How to Build Rapport and Relationships Like a Guru
Want to know the fastest way to drastically improve your life? Build relationships! It is no secret that most lucky breaks in life occur because of who you know or get to know. However, meeting new people is only half the battle. If you want your new acquaintances to act on your behalf, you must quickly build rapport.
Rapport is a relationship of mutual trust where a natural liking exists. People buy from, hire, promote, partner with and generally help those that they like. The more people you meet and build rapport with, the more likely you are to succeed. It is that simple.
Six steps to quickly building rapport with new acquaintances Building rapport with others is not rocket science or voodoo magic. It is eloquently simple, but very powerful. How well you build rapport can make you or break you.
These steps are mainly aimed at those seeking business relationships, but the principles apply to personal relationships as well. You can apply these steps just about anywhere.
Follow these six steps and you’ll make a deeper connection with new acquaintances faster than ever before!
1. Make a great first impression.
You’ve heard it before, but it is worth repeating. You only get one shot at making a first impression. Don’t blow it! Here are a few tips that will help:
- Look good. Buy at least one really nice set of clothing that fits well and conforms with the environment where you plan to meet people. In business, this usually means a suit, but it could mean something totally different if you are trying to meet potential marriage partners. Make sure you are well-groomed and clean. For men, being clean-shaven is usually the best bet, but if you do have a beard or mustache, be sure it is neatly trimmed. How you look has a lot to do with the impression you make so don’t scrimp here. Also, when you look good, you feel more confident which will help you build rapport.
- Smile and make eye contact. When you meet someone, be sure to smile and make eye contact with them. The person you meet is reading your body language and these two gestures will have a significant positive impact. Smiling will put them at ease and making eye contact will convey confidence.
- Give a firm handshake. There is nothing worse than a limp handshake. It screams weakness and lack of confidence. It is an automatic turn-off. Please learn how to shake hands properly! This goes for both men and women. A good handshake will help build the right foundation with your new acquaintance.
2. Establish common ground.
Try to establish something in common with your new acquaintance early on. This is where doing some homework up front can help. Do a little research to learn what you can about your new friend beforehand. Ask others if they know this person or Google their name to try to discover something you have in common.
Once you find a common interest, use it to build rapport. You can can say, “Hey, I heard that you are into bicycling.” They will be impressed and flattered that you took the time to learn something about them. It will also help them to remember you.
This assumes of course that you were expecting to meet this person. If this is a chance encounter, then you are going to have to do some digging quickly to find common ground. Ask open-ended questions to try to uncover something in common.
Above all, be authentic here! Don’t fake a common interest with your new acquaintance. It will likely become obvious and kill the relationship before it ever gets off the ground.
3. Let them hear their name.
We all like to hear our names. Make a point to use the person’s name as you speak to them. However, don’t over do it. Make sure it sounds natural, but make sure to use their name. Calling your acquaintance by their name will help you make a connection.
As you do this, be sure you get their name right and avoid being too informal. Don’t call someone by their first name unless it is clearly appropriate. Also, don’t act overly familiar too soon. For example, don’t shorten William to Bill or Samantha to Sam.
4. Affirm one of their strengths.
Compliment your new acquaintance on one of their strengths. There must be something you admire about your new friend. Otherwise, why are you wanting to get to know them? Let them know it by affirming their strength.
Again, overdoing this is probably not a good idea. Offering a brief compliment is acceptable, but don’t become an obvious schmoozer or brown-noser. This can be a real turn-off.
5. Follow-up after the introduction.
Following-up after an initial meeting is vitally important and it is rarely done. This is a fantastic way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. I have used this successfully many times.
If you really want to make a good impression, then I recommend sending a handwritten thank you note. It will have a greater impact than sending an email. It is more personal, more unique and more powerful. Get it in the mail the same day or the next day at the latest.
In your follow-up, tell your acquaintance how much you enjoyed meeting them and let them know that you’d like to get together again soon.
6. Ask for another meeting.
At this point, you should have paved the way for a second meeting. After a few days have passed and you’re sure your new friend has received the follow-up note card, call them and ask for a another meeting.
Offering to buy someone lunch is a fantastic way to set up a second meeting! Make it easy for them to accept your offer. Be willing to amend your schedule and ask them where they’d like to go. This will make it almost impossible for them to refuse!
This is your chance to solidify your rapport and to start to convert your acquaintance to an actual relationship. Don’t come on too strong! Go light on pressing your agenda. You don’t want to scare off your new friend by making them think they are being used. If you do this right, then they’ll be plenty of time later for discussing business.
A little effort can go a long way in building rapport
These six steps will help you build rapport and relationships like a guru. Applying a little intentional effort can make a huge difference. Remember, make friends first and then you can ask for their help. Also, it is always a good idea to do something that benefits your friend before you ask them for a favor.
Jeff Nickles is the author and editor of http://MySuperChargedLife.com. You can visit the site and sign-up to receive his articles for free. He writes on the topics of excellence, personal finance, family matters, entrepreneurship, and adventure.
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