4 Essential Tools to Help You Build Rapport to Close Sales

Focus on creating customer-centered experiences and conducting effective needs assessments during sales presentations to develop lasting business relationships.

Brad Yoho, VP

June 12, 2024

2 Min Read
Construction engineer business handshake builder with investor for successful of project deal and modern city background
Quality Stock/Alamy Stock Photo

Rapport is a state of mind that begins with feelings and involves showing care and concern about the project and the potential customer that can lead to more sales. To develop this connection with prospects, you must ask questions that will enable you to offer advice and opinions during your sales presentation while making the homeowner feel comfortable. 

Building rapport is similar to the idea of “selling yourself,” in that it should happen immediately—within the first two minutes of connecting with a potential customer. It is enhanced by establishing your credentials, conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, consistently listening and observing and bringing a high level of energy to the entire interaction. 

Remember, prospective customers: 

  • Like people who listen to them. 

  • Respond to salespeople who affirm them. 

  • Like people who appear to understand and endorse their values. 

  • Respond to salespeople who ask questions and listen to the responses. 

  • Like people who work at uncovering their needs. 

  • Respond to salespeople who build their presentations around those needs. 

For some, building rapport comes easy, while others never seem to master it. Nurturing this skill involves training focused on overcoming an individual’s cultural, emotional and perceptual blocks. 

Here are four additional tools to help you effectively build rapport and bring in business: 

1 | Properly value each appointment. 

The difference between a good or bad lead is in the way it is handled. Continuously work on your language and delivery during the needs assessment, utilizing questions such as:  

  • “What are your goals with this project?” 

  • “How long has this condition been present?” 

  • “What would need to exist to attain your goals?” 

2 | Listen to and process all information provided by the prospect.  

Ask open-ended questions and listen attentively to the answers. Doing this properly often requires an attitude adjustment coupled with training and practice scenarios to hone your skills.  

3 | Focus on the customer’s perception and experience. 

You sell most efficiently when the buyer is convinced it was their decision to buy. The satisfied customer usually says, “I bought it from ...” and seldom, “What’s-his-name sold it to me.” In other words, did they buy, or were they sold? 

Additionally, presenting a positive attitude about who you are, the business you represent and how you visualize the outcome of a sale opportunity can determine how your presentation is received. Keep language focused on the customer, their project and their home to drive home the importance of their experience.  

4 | Stop telling and start showing.  

Are you utilizing excuses, defensive statements or price drops to compensate for perceived objections or negotiations from the customer? Are you relying heavily on reviews that tell rather than show the experience clients may have when working with you? Effective sales practices that encourage rapport don’t come off as a hard sell, but instead as customer-centered experiences. 

About the Author(s)

Brad Yoho

VP, Dave Yoho Associates

Brad Yoho is the VP at Dave Yoho Associates, the oldest and largest consulting firm operating in the home improvement, remodeling, and home services industries. Learn more about their consulting services, training seminars, and educational products by contacting them at (703) 591-2490 or [email protected]. You can also schedule a FREE 30-Minute Consultation with a Dave Yoho Associate.

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