Have you ever experienced or witnessed a conversation where two persons are sharing same point of view but still not in sync?
Do you find it difficult in getting customers to listen to you in challenging situations?
Have you ever experienced that a customer does not understand what you say and instantly agrees to the same when a colleague conveys the same message?
This all happens when you are not in rapport with the person you are talking to and if you relate yourself with the situations which I talked about, than this article will definitely help you to unleash the resources which you have, to build rapport on the fly. Rapport is build when one feels a sense of commonality.
RAPPORT IS A STATE OF HARMONIOUS UNDERSTANDING WITH ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP THAT ENABLES EASIER & EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.
The research done long back on how people receive and respond to live communication says that 7% of message is conveyed through words, so choice of words becomes important, 38% comes through the voice quality (speed, volume, rhythm, accent etc.) we use and remaining but the biggest part is taken care by your body language i.e. your gestures, expressions, postures etc.
In this article, I am focusing on the communication which we do on call, I would focus about the choice of words and quality (tonality, speed, accent) of voice and few needs in my knowledge which leads to building rapport on the fly.
To understand this, we need to first understand how we use our senses to represent our experiences which enables us to shape our perceptions which influences our ability to communicate with people.
Normally we are born with 5 senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell & taste and ability to experience an emotional connection with others. We experience the external world using these 5 senses.
As we experience reality, we selectively filter information from our environment in three broad ways – visual, auditory & kinesthetic which forms a representational system.
We naturally access all our senses to create the reality of external world but in any particular context, one sense may dominate. Based on this dominating representational system, people are responsive to either pictures, sound or words.
Once we are able to identify the dominating representational system of the person on the other side, we can very well build rapport through words & voice quality (tonality, speed, accent).
This all begins with the most critical business skill i.e. power listening. We must carefully listen customer’s language preference & voice tone and notice how to control our feelings and decide on our best response. Listening will pace us with customer and then we can lead. This exercise becomes much easier when we understand this fact that we are 100% responsible for the response we get from the customer when we are engaged in a dialogue. If how we are communicating is not working, we have to be more flexible to change our style of communication. We also need to think about desired outcome and accordingly construct our communication. As this might be a new way of communication for you, it will take a conscious effort but if it is practiced in routine behavior, it soon becomes an unconscious game.
Getting in the shoes of customer and feeling the pain and urgency assists us in eliciting the response desired. Although we are talking about 45% of the medium of communication, still the physiology has an impact on the tonality of voice. So one can adjust the sitting postures, choose to stand or take few steps back and forth to match & mirror the voice tonality, speed etc.
While doing all this we have to be very careful to make sure that we are not mimicking the person on other side or else we would break the rapport even before we build it. It is dangerous 🙂
SO HOW DO WE IDENTIFY THE DOMINATING REPRESENTATIONAL SYSTEM USED BY CUSTOMER?
65% of the population are visual learners, people with dominating visual rep. system normally talks fast, has high and clear voice tone, they understand better by pictures and diagrams rather than written words, so while talking to them we can use more words and phrases which can help them create an image. These people like to get down to business quickly and wants to know the bottom lines instead of too much details and are task oriented. They might be blunt at times and are easily agitated by delays.
When you are talking to someone who prefers the Visual Rep. System you should avoid small talk and get to the point quickly and stick to it. Do not beat around the bush. Do not share too much details if not asked for but instead give them the big picture. Do not waste their time and by all means be on time if it’s a scheduled call.
BELOW ARE JUST FEW WORDS AND PHRASES USED BY VISUAL DOMINATING PEOPLE AND NOT LIMITED TO JUST THESE
Look, See, Show, Picture, Image, Imagine, Bright, Blank, Clear, Colour, Dim, Focus, Graphics, Illuminate, Insight, Luminous, Perspective, Visualize, Vision etc.
appears to me, clear view, I see, see you later, mental picture, big picture, put a frame around this thought,
It looks like. . ., A glimpse of reality, We looked after our Interests, This is clear cut, Show me what you Mean
Around 30% of the population is made up of auditory learners, who learn best through hearing. They’ll be the one in your meeting asking a lot of questions! Auditory learners tend to like to discuss what they hear right away.
People with dominating audio rep. System has melodious tone and talks at a medium pace and often has an underlying rhythm. They normally repeating skills to sort through the information that is sent to them.
They are good story tellers i.e. they will tell you issues in details and even bring upon old issues and exaggerate. They love talking on phone and end up taking too long on calls. They may share lot many ideas on call to support you. They lack focus and get scattered hence you need to help them staying on task. These people would quickly jump in to respond to questions asked.
BELOW ARE JUST FEW WORDS AND PHRASES USED BY AUDITORY DOMINATING PEOPLE AND NOT LIMITED TO JUST THESE
Argue, hear, ask, deaf, discuss, loud, harmony, melody, outspoken, question, resonate, say, shout, shrill, sing, tell, tone, utter, vocal, yell etc.
It sounds like. . ., sounds good to me, I hear you, So you say, I heard it from his own Lips, Important to ask me, We’re on the same wavelength, this rings the bell etc.
Kinesthetic are only 5% people across the world. These people tend to ask too many questions and are very patient, listening to others talk. They make decisions slower as they seek the advice of others before deciding on something. They would like to join you in troubleshooting and help you during the course. These people dislike risks and a lot many changes. They work and move more on gut feeling.
BELOW ARE JUST FEW WORDS AND PHRASES USED BY KINESTHETIC DOMINATING PEOPLE AND NOT LIMITED TO JUST THESE
Cold, bounce, exciting, feel, firm, flow, grasp, movement, pushy, solid, snap, touch, trample, weight etc.
It feels like. . ., We reshaped the work, Moving through, Get to grips with, Solid as a rock
While following all said, you need to demonstrate that you can see the other person’s point of view. Remember rapport is all about finding similarities and ‘being on the same wavelength’ as somebody else – so being empathetic will help to achieve this.
While talking to customer if we fulfill few needs then we are good to go for building rapport with customers.
Each one of us needs certainty and customer is no different. If we can assure this than customer can predict what happens in future and feel in safe hands. Providing information fulfills this need of certainty and leads to have a rapport with you.
Significance or importance is the other need which when fulfilled, customer feels that his reported problem and situation is as important to you as it is to him. Appreciating customer for providing the required information also works a lot many times.
Progress is the next need for customer. Progressive updates are the progress which customers look upon. If we are able to fulfill this need, customer understands that you are owning this and are caring for the issue faced. You are enabling customer to face his internal queries.
There is lot more in building rapport and body language holds a lot into this. Will come to the other part in some other article some other day.