Where Sales Trainers and Selling Experts share advice, tips, and techniques on how to become a sales champion!

One Sentence to Establish Immediate Rapport By Mike Brooks


If you have to make cold calls as part of your sales process – either to set appointments or to find potential clients to sell your products and services to – then you know how hard it is to overcome initial resistance and establish rapport. Let’s face it, people don’t like to be bothered by a sales rep they don’t know.

Think about your own reaction when you get a call at home from a telemarketer you don’t know. As soon as they begin their pitch, your eyes probably roll up and you begin thinking of ways to get off the phone.

Even if they are personable (which is rare) or have something you’re actually interested in (which is rarer), most telesales calls feel like an intrusion and end up being ineffective.

One of the biggest reasons for this is that most sales reps making calls have no idea how to engage a prospect and make a connection in the opening ten seconds. Making that connection is the most important thing you can do to lower or eliminate initial resistance and give yourself a real chance to see if what you’re offering is a fit for the person you’re speaking with.

Here is the one sentence you can use that will give you the best chance to make that connection:

“Hi _______, this is ________ _________. We haven’t spoken yet but I’m calling you because you (use your product or could benefit from it) and I have (your product offering or benefit) and wanted to run something by you. Let me ask you a quick question, if I could…”

The power in this technique is that by leveling with your prospect that you don’t know them, you are immediately eliminating the natural resistance that is there when this goes unspoken. Prospects respect this honesty, and you’ll feel a natural connection form as a result.

Don’t underestimate the power of this technique, but rather, try it for a few days and see for yourself how effective it is. Obviously, you’ll want to adapt it to fit your product or service, but taking the time to do this will pay big dividends.

Remember – making an immediate connection is the most important thing you can do, and this technique will help you do that.
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Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, works with business owners and inside sales reps nationwide teaching them the skills, strategies and techniques of top 20% performance. If you’re looking to catapult your sales, or create a sales team that actually makes their monthly revenues, then learn how by visiting: MrInsideSales.com

-With the ability to build rapport being such an important sales skill — what are some of the ways you go about it?

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  • Dave Barnhart

    Those first few moments are a pretty low-trust environment and so one of the very first things we need to do is to build as much trust as possible. The way to do that is to give them permission to say 'No'. Doing that in the first few moments of the conversation sends the message that it is OK for the prospect to not be interested in our product or service. The result is that you have elevated the trust level as high as you possibly can in that moment.

    The second thing we need to do is to convey value. What will my product our service do for the prospect.

    Thirdly we must demonstrate credibility. The best way to d that is a success story or testimonial. "My service can bring you 100 new customers every week, just like it has done for Joe down the street."

    Trust Credibility, Interest. YOur opening couple of sentences must establish those three elements.

  • Josh Hinds

    Dave, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas. I know it will be appreciated by others in here in the community as well.

    All the best, Josh