You may have seen people who are very good at connecting with others. They can create a sense of trust and understanding with someone who just met.
Whether you are in sales or just trying to leave a good impression, it’s necessary to create the rapport first.
Rapport creates trust, which is the key element for building a good long-term relationship.
Without rapport, people will not be interested in listening what you’re trying to communicate.
People are more likely to have a good rapport with someone else if they like that person. How to know if you have a good rapport with someone? Ask yourself this question: Does he/she responds in a positive manner?
Sincere interest in others
You need to have a sense of empathy and sincere curiosity about the other person.
People are very good at sensing if you are showing genuine interest in them.
Their intuition will tell them not to trust you that much.
A very effective way to build rapport and a long-term friendship is by talking about common interests.
You both like the same soccer team? A musical artist, writer or the same movie? If you know that, use that knowledge and talk about it.
People love to talk about their interests and it lowers mental defense.
But, many people will not feel comfortable talking about their families, hobbies, or their lifestyle if they’ve just met you. Many of them are taught as a child to not reveal too many things with a stranger.
So, how to break the ice? By doing the same activity as they are involved in. When you’re both at the same place, it’s easier to find something to talk about. And, as you get to know each other, the conversation will flow naturally.
Remember, people like people just like themselves.
Mirroring the tone of voice is a powerful way to show you are like them.
Let’s say the person is in an upset mood. It has a sharp edge on his voice. Some people may try to cheer him up with a smile and with an enthusiastic tone, but that doesn’t work. Try to let your voice have an edge even if just briefly.
Volume- Loud talking people like loud speaking people.
Terminology- Some people use certain words during a conversation, again and again. So mirror their words, and they will feel understood, they will also feel you are smarter than they are.
You can match the speed of talking. If they are talking fast, you should also talk fast.
You also need to avoid copying verbal ticks such as stuttering, saying “Ummm” or constant throat clearing.
Alter the tone, rate or pitch of the voice
The tone of voice is crucial to show enthusiasm and to make the conversation more interesting.
There was an interesting experiment done on a college campus where male/female couples for 20 minutes had to say only 3 words to each other.
They had to say these words with direct eye contact and with an intense passion and love, just like you would say “I love you” to your partner.
The words were, “Pass the salt”. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? But the results were amazing. Some couples dated afterward, and believe it or not, two marriages resulted.
It’s not what you say but how you say it that matters. Your tone and pitch of your voice is a powerful tool to increase your influence.
Pacing someone’s breathing, inhaling and exhaling when they do, increases rapport between two people.
When you match breathing rate and depth, you’ll feel what they feel. It will make you more in tune with them.
Body postures and gestures
Look at their body language. What is their posture? What are they doing with their hands? Observe their posture and match it.
For example, if they uncross their leg, don’t cross at the same moment, wait until you speak. Talking requires changing the physiology and no one will notice.
When people are talking, and they are making an important point use gestures of their own. You can also use the same gesture while you are talking.
Be careful to not overdo matching body posture and movement because it can make the person feel uncomfortable with you.