Whether you are starting to lead a new team or reflecting on your existing team, it is wise to understand how your rapport impacts your team’s sales success. Having strong rapport is vital to bringing the best out of your team. But just how do we do that?
Let’s start with what good rapport looks like: A close and reciprocal relationship in which there is common understanding, enabled by authenticity. Let’s break this down to identify how best to build rapport with our people.
- Share About Yourself Transparently: As leaders, we need to model the authenticity we are looking for from our people. What are the most important things that you and your team need to achieve this year and why? Where are you most concerned? What team strengths do you believe can best be leveraged for success? If we share enough about our thoughts and feelings, our people will be more likely to share about themselves.
- Learn What is Driving Them: As leaders we need to know each team member well, including what makes them unique. We should understand what motivates them and what their goals and ambitions are—both professionally and personally. That means you need to engage them and ask questions. Do not leave it to them to bring it up. Ask yourself today—do I know those answers for each team member? If not, make it a goal to do so over the next thirty days.
- Validate Their Uniqueness: Identify their strengths. Salespeople get enough rejection in their role from the competitive marketplace. They need a leader that knows their potential and reinforces what makes them good in their role. To help them continue to develop their skills and win more sales, identify the one key sales vulnerability you want them to work on and include that in your coaching conversations. This helps validate that you really understand them. Create a list of your people and write down their best sales strength and key sales vulnerability. Have you discussed these with them in your conversations during the last quarter? If not, it is never too late!
- Show that You Care: They need to know that you want them be wildly successful. So tell them. Show them.
Doing these four simple things can build rapport with new team members and re-energize existing relationships. A strong team has unmistakable rapport with their leader, so much so that an observer can easily see it in a meeting or note its absence. What would you want them to see in your sales team meetings?
Personal Challenge: Dedicate 15 minutes to have a transparent conversation with each of your team members in the next month. Share their sales strengths and the one sales vulnerability you feel is most vital to work on, so they feel seen and understood. Have the courage to talk to them about what they enjoy about the role and ask how you could better support them. Be sure to listen well and take notes. Resist the temptation to evaluate their ideas. Be open and give it more thought after the meeting. You will leave your salesperson in a better mindset and your rapport will have strengthened.