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The Right Way to Build Rapport
Episode 282nd February 2024 • Connect & Convert: The Sales Accelerator Podcast • Sales RX and Wizard of Ads Employee Optimization
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Every salesperson knows that connecting with customers is essential. But taking rapport too far by forcing unwanted bonding can hurt your credibility and cost you sales. Host Dennis Collins and co-host Leah Bumphrey offer insider tips for small business owners, helping them walk the delicate line between developing authentic connections and coming across as fake or overly aggressive, resulting in awkward interactions that undermine trust and turn off customers. Learn how active listening and strategy-based rapport can accelerate sales success.

Transcripts

Dennis Collins:

Welcome to another episode of Connect and Convert.

Dennis Collins:

Insider tips for small business owners who are looking to accelerate their sales.

Dennis Collins:

Hi, I'm Dennis Collins.

Dennis Collins:

Hey, my connect and Convert partner.

Dennis Collins:

Say hello,

Leah Bumphry:

Hello, hello.

Leah Bumphry:

Leah Bumphry from sunny Saskatoon at your service.

Dennis Collins:

Saskatoon, always at your service.

Dennis Collins:

Thanks for joining again today.

Dennis Collins:

Absolutely.

Dennis Collins:

Today, Leah, we're gonna talk about something that doesn't even sound

Dennis Collins:

like it might be a sales conversation.

Dennis Collins:

Why is it that BFFs don't close deals?

Dennis Collins:

Now, for those of you who may Leah explain what a BFF is, some

Dennis Collins:

people may not know honestly.

Leah Bumphry:

That is best, best friend forever.

Leah Bumphry:

That is people that you have friend tight, tight relationship with, and you

Leah Bumphry:

don't have to be texting to know BFF.

Leah Bumphry:

That's been around long time,

Dennis Collins:

long time, but I wanna make sure everybody understands.

Dennis Collins:

Okay, so let's start today.

Dennis Collins:

Leah, you are a storyteller.

Dennis Collins:

You love to tell stories.

Dennis Collins:

Would you tell me a brief little story right now?

Dennis Collins:

Just something, whatever you want.

Leah Bumphry:

You know, surprised I was speaking last night, Dennis, you and I

Leah Bumphry:

were talking about our shared love of, uh, uh, the Canadian Mountains and getting

Leah Bumphry:

out there in that fresh air and gorgeous.

Leah Bumphry:

And when our three boys were much smaller, no size, 13 feet, then we would go skiing.

Leah Bumphry:

And one time we were skiing and we made friends with one of the surfers in the

Leah Bumphry:

restaurants and she loved the boys.

Leah Bumphry:

Great manners.

Leah Bumphry:

They were plowing down all kinds of pastas and food, anything she would recommend.

Leah Bumphry:

On our last day, we asked her, okay, we've got a couple of days we're done skiing.

Leah Bumphry:

What do you recommend?

Leah Bumphry:

And she gave us directions to go to an actual, uh, outdoor rustic, not, you

Leah Bumphry:

know, not a, not a, um, a park, but, uh.

Leah Bumphry:

Uh, hot springs in the mountains.

Leah Bumphry:

So we had to travel up this goat trail.

Leah Bumphry:

We got just about to the point where I'm looking down the edge

Leah Bumphry:

from the passenger seat thinking, okay, we're not gonna do this.

Leah Bumphry:

Anyways, we got up there, there were actual hot springs by the

Leah Bumphry:

Raging River people from all over Europe, Canada, the state.

Leah Bumphry:

The boys have never forgotten that.

Leah Bumphry:

And when you and I were talking about the Kenmore Banff area, I remembered that.

Dennis Collins:

Wow.

Dennis Collins:

What?

Dennis Collins:

Gee, that's, that's great.

Dennis Collins:

But that, listen to this.

Dennis Collins:

Let me tell you something, Banff.

Dennis Collins:

Okay?

Dennis Collins:

I love Banff.

Dennis Collins:

You love Banff?

Dennis Collins:

Yep.

Dennis Collins:

Yep.

Dennis Collins:

Banff Springs Hotel.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

If you wanna talk about a spa treatment.

Dennis Collins:

I mean, you aren't gonna believe they have three different

Dennis Collins:

pools, cold, warm, and hot.

Dennis Collins:

And you jump in the hot and the cold and go back and forth.

Dennis Collins:

And I mean, it's the most amazing thing.

Dennis Collins:

And I mean, it, it, it's, and you don't have to climb up any

Dennis Collins:

paths or anything, you just, you know, you just kind of just go.

Dennis Collins:

And.

Leah Bumphry:

That's a little fancier than what we were seeing

Leah Bumphry:

with the water rage in there and a little bit of snow on the side.

Dennis Collins:

Oh yeah.

Dennis Collins:

Well, and, and speak of the snow.

Dennis Collins:

I've never seen so much snow in my life, as I saw in Banff.

Dennis Collins:

I mean, it's piled up by the, uh, foot, oh, you call it centimeters, I think, in

Dennis Collins:

Canada, but we call it feet in the us.

Dennis Collins:

Yes, it's, oh yeah.

Dennis Collins:

It's feet high, feet high.

Dennis Collins:

It's crazy.

Dennis Collins:

I've never seen so much snow.

Dennis Collins:

Have you ever seen anything like that in Banff ever?

Dennis Collins:

It's crazy.

Dennis Collins:

I love it.

Leah Bumphry:

Yeah.

Leah Bumphry:

It's gorgeous.

Leah Bumphry:

You'd almost ski down the, the, the parking lot, the, the road files.

Leah Bumphry:

Yep.

Dennis Collins:

Yes, it's great.

Dennis Collins:

Okay, so what, what just happened there?

Dennis Collins:

What, what just happened?

Dennis Collins:

Leah told the story.

Dennis Collins:

What did I do?

Leah Bumphry:

You had a story too, kind of connected, kind of not.

Dennis Collins:

Kind of connected, kind of not.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

But let's say this was a sales situation.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

Let's say this was a sales situation.

Dennis Collins:

Have you ever thought to yourself or had your salesperson say to you, if you're a

Dennis Collins:

sales manager, I've got this deal, this client loves me, my rapport will pull

Dennis Collins:

me through, and then it didn't close.

Dennis Collins:

Have you ever had that happen?

Dennis Collins:

Leah?

Leah Bumphry:

I have.

Leah Bumphry:

And it hurts.

Leah Bumphry:

That one hurts your heart.

Dennis Collins:

That one hurts the soul, the heart, right?

Dennis Collins:

So what I was trying to do when you were telling me the story was relate to your

Dennis Collins:

story, but top you, Hey, can remember the game we used to play as kids?

Dennis Collins:

Can you top that?

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

A person says something, ba ba, ba ba, ba.

Dennis Collins:

Hey, I can top that.

Dennis Collins:

Oh, I can top that.

Dennis Collins:

So I was trying to top what you said.

Dennis Collins:

I was trying to embellish it beyond what you said, and I, and it continued

Dennis Collins:

into a fairly not long conversation, but certainly not a brief conversation.

Dennis Collins:

Did you hear how that went?

Leah Bumphry:

Absolutely.

Leah Bumphry:

And what did I try and do?

Leah Bumphry:

I tried to bring it back.

Leah Bumphry:

I tried to bring That's, that's different.

Leah Bumphry:

Yep.

Leah Bumphry:

Different.

Leah Bumphry:

I tried to bring it back to my story's, but that doesn't happen.

Dennis Collins:

But what happens in a sales conversation, we are taught,

Dennis Collins:

we, it's drilled into our brains.

Dennis Collins:

Rapport.

Dennis Collins:

Rapport.

Dennis Collins:

Rapport.

Dennis Collins:

That's first.

Dennis Collins:

That's foremost.

Dennis Collins:

That's essential.

Dennis Collins:

It it is.

Dennis Collins:

And it is.

Dennis Collins:

It is.

Dennis Collins:

But let me ask you this question.

Dennis Collins:

Can rapport go south?

Dennis Collins:

Can it go wrong?

Dennis Collins:

Can you ever have too much rapport?

Dennis Collins:

Hmm.

Dennis Collins:

Well, we'll discuss that, all of that next, but first, it pays

Dennis Collins:

to listen to our entire episode.

Dennis Collins:

Why?

Dennis Collins:

Because you ask, we answer, you ask, and we answer.

Dennis Collins:

Connect, Convert, and a third C, Communicate.

Dennis Collins:

Send your questions.

Dennis Collins:

From our view will accept questions from our viewers and our listeners.

Dennis Collins:

Stay tuned.

Dennis Collins:

We'll let you know how to get in touch to see when we get to your question.

Dennis Collins:

Does this stuff really work?

Dennis Collins:

We will address that now in every single episode, every week, where we'll give a

Dennis Collins:

real-life example of how this material that we've been talking about worked.

Dennis Collins:

In a real sales situation and maybe the most exciting for me,

Dennis Collins:

Leah, and maybe for you, it's our weekly breakthrough challenge.

Dennis Collins:

Yes, we will challenge you to have your own personal breakthrough.

Dennis Collins:

Talk to us about that one.

Dennis Collins:

Leah, what does that mean?

Leah Bumphry:

Well, it's all, I mean, we, we, there are so many videos, there's so

Leah Bumphry:

many solid training opportunities that we can listen to everywhere and Dennis,

Leah Bumphry:

I think the most important thing you and I agree on is that it's in the action.

Leah Bumphry:

It's in the doing.

Leah Bumphry:

You actually make it your own and create Yes, uh, success out of it.

Leah Bumphry:

So all of this vast knowledge that, that you have, that, that, that,

Leah Bumphry:

uh, that you're willing to share, that I, that I've experienced,

Leah Bumphry:

that I wanna tell people about.

Leah Bumphry:

It means nothing if people aren't doing something with it.

Leah Bumphry:

And.

Leah Bumphry:

Some of the examples we've had of listeners that have, uh, emailed us and

Leah Bumphry:

let us know where it made a difference.

Leah Bumphry:

I think it's worth sharing because it's specific, it's, um, sometimes the details

Leah Bumphry:

are gonna be different than what we see in our life, but in business specifics matter

Leah Bumphry:

and if you miss something, then it, it.

Leah Bumphry:

If you miss the specifics of how to and how somebody else is using it,

Leah Bumphry:

you're not gonna be moving forward.

Leah Bumphry:

So what we're wanting to do with the, with the weekly challenges, what, what

Leah Bumphry:

did you do and what did it change?

Leah Bumphry:

What did you notice?

Leah Bumphry:

Yeah.

Leah Bumphry:

What was positive about it?

Leah Bumphry:

How did you break it is everybody's opportunity to, to um, to share

Leah Bumphry:

their success with other people.

Leah Bumphry:

And I think that's part of forming a community and a tribe.

Dennis Collins:

And guess what?

Dennis Collins:

When we get your responses to our Breakthrough Challenge, you'll

Dennis Collins:

become eligible for a free seat at an upcoming Wizard of Ads Academy class.

Dennis Collins:

Yes.

Dennis Collins:

A free seat.

Dennis Collins:

Which leads me to the point, what is Wizard Academy?

Dennis Collins:

Leah, I was just there, uh, Boomer and I were there for a fabulous class

Dennis Collins:

taught by Dave Young, uh, portals and the 12 languages of the mind,

Dennis Collins:

uh, transformational as always.

Dennis Collins:

Uh, I know you're going soon.

Dennis Collins:

Uh, I am.

Dennis Collins:

Tell us about your experiences.

Leah Bumphry:

I am so excited.

Leah Bumphry:

I've been down there a few times.

Leah Bumphry:

I've, I've had, even my, one of my boys has gone a couple of times.

Leah Bumphry:

Um, wizard academy.org is where you can check out what the classes are, but it's

Leah Bumphry:

all about, talk about transformation.

Leah Bumphry:

About taking what we know in our, our, our heart, what we

Leah Bumphry:

know in our head, and moving it forward towards business success.

Leah Bumphry:

And how do we do that?

Leah Bumphry:

Well, that's why we're talking today.

Leah Bumphry:

That's why there are classes, everything from uh, creative ways of communicating

Leah Bumphry:

to creative ways of listening.

Leah Bumphry:

That's what you end up learning.

Dennis Collins:

You got it and you won't be disappointed.

Dennis Collins:

Wizardacademy.org, Wizardacademy.org, take a look at the classes coming

Dennis Collins:

up here in twenty-twenty-four.

Dennis Collins:

I think you will find one you like.

Dennis Collins:

We hope to see you there.

Dennis Collins:

So, as you know, if you've listened to this, uh, podcast, you know

Dennis Collins:

that I listen to many, many hours of recorded sales conversations.

Dennis Collins:

Boy, do I learn from those conversations.

Dennis Collins:

Several come to mind.

Dennis Collins:

There's one I'm thinking of right now, Leah.

Dennis Collins:

I actually thought I was listening in to a frat party or a social conversation.

Dennis Collins:

It was almost like being on a first date.

Dennis Collins:

Boy, that's hard for me to remember, but it reminded me of being on at a party.

Dennis Collins:

You know, customers, they have needs, but I gotta tell you something,

Dennis Collins:

they don't need a new best friend.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

I call it forced bonding.

Dennis Collins:

Forced bonding.

Dennis Collins:

That's what I heard on that recording.

Dennis Collins:

I am going to make you like me no matter what.

Dennis Collins:

Okay?

Dennis Collins:

Mm-Hmm.

Dennis Collins:

I am going to comment and top every story you tell because I think that's relatable.

Dennis Collins:

I'm relating to you.

Dennis Collins:

Okay?

Dennis Collins:

Yeah.

Dennis Collins:

But what is the customer thinking?

Dennis Collins:

This person is creepy.

Dennis Collins:

Uh, why are you being so friendly?

Dennis Collins:

Overly friendly.

Dennis Collins:

You're a stranger.

Dennis Collins:

What do you want?

Dennis Collins:

Why are you manipulating me?

Dennis Collins:

So the client is thinking, why is this person acting like they're my best friend?

Dennis Collins:

As I said, I, I find it, I don't know.

Dennis Collins:

Do you find it creepy when somebody does that?

Leah Bumphry:

Well, it's an overstep, right?

Leah Bumphry:

That's not why we're connecting with them.

Leah Bumphry:

And it becomes those cringe-worthy.

Leah Bumphry:

We've all watched a movie where it's like this.

Leah Bumphry:

Yeah.

Leah Bumphry:

Like, oh, why would they have the character do that?

Leah Bumphry:

Well, when it's in real life and we're part of it, that's even worse.

Leah Bumphry:

It makes you cringe.

Leah Bumphry:

Yeah, it totally wipes any credibility the person has and you

Leah Bumphry:

don't want to do business with them.

Leah Bumphry:

'cause remember, this is the reason they're trying to be friends is

Leah Bumphry:

because they want you to do business.

Leah Bumphry:

It has the opposite effect in us.

Dennis Collins:

The best kind of rapport Leah is called strategy, rapport.

Dennis Collins:

What is that?

Dennis Collins:

You might ask.

Dennis Collins:

Well, I invite you to stay tuned to this podcast.

Dennis Collins:

We will talk, I.

Dennis Collins:

In one of our episodes about why strategy report is so effective.

Dennis Collins:

How do you, how do you do it?

Dennis Collins:

Why does it work?

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

Uh, it's the, the key to doing better in sales is strategy report.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

So what are some of the takeaways that we can get?

Dennis Collins:

Uh, we are not getting paid to bond.

Dennis Collins:

We are getting paid to actively listen, to understand, and to

Dennis Collins:

solve the client's problems.

Dennis Collins:

Anything else?

Dennis Collins:

Off focus.

Leah Bumphry:

It's a basic human need and we, we have to

Leah Bumphry:

remember, people want to be heard.

Leah Bumphry:

So if we are trying to, to help them, we have to hear them first.

Dennis Collins:

If we over disclose, if we, uh, try to force bond, it

Dennis Collins:

becomes all about the salesperson.

Dennis Collins:

It becomes about us.

Dennis Collins:

The, the sales conversation is supposed to be about the customer.

Dennis Collins:

Not us.

Dennis Collins:

Let the client self-disclose.

Dennis Collins:

By the way, it feels good.

Dennis Collins:

Dopamine is involved.

Dennis Collins:

Okay, so as promised, what is today's breakthrough challenge?

Dennis Collins:

Here's the challenge.

Dennis Collins:

Do not take the bait.

Dennis Collins:

It's human nature to want to go back and forth and contribute and continue.

Dennis Collins:

This conversation I referred to earlier in this podcast lasted probably seven

Dennis Collins:

or eight minutes out of a one hour call.

Dennis Collins:

Wow.

Dennis Collins:

Wow.

Dennis Collins:

Total.

Dennis Collins:

Total off-focus.

Dennis Collins:

Stop yourself.

Dennis Collins:

No long elaborate comments on everything the customer says.

Dennis Collins:

Discipline yourself.

Dennis Collins:

Make a brief comment, refocus, and redirect the conversation to the goal.

Dennis Collins:

What is the goal?

Dennis Collins:

Listening, active Listening, listening to understand and responding to the

Dennis Collins:

customer's needs and let us know.

Dennis Collins:

How it's going.

Dennis Collins:

That's our challenge for this week.

Dennis Collins:

Now, Leah, reach into your question file.

Dennis Collins:

It's time for you ask, we answer what's today's question?

Leah Bumphry:

This one we've had a few times Dennis, and I think it's

Leah Bumphry:

fantastic because it encompasses maybe not some of the more specific

Leah Bumphry:

things that we've talked about, but the general idea of us doing this.

Leah Bumphry:

Where did we come up with the name Connect and Convert one listener actually tested

Leah Bumphry:

in and said, it sounds like you guys are getting a little religious here.

Leah Bumphry:

Like converting to what?

Leah Bumphry:

Right.

Leah Bumphry:

The other one, you know, is this an engineering thing?

Leah Bumphry:

What are we connecting to?

Leah Bumphry:

So Connecting Convert.

Leah Bumphry:

What do we

Leah Bumphry:

mean by that?

Leah Bumphry:

By that?

Dennis Collins:

Wow, that's a great question.

Dennis Collins:

Connect and Convert.

Dennis Collins:

Well, we looked at what the mission of this podcast was and said, you know.

Dennis Collins:

How do we convert more leads to customers?

Dennis Collins:

How do we convert more leads?

Dennis Collins:

And the answer is connection.

Dennis Collins:

Connect leads to conversion.

Dennis Collins:

Okay?

Dennis Collins:

So that's how we came up with that.

Dennis Collins:

We will strive in this EP and and this episode on others.

Dennis Collins:

To talk about how to make a connection.

Dennis Collins:

Today's lesson was don't overconnect, don't overdo it.

Dennis Collins:

tmi.

Dennis Collins:

Okay?

Dennis Collins:

Yep.

Dennis Collins:

You don't have to be BFF.

Dennis Collins:

You need to make a connection.

Dennis Collins:

You need to solve, listen, solve a problem and move on.

Dennis Collins:

So that's, that's how we came up with it.

Dennis Collins:

Good question.

Leah Bumphry:

Yeah.

Leah Bumphry:

I think that, that, that, uh, I mean, when, when you and I were, were

Leah Bumphry:

first, when you first told me about what you were doing, it was something

Leah Bumphry:

that I wondered and, uh, I think.

Leah Bumphry:

Based on the number of people that have asked us.

Leah Bumphry:

That's exactly right.

Leah Bumphry:

'cause this is about helping people make sales because people in

Leah Bumphry:

sales love what they're doing, but we're doing it to make a living.

Leah Bumphry:

So how do you do it in the best way possible to take care of you.

Leah Bumphry:

That's right.

Leah Bumphry:

And the connections you make, not necessarily your best friends.

Dennis Collins:

And the connection leads to the conversion.

Dennis Collins:

That's the whole concept, right?

Dennis Collins:

A strong, solid connection leads to conversion.

Dennis Collins:

So.

Dennis Collins:

That's that.

Dennis Collins:

Thanks for the question.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

To close out one of the other promises we made at the front, does this stuff work?

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

Let me give you an example.

Dennis Collins:

One of my coaching clients a year ago, very poor closing rates under

Dennis Collins:

30%, which is not acceptable.

Dennis Collins:

Not acceptable, okay.

Dennis Collins:

What did I hear on the recordings I heard?

Dennis Collins:

Over responding to every little comment a client made

Dennis Collins:

if they talked about their dog.

Dennis Collins:

He had to talk about his dogs.

Dennis Collins:

If they talked about their, uh, vacation, he had to top that

Dennis Collins:

by talking about his vacation.

Dennis Collins:

It was, again, it was like being at a party, you know?

Dennis Collins:

Oh, we're trying to have a party conversation.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

Yeah.

Dennis Collins:

Uh, one of the reasons for his poor closing rate is because of

Dennis Collins:

exactly what you said earlier.

Dennis Collins:

You lose trust, you lose focus.

Dennis Collins:

And all of a sudden the said is this person here to entertain

Dennis Collins:

themselves or to help me?

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

And he was there.

Dennis Collins:

It was, he thought it was hilarious.

Dennis Collins:

He was entertaining himself.

Dennis Collins:

So we made a few changes.

Dennis Collins:

We, we showed him connection leads to conversion.

Dennis Collins:

We showed him that forced bonding leads to no sale.

Dennis Collins:

Okay.

Dennis Collins:

A year later, he now leads his sales team.

Dennis Collins:

He's over 60%, I think he's sixty-five percent closing ratio.

Dennis Collins:

He now understands how to build rapport without being creepy.

Dennis Collins:

He leads his team

Leah Bumphry:

a little tweak, little tweak.

Leah Bumphry:

Fantastic.

Leah Bumphry:

Oh, that's, that's fantastic, Dennis.

Dennis Collins:

Focus on the customer.

Dennis Collins:

Don't focus on yourself and your need to, uh, top everything they say.

Dennis Collins:

Listen to their needs, respond, solve their problems.

Dennis Collins:

Until the next time, this is Dennis Collins and Leah.

Dennis Collins:

Bumphrey.

Dennis Collins:

We say farewell.

Dennis Collins:

Have a great sales day.

Dennis Collins:

We'll talk to you next week.

Dennis Collins:

Connect and Convert.

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