Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Building Rapport - Executive Style

In a recent newsletter, sales trainer Kelley Robertson shared some excellent advice on how to establish rapport with prospects. While we all know how important this step is, "the majority of people follow the same approach by making small talk at the beginning of the says conversation," says Robertson. "While this technique used to be effective, it is not necessarily the best approach in today's hectic business world, especially if you deal directly with C-level decision-makers."

Robertson continues, "Let's face it, executives are far from stupid. Glancing around their office and commenting about a photo, award, or some other observation is a transparent tactic."

Here are three ways Robertson suggests you develop rapport with executives:

1. Get to the point quickly. Don't waste time on small talk that is unrelated to the matters at hand. Start your conversation with, "I know that you are busy so I'll get right to the point." Your prospect will appreciate this.

2. Demonstrate that you have done some research. Comment on industry trends or refer to information gleaned from your prospect's website or annual report. Executives respect people who do their homework before the sales call.

3. Finish early. If you have 30 minutes allotted for your meeting, finish it in 25 minutes or less. respect their time and they will respect you.

"This will get you started and will help you differentiate yourself from many of your competitors," says Robertson. Now, quit the small talk and get started!

Kelley Robertson is the President and founder of Robertson Training Group. He specializes in helping businesses increase their sales, develop better negotiating skills, coach and motivate their employees, create powerful work teams and deliver outstanding customer service. learn more by visiting
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