I’ve been experimenting with “establishing rapport” in discovery calls and believe I’ve uncovered a more effective approach…
Traditionally, vendors seek to establish rapport in the first few minutes of a call by asking about something in the prospect’s physical background (e.g., books, awards, pictures, etc.), history (e.g., from LinkedIn), or similar. These brief interactions are designed to ease the parties into a discovery conversation, in theory.
However, these gambits often seem contrived and can be perceived, accordingly, as fake, manipulative, or unauthentic.
Instead, begin your discovery conversations with the “About You” dialogue (discussed in the Doing Discovery book). This approach has proven to achieve the desired results, plus it provides insights into your prospect’s background and history, often well beyond what can be gleaned from LinkedIn.
However, that’s not the twist: The new approach is to build your relationship with your prospect at the end of the call!
After you’ve had your business and discovery discussion, then ask about an intriguing aspect of their personal history or something visible in their office that sparks your curiosity. It’s amazing how people will open up and talk freely about the topic at the end of the call.
Try it – and let us know how this works for you!