By Dr. Karen Jacobson

Putting the R.A.P. in Rapport – Mastering the Art of High Power Communication
6 December 2017 | 11:20 am

Imagine hearing a conversation in a foreign language and immediately being able to understand what is said and communicate effectively in that language. How powerful would that be?  I’ve always had a secret fantasy of being able to do that. One of my favorite fictional characters is Lieutenant Commander Hoshi Sato, the Human Linguist from Star Trek Enterprise whose superpower is her ability to instantly connect with anyone.   I have always wanted to be it just like her.

Granted, speaking Klingon or Vulcan isn’t essential in the business world, or for that matter on planet Earth; yet the gift of being able to communicate effectively with anyone, at any time, in any given situation is extremely valuable.

Whether you have a product or a service, you are in sales. One of the biggest mistakes that people make in offering their products and services is working hard to sell something when there is no need or no perceived value.  When it comes to sales, proper communication is essential and can make all the difference between closing the deal or walking away empty handed.

What if you can look at your sales process in a completely different fashion? What if you were connecting to people and offering them solutions to their pain, suffering, and problems?

Delivering your message is more than just what you say. It is how you say what you say, when you say it, and why you say it and who you are when you deliver your message.

Whether in a one-on-one situation, on a stage or in writing, high power communication is an essential key to High Performance. It is a topic that I review with my clients both in sales and in relationships. Raising the level of your communication will deepen your connection with people and enhance your relationships, leading to higher affinity and increased sales.

Aside from choosing the proper target market, it is essential to make a connection with them. People want to feel valued and appreciated. Who do you do business with? People you like and care about. If you want people to do business with you, wouldn’t it help if they felt that you cared about them?  Show them you care, get to know them a bit, and build rapport.

We all have our own unique way of connecting and building rapport; look at it as your personal “Rap”. Most often it comes naturally and you don’t put much thought behind it. What if you made it intentional in order to uplevel your game and improve your results?

Let’s look at the strategy behind Putting the R.A.P. in Rapport.

R- Relate to Your Audience

A- Active Listening

P- Present Your Solution

R-Relate to Your Audience
 Your physiology and body language can help you make a connection. Keep your body open and your posture nonthreatening, give the other person proper personal space. Help them feel at ease. Remember like attracts like and connects to like.
Pay attention to your voice. Are your tone, volume, and pitch similar to your customer or audience?    How about your energy? Are you excited about making a new connection and the possibility of helping someone without overpowering them?

Are you speaking their language? Are you using terms that they can understand? One of the biggest mistakes is getting too technical by using professional jargon with someone who really doesn’t care.

A- Active Listening
What is behind the words? Are you truly listening to your audience? What are they asking for? Are they hesitant, do they have reservations? Remember, people will buy what they value and what they want, not necessarily what they need. They look for a solution to the problem, a relief for their pain or suffering. Are you listening to them and speaking their language?

Understanding your customers’ primary mode of communication will help you better relate to them. You can figure out their communication mode by listening to the words they use to describe things. People fall into the categories of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. In other words, some are more comfortable with seeing things, some need to hear things, and some need to feel things. Your primary mode of communication is the language in which you process information and connect to others.

Once you have successfully related to your customer or your audience, and actively listened to their problem, you can move to the third and final step by offering and presenting your solution.

P- Present Your Solution

People want solutions.  They want to know what is in it for them. They want to know that things will work and the problems will be resolved. Push a sale on them, and they will walk the other way. By using high power communication, you can connect with them, listen to them, identify their problem, and offer them a solution that will change their life.
Once the need and value have been established by understanding the problem, offering a solution is an easy process. Wouldn’t you give a fresh towel to someone who’s soaking wet? All they need is to dry off. You wouldn’t want to sell them Cologne, would you?

Effective communication in any situation is a combination of several actions. It is always a matter of having a good R.A.P.  Listening alone won’t build a good dialogue. However, when you listen and truly hear the other person, you have the ability to build better rapport with them. We all have the need to know we have a voice and are being heard. Practice all three aspects of communication and challenge yourself to master them. When you do that, you will build trust and a great following, and you will create loyal customers who will come back for more!

 

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