Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Networking Skills: How To Build Rapport With Anyone

Or, more simply, how to get a bigger tip ...



You know when you have rapport with someone because you just feel in tune with them. They're your kind of person, you warm to each other, you speak each other's language, they push your buttons and it's a meeting of minds ...

If you're finding it difficult to build rapport, then you need to change your behaviour style!

If you're finding it difficult to build rapport, then you need to change your behaviour style!

copyright: dreamerve / 123rf stock photo

With some people you meet, this just comes naturally. With others, you have to work at it and with some you just never seem to get there. If you can't connect, despite your best efforts, the chances are that you have very different behavioural styles.

The other person is not a monster or simply unpleasant and neither are you. They may be just the person who can really help you or someone you know, or you could help them. If only you could get on the same wavelength!

What positive outcomes could come from you adapting your behaviour to be more like theirs? In the words of Dr.Tony Allessandro, an expert on this subject, treat them the way they want to be treated. Mirror their behaviour.

Does this really work? Here's a little experiment undertaken by Professor Richard Wiseman (Professor of Public Understanding of Psychology) which involved waiters using mirroring and matched it against waiters using positive reinforcement. The results were quite enlightening.

The waiters were told to take orders from their tables, with one group of waiters using positive reinforcement like ''sure, no problem, great'' etc in response to each order. The other group of waiters were told to mirror their customers by simply repeating their orders back to them in the words they used.

The waiters who used the mirroring got an amazing 70% larger average tip than those who used positive reinforcement.

Now your interactions are a bit more complex than a waiter taking an order. However using a couple of simple methods you can largely adapt your style to mirror that of the other person and change your outcome to a positive one.

People tend to be either fast paced ("let's get on with it now") or more measured ("let me take this in, reflect on it and get back to you"). Equally, some people like to focus on getting the job done whilst others need to look after the people first.

I have written about this in more detail in two previous blogs entitled Your Behavioural Style and How To Walk In Another's Shoes both of which can give you some rapport building pointers.

For now, a quick rule of thumb to build rapport is to adapt your own preferred behavioural style and mirror the style of the person you want to influence. If they operate at a faster pace than you, speed up a bit. If you're leaving them behind all the time, then slow down, check if they need more detail (Bore Alert! I really do mean check before giving loads of detail)

If they're the sort of person who likes to get on the with job, save the social niceties until the end. On the other hand socially minded people - whatever their pace - will appreciate some small talk before getting onto business.

Gaining mastery over how to treat others the way they like to be treated will only increase your success! And that includes your network groups, your sales meetings and all your interactions with staff, suppliers, customers and your network.

"Learning how to build rapport is vital for any small business owner!"

If you'd like to learn more about building rapport and changing your behavioural style to match those people you're meeting with, call me on 07970 638857 or click here to email me and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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