salesmen are the best ones at doing this. They've got all this information from you, and at the end they say, if I can get you the deal today, will you sign? There's no out then because you've gone "all right."

By listening to somebody, you're definitely going to build rapport and not be talking over them.

Turn your IT into a utility so you can have more time to work on your business.

You brought up a sales role. Most businesses will start out as a one-man-band. If they're starting out, that means they're normally really good on the tools, might be okay at doing some of the administration stuff, and maybe they're okay at sales. 

There will come a time where they make the decision that we need to bring on someone that's going to be focused heavily on each of these different verticals in their business. How important is it that they can dive very deep into the knowledge or whatever that business is selling?

So if you're selling tennis rackets, how important is it that you know every single aspect of the tennis racket? Is it just important that you know how to have great rapport building skills and then the product is secondary after the relationship?

Hiring Someone for a Sales Role

Hiring for a Sales RoleJaneen: When I worked as a general manager of sales for the largest privately owned first aid company in Australia, I had a sales team between 16 and 20, and we kept a lot of our team for a very long time. But each time I did employ somebody else, it was not based on whether they could sell anything.

It was the person with whom we built the best rapport during the interview because that was the person who is going to go out and do that with clients. You can always learn product information. If you are selling fitness equipment and you're overweight, it's a bit tricky to get that message across in the first 3 seconds to form a first opinion. If you're in the world of really doing anything, it's that rapport building and then just learn the products.

If you're selling a service instead of a product, does that change the situation? If you're a project-based engineer or if you're working for a project-based engineering firm and you brought on a BDM and they're great at building rapport but they might know nothing about earth drilling equipment or the depths of something that's required. Is it just about them getting the foot in the door?

Janeen: That gets a bit tricky. You really do need somebody out of an industry. If I went into IT and was trying to sell that, I would be referring it to somebody else, depending on what my role would be. If my role was to get leads and get people interested in and I had an overall brief about what the benefit was, the outcome that people would achieve, then that might be easier. But you do need somebody with a bit of industry knowledge so that they can understand the service.

You have to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. If it is more of a service-based industry, I think it's important that you definitely come from a knowledge base for that. You still got to build rapport with people as well as credibility, likeability, and trustability.

When I was overweight, I didn't talk to too many people. I could have the best product like the cure for cancer, and it wouldn't have mattered if it's not on the shelf in the garage. I realise talking and being present with people are important. As the saying goes, we have two ears, one mouth and we must use them in that ratio. There are too many people out there. Like in networking events, people will just wait for their moment to be able to speak as opposed to absorbing whatever's been said.

We listen and we heard you. That's why we launched the Dollar IT Club. Learn more about it!

Ask But Don’t Interrogate

Janeen: When I was in that GM role, I used to go to a lot of networking events nearly on a weekly basis. We invite guests but when speaking to on the phone or if they couldn't come, they'd send somebody else and you'd have the evening at the table meeting strangers. I'd tell my husband that I made friends and what I learned about that person, and my husband couldn't believe I got that information. But that's the point of asking people questions without sounding like they're being interrogated.

Asking 20 questions.

Janeen: Just one question leads to another question that leads to another question. Show you're interested in people. It gets tiring sometimes when you're the person doing that all the time because other people don't know how to do it. If that's where you're putting yourself in that role of building rapport, there's a whole lot of other rapport-building techniques.

Pacing and Mirroring

Building rapport with anyoneJaneen: You can pace somebody in the way that they're speaking. If you are speaking very quickly, make them feel comfortable. Just slowing down in the way you speak will help them feel a little bit more comfortable because they're used to listening to things slowly so it takes too long for them to catch up when you're a faster speaker.

In rapport building, if somebody moves in one way, then you move in the other way and mirror them, that is freaky. If you're doing it well, nobody will notice and you can lead people into mirroring you. That's where you really know that you've got somebody on your side with you when they start mirroring what you are doing. You can mirror the blink rate. But using the way you say things and recognising how somebody else is using their language and the types of words they're using or the predicates they're using, whether they're quite visual people and they're using lots of visual words.

I hear what you're saying.

Janeen: That's auditory.

I see where you're coming from.

Janeen: That's right. I understand, or I get a feel for it.

And listening. It's really easy to read through an email you've got from somebody and see what is more comfortable with them and their way of expressing themselves. If you respond using similar words, then for some reason, unconsciously, they're going to notice that you're speaking their language. It's a bit harder learning to listen for it.

People are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death itself.

Janeen: Yeah, that was a Seinfeld story. They wanted to be in the casket rather than on the podium delivering the eulogy.

With that, you can imagine anyone that's up there talking is freaking out. They're not necessarily thinking of the subtleties and the way they're talking and what other people are hearing or the way they're listening. I totally understand where they're coming from.

I talk too fast most of the time. I don't know how to slow that down. I try to consciously do it. I've actually got a thing on my screen that detects how fast I'm talking when I'm on a phone call, and it prompts me to try and slow me down.

Janeen: I've got a client, and he talks really quickly as well. He's got a big press gig coming up shortly, and we've been working to get him to slow down for quite a few weeks. There's a little exercise I can give you that will help. You just read off some material and every second word you use is the word 100—I 100 Janeen 100 Vosper 100 owner 100 of 100 Speech 100 Perfect 100—then you repeat the same sentence and you will say it slower.

Wow. I got to try that.

Janeen: I kept that sentence really short, but that's definitely one of the ways to speak slowly because you don't know what your audience is, how they're learning skills, how they're receiving information. You don't know whether auditory, visual, kinesthetic or auditory. As a presenter, you use words right across the space and you loop those words through. I'm highly visual, and I'll tend to use many visual words, but if I'm presenting, I change that up and loop it through other words so that I can spread it out to the audience, hearing me feeling me understanding me, seeing what I'm doing.

We listen and we heard you. That's why we launched the Dollar IT Club. Learn more about it!

Can You Break Rapport

Are there things that you can do to go too far and break rapport?

Janeen: There are definitely things that you can do that can make people uncomfortable. I remember going with some friends to a friend's place and when he got the porno movies out, it was definitely something that broke rapport. It was not the place. It certainly made people uncomfortable. 

When you're presenting to people, say you're on stage, when you put a lectern or something in front of you and you don't look at your audience, then you don't necessarily build rapport and you can break rapport. If you're not looking at people, it doesn't matter how good your presentation is if you don't engage the audience and make them feel you're speaking to them. That can definitely break rapport.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

I've been told hypnosis, NLP, and all this other stuff are the next level of convincing with all the salespeople are getting into. Is it just the same thing, just a different name?

Janeen: It is. The things I talked about—pacing, matching, mirroring—are neuro-linguistic programming depending on what people know of it. To do it is not to trick people, but to step into somebody else's space in the world that they feel comfortable with you. 

If you've got the skill to do that, then that's one of the most important sales skills that you can possibly have. You want people to feel comfortable with you, know that they can trust you, and think that you are one of them.

If you know that you've got the best product in the world and it's absolutely going to be the right product for them no matter what, but you come across as a sleazy salesperson, is that going to necessarily break the rhythm or do you just have to encircle back into framing and future pacing?

Janeen: Some people make decisions straight away, but as you said, the logic thinkers would want more logic or sense behind it. So they just won't make a decision because they like the person. Even if the product is good, but the person is sleazy, some people will still make a decision based on the product and the value that the product offers. Most people will make a decision based on the person in the room, and they'll go find another product that does the same thing and something that they can feel comfortable with that person.

There are elements of coming down to exactly making sure that you're presenting the information for the audience that is there.

Janeen: Yes. That's important, but you look at how Steve Jobs delivers the products. It wasn't about the bells and whistles on the product. It was about how he made you feel about the bells and whistles on the product. And that's where you've got to come from with anything that you're selling—how is that going to solve the problem? How is it going to make them feel is such an important factor in every sales conversation? That's where the rapport comes in. How do you feel about that person? How do you feel about that product?

There's a video that's going around, and I use it in training. The CEO of Samsung went to present on the curved TV and he just blew it. His teleprompter went, he forgot what he was going to say, and he walked off the stage rather than try to get everyone engaged or do something. He just lost it with the audience. He didn't even attempt to build any connection with the audience at all.

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Must Read: Good Girls Do Sell by Janeen Vosper

Are there any books or areas that you think people should be jumping into to have a look to further understand how to build rapport and make sure they're not doing the wrong things, something weird to build rapport?

Janeen: Good Girls Do Sell. It's obviously my book. I usually say it's for women or any smart men. It really doesn't matter. It's not necessarily on this topic, but it explains a lot of the thinking like Is Malcolm Gladwell the tipping point and why some people can influence situations more than other people.

I think the most important thing is don't try and be somebody else. Don't try and force a sale. Don't feel desperate because it bleeds out of somebody if you're feeling desperate. Learn how to ask the right questions. Remember we have two ears and one mouth, so keep it to that ratio. 

If you're starting out a business and you're already stressed and you're freaking out, maybe you borrowed money against your house, you already put yourself in a spot, you started digging a hole down. You've got your partner saying it's is a dumb idea. Can you get rid of the desperate mess before you start? 

Janeen: You can do that, but it takes work on how to think about that. You can't just switch it on and switch it off if you're feeling like that. I'm always a believer in affirmations. I am calm and everything that I want in the world is going to flow to me easily. Take the desperateness out of it. You're not there to sell anything. You're there to help people who will buy from you.

The reason I was asking the desperate question over the 14 years that I've been in business, there's been a couple of times that I was freaking out, and I just noticed that nothing came my way from a new business perspective. Yet, when things are just flowing, it just seems it's a compounding effect. When it rains, it pours. 

Janeen: It really does come down to mindset. I was thinking about that on the weekend and I've just been overthinking and paying too much attention to things that are happening around Australia that have been bothering me, so I got a bit of backache this weekend. I was concentrating on other stuff, so I just open myself up to what I do and let stuff come in. I can't change anything else. I just have to let other things go and just focus on what I do. And then I've had two phone calls this morning for business.

Focus on what you can change and not on what you can't.

What Is Business Built Freedom

What is business freedom to you?

Business FreedomJaneen: Having worked for other businesses for a long period of time and then helping them be successful, building my own business and doing that for myself. I'm in a situation where I'm building it for myself. I've got VAs, but it's not at the stage where I want 100 employees. I just love what I do, get paid for it and can do it every day. 

For me, business freedom is if we want to go camping or get in the van, we can go do that. People say to me, you're always on holiday. That's what being in my own business is. The first thing I do each year for the whole calendar is lockout my holidays for the whole year. Why do we work? We work for our lifestyle.

We work to play.

If anyone out there is looking to build some rapport with their current clients or with anyone, jump across to and ask her how you can do that and see where you end up.

Janeen: I have free strategy calls. Jump on the website and book it in. We'll have a chat for 20 minutes, and see how I can help.

And she'll know straight away when you start talking in the first 3 seconds how you are doing and how she can help you out.


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