Geoffrey Palmer for Product Marketing Community Video

April 26, 2022

Video Transcript

Speaker: Geoffrey Palmer

How do you build rapport with buyers during win/loss interviews and get them to open up?

Geoffrey Palmer: how do you build rapport with people during win loss interviews and get them to open up. Really good question. Really interesting question. A Couple of Things Come to Mind 1st. The building rapport isn't a trick. It's not some kind of mind game. It's, it's much, much simpler than that. It's about being open, being welcoming, being being a good conversational partner. I think if you find yourself really trying to build report where you're thinking about the next thing to say or ask or what you're supposed to do to build report, it's probably going to come across in a sort of relatively unnatural way. It is much simpler than that. And there's two things in particular, I think come to think about when, when sort of thinking about how to build rapport and prep for an interview. The first thing is to find common ground. I'm from the UK originally. And so I like to fall back on that old stereotype about talking about the weather, which is something that british people can do endlessly. It's a great topic. It's neutral. Everybody essentially has the same weather. And so there's not really any surprises in there. And it's a very, very safe topic. I like to keep it relatively seasonal. So I might ask somebody, has spring reached you folks yet, or how are the summers in your part of the world or did you get a lot of snow this last weekend? Um, if it's in the winter, it may seem a little bit corny, but it really is a great icebreaker because it gets people talking about something that's familiar and it's, it's a safe topic that you can talk about endlessly. You can commiserate with them, you can enjoy it with them. It doesn't have to be the weather of course. But anything that is um slightly personal, not too personal, but slightly personal to them and their environment is is fair game. So ask people about their local sports teams. Um asked them about the local geography if they like the mountains where they are or the woods where they are and if they anything particularly they love about the city that they live in or the local food that they have there all of those are great safe topics that people can talk about um with, with interest and the excitement that you can ask lots of great follow up questions about. I think that brings me to sort of the second. Um but at least equally as important factor when when building report, which is just asking questions. My first boss back when I started doing technology sales, Enterprise technology sales said that the most important quality in a salesperson is to be interested, it's important to be interesting, but it's much more important to be interested, meaning you should be interested in the people you're talking to and the things that they are saying you want to ask follow up questions about those things too. And most people sort of talk about this as active listening and that's a fine term for it. Um That is what it is, but I genuinely prefer calling it just being interested. It's simple and it wants to be genuine to, you should be genuinely interested in those folks, they should feel um that you are enthusiastic about whatever it is they might be talking about, and as much as you can avoid relating it to your own life, whatever they're saying, you may feel that you have a good story or a good way to relate to that, and it's good to have some of your own personal details, but in general, I mean, you really want to keep the focus on on them what they're talking about and ask questions um that I get them to elaborate on it further and it can be really simple. It can be simple things like, you know, how is your day going? How's your week going? How was your weekend? And those can be used to build a very genuine rapport and as I said, you, you want to go a few questions deep, so if they say that they're really busy, you can commiserate with them and then follow up or you can compliment them and then follow up, man, that does sound like a lot of work, how do you prioritize all those different things? That's a really interesting thing to be working on, Do you like doing the work or is it just getting the work done? That you, that you find is the best part. Likewise, if people are asking um if you're asking people about their plans for the weekend, um you can ask people if they have vacation coming up, um definitely talking about people's plans, whether it's for the weekend or for the vacation or for summer, or those are things that people can generally get excited about. And that means you can to lots of people have exciting things that they got planned and you can share that excitement with them and of course that they have nothing planned. Well, that isn't bad either because I mean, who doesn't love not having plans? So it's okay to share a few personal details in these conversations. That is a two way street when you're having a conversation. But as much as you can keep the focus on them, be interested in what they're talking about, ask those follow up questions about some of those things that are going on in their life. Generally, people love to talk about themselves. Um and if we can resist talking about ourselves and resist that urge personally and be genuinely appreciative of and curious about what's going on in their life. People will respond very, very well. It'll get the conversation going. It'll get them used to talking about themselves and it will open them up to two deeper questions and set the table for a really great conversation

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