The foundation for building rapport is based on the exchange of a few basic communication signals. Here are 4 key ways to build instant rapport. This is based on the book, Get Along With Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere by Arnold Sanow and Sandra Strauss.
1. Smile. A smile is the connecting point of a relationship, whether personal or professional. It signals interest and conveys care and concern. A smile can make or break a connection; its absence can leave others worried or wondering what you’re hiding behind that frown. Tip: Smile when talking on the phone. The listener can hear it in your voice.
2. Shake it up! A handshake is extremely important in American culture, but you have to know how to shake properly. A limp handshake can communicate disinterest; a bone-crushing one often is perceived as a power play. Be the first to extend your hand. Make eye contact and smile while offering an introductory remark or saying hello. Give about three firm shakes and then release your grip.
3. Play the name game.People love to hear others address them by name. It signals that they are important. But what if you’re one of the thousands who literally forget a person’s name as soon as you hear it? The easiest and most effective way to remember, is to fully concentrate on a person’s name during the introduction and then repeat it out loud immediately: Susan, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Another idea is to look for a personal connection: Angie! That’s my favorite aunt’s name! Use the name frequently in conversation (but not too much). If it’s an unusual name, inquire about its origin: Houston! Does your name reflect Texan roots?
4. Define Your MO (Marketing Opportunity).Create a personal commercial – a concise, clear statement of what you want others to know about you. Your statement should define what you do for a living, who you work for and what results your work provides. For example, instead of saying: I work for XYZ Advertising, say: I produce marketing materials to help businesses strategically position their products and services to consumers.