The use of neuro-linguistics, the study of how people communicate, is a powerful way to subtly create a feeling of similarity between you and your prospect. Different people have different primary communication channels (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic), and if you can identify and tune in to these channels, you can get much better results and shorten the entire sales cycle.
“People like those who are most like themselves,” literally and figuratively. As social beings we tend to associate with those people to whom we can most easily and comfortably relate physically, mentally, and emotionally.
There is a distinct difference between bonding with a prospect and developing rapport.
Bonding: The salesperson does the talking to find something in common in order to make the prospect feel comfortable with them. (We both went to the same college!)
Rapport: The salesperson asks the prospect a positive question to learn more about them, their company, or their products and services and then actively listens with genuine interest and enthusiasm. During the conversation, the salesperson has every opportunity to match (vocabulary, volume, tone, cadence and mood), mirror (adopt another person’s behavior as if you were that persons mirror image), and pace (being in sync with rhythm, inflection and rate of speech) them so they get over to the prospect’s side of the world by creating a feeling of similarity.
Communication occurs at both the conscious and the unconscious levels. When we listen, we are unconsciously picking up information with all of our senses. We express and understand meaning, not only with words but also with mental pictures and tone. When you’re able to determine your prospect’s primary communication channel (people do use all three) you will be able to adapt your communication strategy to their personal style so you get over to their side of the world. This gets you much better results because you have created the “chemistry” which in my experience, shortens the entire sales cycle.
Visual Prospects of course want to see pictures, samples, charts, physical objects and videos. They relate to expressions like how does this look? Are you clear? Imagine the benefits this will provide your team. Would you mind sharing the vision of the organization?
Kinesthetic Prospects relate to emotions and physical action. How do you feel about the terms? Are you comfortable with the proposal? Let me grasp the enormity of the situation. Did you enjoy lunch? I want to get a handle on your goals.
Auditory Prospects think with words rather than pictures and feelings. Sharing quotes, citations, testimonials, endorsements, and audio downloads will likely impress them. They are completely tuned into how you speak as well as what you say. Does that sound good to you? Does that ring any bells? I hear what you’re saying about the importance of that feature.
When you have determined the communication style of your prospect, you will have the insight you need to know what will work best in every phase of the sales process. This insight will enable you to communicate more efficiently and effectively, that is, you will accomplish more in less time.