How To Build Rapport Without Saying A Word

There are other forms of communication used to build rapport with customers, find out here.

26th April 2016Leigh Ashton
building rapport

If you had to guess, how important would you say that your words are in building a relationship with a potential customer? Well, they’re certainly important … but they actually only account for 7% of your communication!

The rest is down to body language and tonality, with body language accounting for 55% of all your communication with someone else. This makes it an incredibly important component of building rapport … so if you’re not sure how to use your body language to build rapport, try this:


Match and mirror

We tend to naturally match and mirror people we like, so if you can do it on purpose, you’ll give someone the feeling of being in rapport pretty quickly. Matching is the basic level of this; it’s when you do the same thing that the other person is doing. They hold their glass in their right hand, so you hold your glass in your right hand, etc.

Mirroring is a little more advanced, and it’s when you turn yourself into a mirror of the other person’s actions. So for instance, if they’re holding their glass in their right hand, you hold your glass in your left hand, so you’re creating a mirror image of them.


Angles and positioning

The way that you position yourself relative to the other person is very important too. If you can, don’t sit directly across from them; instead, try standing or sitting at a 90 degree angle to them. If you do this, you can still see them well enough to match and mirror them, but you’re also not right up in their face.


And if you want to get really into it…

If you’ve mastered the basics and want to get into some very high-level rapport building, then try matching and mirroring things like your conversation partner’s speed of breath or the timing of their blinks. It’s really powerful, but it’s also really difficult to do naturally, so try practicing it with someone else so you can get a feel for it before you try it in a sales conversation.


A final word of caution:

Subtlety is key here — the worst thing you can do in terms of building rapport is to do something that looks forced. So start with the basic stuff, the things that you tend to do naturally anyway, and then work your way up from there.

And remember, the more you do it, the easier it gets … so get cracking 🙂


Until next time,

Leigh xx

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