Rapport leadership training involves remembering people and engaging in active listening.
How do you feel when you meet someone, perhaps a business person, who you’ve only seen once before at meeting… and they remember you AND your name?
It feels great doesn’t it? And, be honest, rather flattering too. And because of that you probably have more rapport with them.
Now let’s turn that around and say it’s you who always manages to remember people and their names. Do you think they just might be more interested in doing business with you? Or recommending you to their business colleagues who are looking for what you offer?
When you are introduced to someone make sure you hear their name clearly.
For rapport leadership training the challenge we all have is to silence or ignore our own thoughts. Especially whilst other people are talking.
How often have you drifted off in your mind whilst someone is talking?
Perhaps, like I used to be, you are guilty of finishing people’s sentences for them? It took me a while to stop that one, I can tell you! Especially with people who were more precise in their conversation and took their time to finish a sentence, it could be agonizing for me.
Or if you don’t interrupt, perhaps you are busy thinking about what you are going to say just as soon as they stop to take a breath. Yep, been guilty of that too!
Guilty, that is, until I found this neat trick, Active Listening, which is a pretty good description.
It’s great for group meetings; presentations; 1-to-1 meetings; in fact, any conversations at all.
Here’s what you do…
Repeat, internally, everything the other person is saying. I think you’ll be surprised at the unexpected benefit you get; here’s 7:
By the way, it is a good idea to practice these rapport leadership training techniques in private or with a group of friends or business colleagues before ‘going live’. The other person will find it a bit disconcerting if you stare at them with a glazed look in your eyes. And they certainly will not be flattered if you move your lips whilst repeating their words internally!
Do you attend business networking meetings? Yes? Why?
When thinking about rapport leadership training, most people, when asked that question, reply “To meet people I could possibly do business with.” And yet very often these business people don’t prepare before the meeting or make the most of the meeting itself.
Here are 8 rules of rapport leadership training for making connections at your business networking meetings…
Before the Meeting
1) Prepare before you attend. Is this the right meeting for you? Will the people attending be either your target prospects or target suppliers?
2) What’s your purpose in attending? Do you want to find 3 new business contacts you can nurture for sales? Or do you need a new supplier for a particular product or service?
3) If possible get an attendee list before the event? Go through the list and mark the people or companies you are interested in, either as a prospect or supplier.
4) Arrive early. It is a lot easier to greet people as they arrive and have them join YOU, than it is to arrive later and then try to ‘break into’ conversations that have already started.
At The Meeting
5) Learn as much as you can about the people you meet. Find out how you can help them to find prospects (you create a feeling of gratitude and they make more effort to find contacts for you). Ask “Who/what is your ideal customer?” Ask questions about him (or her); his interests; how long he’s been in that business; what’s his biggest challenge. And actively
listen to his answer. Active listening is key to rapport leadership training.
6) When meeting other business people ask yourself “Do I know anyone who would be a useful contact for this person, as a prospect or supplier?”
When you are asked a question, such as “What do you do?” have a succinct, but preferably intriguing, answer. Don’t launch into a full presentation. Use your elevator speech.
7) Introduce people you have met to others you know at the meeting. Make it easier for them to meet people they don’t know… again they appreciate you and warm towards you. And, of course, the other person also respects you for your consideration.
8) For rapport leadership training collect the business cards of people who you want to create a relationship with; prospect or supplier. Make notes on the cards: the meeting or event name, date & venue, any comments the other person made that could be useful and, if it is not obvious on their card, what their business is.
Networking is about creating relationships, so consider how you can help the people you meet – and that does not always mean by selling something to him (or her). Think about who you can introduce him to; people who need his services or products, or can supply something he has expressed an interest in that you are not able to supply.
Remember it is more important to collect cards rather than give yours out. When you collect cards you stay in control because you can make the next contact. If you give your card out, you have to wait for the other person to get in touch with you – and that may never happen.
You’ve had a successful business networking meeting. You’ve gathered dozens, maybe more, business cards. You remembered to make notes on the cards to remind you about the person you met. Now what next for rapport leadership training?
In my early years in business I’d attend business meetings or events and happily gather up the business cards being handed out. When I got back to the office I’d follow up with a few people, who I’d spoken to specifically, but the rest of the cards were put to one side.
Because I went to so many gatherings I soon built up a huge pile of business cards – do you do that?
The problem was for the majority of them I hadn’t got a clue who had given it to me (the names didn’t really mean anything) or what the company did (I wasn’t very good at making notes on the cards then either ).
Follow-up is important for rapport leadership training and before you do that… it helps to get organized… and that’s what this technique helps with – I can’t remember who told me about it – but it works really well.
1) Sort through your cards and split into 3 distinct piles; Hot, Warm and Cold…
HOT: These are the people who you have arranged to contact, either because they want information from you or you have thought of someone you can put them in touch with or you need something from them. For rapport leadership training, they are the people you are probably more keen to create a business relationship with.
WARM: These are the people who you believe you could do business with, either selling or purchasing, in the future. But you have no strong reason to contact them immediately.
COLD: These are the people who have no direct connection with what you offer; cannot provide a service or product you need and do not easily bring to mind anyone you could connect them with.
2) Take action with the cards you’ve sorted:
HOT: Contact each person and arrange to meet for coffee or a more formal meeting. Or drop in with the information he/she has requested from you. Or ask for the information you need from them. Remember, if you are supplying information personal delivery makes a good impression.
WARM: For rapport leadership training, write a letter or email to each person, reminding him/her where you met and what you talked about (actually what THEY talked about is better). Make sure your message talks about him/her and, if you do mention what you offer, make sure you write from their point of view and highlight the benefits your service or product provides. See below for an example.
By the way – because everyone uses email these days, you really stand out if you send a personally written letter. Plus you don’t have to be concerned about whether or not your email will get through their spam filtering system.
COLD: There is no reason to keep these business cards – so discard them.
3) Keep a close eye on the progress you make with the contacts whose details you’ve decided to keep… create a chart that shows how you are developing the relationship.
It was a pleasure to meet you at the [BUSINESS MEETING OR NETWORK EVENT WHERE YOU MET] meeting [DATE OF THE MEETING]. I do hope it proved to be a successful one for you.
You mentioned that [BRIEF STATEMENT OF WHAT THEY TOLD YOU ABOUT THE PRODUCT / SERVICE THAT THEY OFFER], which I found very interesting. I have your business card so I will certainly keep you in mind if I come across anyone who is looking for [PRODUCT / SERVICE FROM THEIR COMPANY]
If you find yourself talking to a business contact who needs [YOUR SERVICE/PRODUCT], I would really appreciate it if you would be kind enough to mention that I offer these services products.
[QUALIFY WHAT YOU OFFER, IF NECESSARY] I appreciate that it is not always easy to gauge whether my services product would be right for them, so I offer a free I-hour discussion to explore their [WHATEVER
AREA IS APPROPRIATE] and offer suggestions that may be helpful. Taking this offer does not put them under any obligation (other than perhaps to tell other people about me, the same as you did).
Of course, this offer is also available to you, if you believe it would be useful.
I am sure we will meet at other business events and I look forward to speaking to you again.
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