How do I build rapport with clients?
From training yourself to be more attuned to their needs to offering a genuine compliment, here are answers to the question, “How do you build rapport with clients?”
- Create a Community Around Your Brand
- Get to Know Your Clients
- Listen to Them and Anticipate their Needs
- Describe Their Issue
- Stick to a 24-hour Response Rule
- Be Empathetic to Build Rapport With Clients
- Train Yourself to Be More Attuned to their Needs
- A Good Sense of Humor
- Offer a Genuine Compliment:
- Find Similarity With Your Clients
- How to Build Rapport With Clients
- Discussing Business Goals Always Helps
- Live Real-time Sharing With Client Screen Shares
- Ask Your Clients About Themselves
Create a Community Around Your Brand
One way to build rapport with clients is to create a community around your brand. This can be done through social media, forums, and other online platforms. When you create a community, you’re showing your clients that you care about them and their experience with your brand. You’re also creating opportunities for them to interact with each other and share their experiences. When you build a community around your brand, you’re creating a place where people feel welcome and like they belong. This is a great way to build rapport with your clients and make them feel valued.
Get to Know Your Clients
Building rapport with clients is a critical aspect of successful business relationships and can have a significant impact on conversion rates. One effective strategy for establishing a positive relationship with a client is to demonstrate a genuine interest in them as a person. People generally enjoy talking about themselves, so asking open-ended questions and actively listening to the client’s responses can help establish trust and build a stronger connection. It’s also important to make an effort to remember details from these conversations and reference them in future interactions, as this shows the client that you value and remember their input, which can further strengthen the relationship. Additionally, by treating the client as more than just a customer, you can demonstrate your appreciation for their unique needs and priorities, which can encourage them to continue working with you over your competitors.
Listen to Them and Anticipate their Needs
Typically, clients have some expectations of what we can do for them and what kind of output they want to receive from us, so it is important to listen. Even if we are the experts in this matter and can talk for hours about the subject, which is a good thing to be able to predict and anticipate their needs before they state them, it is crucial to get certain information from clients by listening to their pain points in order to discuss the plan to work on.
We can also repeat their words to give confirmation that we are on the same page and to show that we are here to help them solve their problems.
Describe Their Issue
Nothing is more frustrating than having to explain your issue in detail to a customer service agent, only to have them instantly reply, “I understand, but..” and offer a defense that suggests they may not genuinely understand. Instead, try to rephrase the issue in your own words after paying close attention to the customer’s product or service complaint.
A good way to do this, for example, is to say, “So, based on what I understand, your main issue is that your system is running slowly, which makes it difficult to open multiple programs at once. Is that right?” This gives the customer the opportunity to either correct you, which will help you understand the issue better, or confirm that what you understood was correct.
Stick to a 24-hour Response Rule
Being a fully remote freelancer working with clients around the world, I don’t have the benefit of face-to-face contact with my clients. Most of our conversations happen via email, so for me, building rapport doesn’t rely on facial expressions, tone, and body language. I support my client relationships with responsiveness — I reply to all messages within 24 hours, even on weekends. I want clients to feel seen and heard, and never in the dark. I might not have all the information they need at the moment, but I do want them to know I’ve received their message. Responsiveness is a small but powerful gesture that helps every client feel like a priority, even when I’m swamped with other work or out of the office.
Be Empathetic to Build Rapport With Clients
Regardless of whether your call is proactive or reactive, the majority of these clients are calling you because they have had an issue with a good or service your business offers. Therefore, be ready to demonstrate customer empathy for any problem they may be experiencing. It can be easy to brush off a problem as common or inconsequential after talking with dozens of consumers about it. Or, if the problem seems insignificant, you can become aggressive. On the other hand, approach each client interaction as unique and unrelated to any others. You may ensure a more constructive dialogue by demonstrating your empathy for their issues, no matter how minor or significant they may appear to be.
Train Yourself to Be More Attuned to their Needs
When it comes to building an excellent rapport with clients, one of the most effective things to do is tune in to their needs and be completely present with them. When you can give them your full attention during interactions and read between the lines when necessary, you are likely to build a stronger bond with them over time. If they’re getting their needs met without making too many demands, they’re likely to appreciate it, trust you, and stick around for much longer.
A Good Sense of Humor
Establishing rapport with clients is a skillful endeavor. A good sense of humor serves as a powerful tool in the rapport-building process. You can use it to show understanding, humanize yourself, and defuse tension. It can also help you communicate more effectively, understand others, and get along well with people.
As a result, you become perceived as more likable. In the serious business world, humor is a superpower. It immediately boosts a positive atmosphere and creates trust. The role of humor in building rapport with clients is hard to overstate, as you can see.
Offer a Genuine Compliment:
“Today’s weather is beautiful, isn’t it?” is an example of a genuine compliment. Alternatively, “I like your necklace!” Even while praises can be a means to create a connection, you should only provide sincere compliments. If you say anything with the sole purpose of gaining someone’s approval, they may perceive you as dishonest.
You will know that your compliments are genuine since they are random and harmless. In essence, honest praise occurs when you see something about someone and feel compelled to tell them, without expecting anything in return.
Find Similarity With Your Clients
Building rapport is the first step in selling, and the results are significant. Seek a point of similarity with your client so you can compete on an equal footing. Finding points of agreement will increase the likelihood that you will get along well and like each other. You can establish and strengthen relationships by exploring shared interests and experiences with the other person.
Anyone who has connected with someone simply based on that one commonality understands how it feels. This includes people with whom you have shared a favorite TV show, favorite author, sport, activity, children of a similar age, hobbies, etc. Mirroring customers’ typical behaviors, i.e., those that they like, is another approach to putting the similarity principle into action so as to develop better connection and rapport.
How to Build Rapport With Clients
Matching and mirroring (not mimicking!) someone else’s behavior is one of the most effective ways to create rapport. Mirroring is a subconscious behavior that occurs in social circumstances, particularly among close friends or relatives. When you replicate someone’s behavior, they feel more connected to you, which increases their sense of participation and belonging in the situation. Conversely, you should make sure that you are not engaging in opposing behaviors that may lead to stress and disengagement from the group.
To replicate someone’s behavior, you must listen with your full body, not just your ears. You must observe the other person’s behavior and synchronize your own to match theirs. You should focus on the following: Posture and Gestures of the Body, Breathing in the same Pattern, Levels of Energy, and Tone.
Discussing Business Goals Always Helps
Building a rapport with clients is a continual process, but the one thing that helps you immediately hit it off is igniting a discussion of business goals. Every client is passionate about the business they lead or work for, and the goals they have in mind for the growth of their brand not only make for a great conversation but also offer the opportunity to reveal how you can fit into these plans.
In building a connection between the services you offer and the client’s business goals, you find the chance to introduce a mutually beneficial roadmap. This approach also tells your client that you are genuinely interested in partnering with their business and are even willing to tweak your efforts to align with their goals.
Live Real-time Sharing With Client Screen Shares
As the owner of a small animation studio, I understand the importance of building strong relationships with clients. My favorite way I do this is by using video calls to actively involve clients in the project process. For example, when working on a 3D model, I will share my screen and allow the client to see the progress in real time.
This helps them feel more connected to the project and confident in my abilities. Additionally, by actively engaging with the client through questions and seeking approvals, I am able to demonstrate my expertise and establish trust in our working relationship.
Ask Your Clients About Themselves
Building rapport with clients is about social skills and understanding people. The first thing to do is ask them how they are doing or how their day/week/weekend/holiday was and let them talk. When they talk, you listen. As you listen, take mental notes on certain topics and keywords they’re bringing up. These topics and keywords are important to remember because you should refer back to them at the start of your next meeting. This will highlight that you’re a good listener and you care about what is going on in your client’s life. As a result, they begin to feel invested in the relationship along with your business and rapport is built!
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