16. July 2012 12:02
Rapport is the single most important thing to build during a meeting with a client. Without it, you run the risk of losing contact and trust. So it's important to identify how to build rapport quickly with your customers, and with integrity. But here are 5 ways that you can break rapport stone dead:
1. Don’t do your research. The fastest way to kill rapport and trust is to go into any meeting cold. Never in history has there been so much free information available - online, on company websites, in Google, on Facebook and on LinkedIn and other social media sites. Your rapport will go stone cold if you don’t have specific things to discuss during your meeting. However, if you do appropriate research, you can share information that may be valuable to them and ask specific questions that show you have something of value to offer them. Your questions or comments on your research can drive the conversation forward. Without that research you offer nothing but your product knowledge and less in common to start the relationship.
2. Prescribe your answer before diagnosing any problems. You know what I mean here. The salesperson who turns up, makes some small talk then opens up the laptop ready to present a pre-prepared presentation of their products and services that bear little relation to the challenges the client is really facing. Your research should help you see what problems the client is facing and rapport can be built on what you know or can find out about the client’s business.
3. Let the prospect take control of the meeting. There are many things clients want from their business partner, and one of them is to be educated about what is happening in their industry and within their competitive network. If you allow the client to take early control of the conversation, you run the risk of just being a sounding board and answering question after question, so the client just pumps you for information which you obediently regurgitate. You should build rapport by telling the client what the agenda for the meeting is and keeping the subjects on a specific journey to achieve the goal of assisting them to provide solutions to their problems.
4. Ask questions that your competition are asking. If you want to sound like everyone else, ask questions that everyone asks. Things like ‘How is the downturn in business affecting you? Is that your family portrait? Tell me about your problems today’. If you want to build rapport, ask quality questions specific to the company, industry, and person you’re speaking with. Ask questions they may not have thought of.Try to understand the prospect’s situation to determine if you are even the right person to help.
5. Don’t follow through on what you say. Trust and rapport is built overtime as you consistently meet your commitments. If you want to kill rapport, tell the prospect you’ll send him a proposal on Tuesday and then send it on Thursday, show up to your meeting 10 minutes late, and be sure not to include anything about the prospect and their situation in the proposal. When it comes to building rapport there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Each buyer has their own unique personality and preferences that influence how they like to buy and how they connect with sellers.
Even simple research by visiting one of your client's operations with a smart phone survey and asking a random sample of fellow customers what they think will give forearm you with research into the challenges your prospective customer is facing. At worst, it will show how much you are prepared to invest to work with your new customers. To build rapport, you need to identify what the customer actually wants to see and hear from you. Be the kind of person that your client can trust by being the partner they want to work with. And now you know the rapport-killers - resist them!
Try the SurveyMe app for free to create surveys and get honest feedback
21. June 2012 09:18
A business is only as good as its people. Recent research by Kenexa shows that:
69% of employers believe employees are engaged, whilst only 35% of employees claim to be
81% of HR professionals think employees would recommend the organization to a friend. Only 38% actually would
71% of HR professionals think the organization has fair benefits while only 48% of employees agree with this statement
53% of HR professionals think they provide fair compensation compared to only 30% of employees
83% of HR professionals think their employees plan to stay for the next year. 41% of employees agree with this statement
HR departments clearly need to start engaging and listening to their employees to stem the flow of high staff turnover which will ultimately result is bad customer experiences for all.
All it would take is an annual employee engagement study or survey if you like, but it needs to be read and the results of which are cared about and acted upon.
12. June 2012 09:44
SURVEY ME EXPANDS TO NEW ZEALAND DURING FIRST YEAR STARTUP
Continuing on from the successful launch and growth in 2011, SurveyMe, the first ever UK-based smartphone application for customer feedback, has now launched in New Zealand.
Users in the UK have grown by 331% in the last 6 months and the expansion has come on the back of business users in New Zealand using SurveyMe.
Andy McDowell, whilst working in his own logistics business in Auckland, first saw the application in 2011 and saw the opportunity to launch a unique product into the New Zealand marketplace.
Andy says “The launch of SurveyMe into New Zealand is incredibly exciting. The software is simple to use and meets the needs of all businesses whether large or small. It has proved to be really easy to transport halfway across the world from the UK and has been received well by the Kiwi market.” “The New Zealand ‘let’s give it a go’ attitude has resulted in nothing but positive feedback. We have strategic plans to roll out SurveyMe across the country over the next 12-18 months and into Australia over the next couple of years. We already have a varied client-base in New Zealand from Logistics, IFA’s to Insurance brokers and continuing to grow,” explains Andy McDowell, Director, SurveyMe NZ.
Lee Evans, CEO, SurveyMe commented “We have had a very successful first year with more users in the UK than anticipated in our first 12 months. For us to be able to launch in New Zealand in our second year is very exciting. Andy has vast experience in growing businesses so he is the ideal partner for our venture in the Asia Pacific region. SurveyMe lets you capture what you want to know, when you want to know it, from the people that matter most, wherever they are in the world.”
The application, which can be downloaded free on to iPhone, iPad or Android smartphones, enables people to give valuable real-time feedback from their smartphone, enabling businesses to improve customer experience or reward consumers. It is also a tool that allows the capture of research for new products, media stories or more general consumer insights. Basically anytime you need to find out information from a pool of people then SurveyMe is a cost efficient way of delivering that information in an easy to use format.