There are some people who have a natural advantage when it comes to selling. Even though we want to believe deeply that it is science, that it can be deconstructed, and that it can be taught, some of these natural advantages are difficult to teach, train, develop, or replicate.
One of my younger sisters is able to generate a relationship using her voice on the telephone. She is tremendously effective at cold calling, and I once joined her on a sales call where the prospective client hugged her as soon as they met. She was able to develop that level of a relationship during the three or four cold calls that she made, the final one resulting in an appointment. I am not sure how you teach people to connect so quickly and so deeply during a cold call that their prospective client hugs them upon meeting face to face.
My other sister has fast rapport skills in person. She has the ability to quickly connect with people on a very personal level. By the end of a meeting, her clients disclose things to her that would not be disclosed to another salesperson. There is something about her that people connect with instantly, and she generates massive trust because of who she is. She was never given a course or training about how to get people to candidly reveal things about their personal and professional life. And this isn’t something that can be reverse-engineered and taught to other people.
One of the things that strikes me about ideas like challenging your prospective client with insights is how easy this is for people with fast rapport building skills and deep insights, and how difficult it can be for people who have much slower rapport skills—even when they have the subject matter expertise.
This is not to say that you can’t sell with slower rapport skills. Some people develop relationships much slower, but get there nonetheless. It takes them longer, but the relationships are no less deep than those created by those with fast rapport skills.
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Filed under: Relationships