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Saturday, February 13, 2010
Building Rapport #2

YOU can ask appropriate questions to build rapport.

Guiding a conversation without dominating it requires the appropriate use of effective questions. Asking the right question—the right way—not only leads the conversation in the desired direction, but it also helps you gain insight and makes the prospect feel important.

What does it mean to ask appropriate questions?

It means asking general questions.

It means asking probing questions.

It means asking open-ended questions.

Ask general questions
The use of general questions helps establish rapport in the early minutes of meeting a prospect. For example: “How long have you lived in the area?” “Do you have family here?”

Ask probing questions
Appropriate probing questions give you more insight and detail in specific areas. A probing question may be a follow-up to a general question. For example: “You mentioned earlier you had done business with our company before. Could you share with me what the circumstances were?”

Ask open-ended questions
Asking open-ended questions helps you obtain important information and insight that will help you help your prospect. For example: “Who is the person that is responsible for . . .?”

Remember what Woodrow Wilson and W. Clement Stone said about questions and building rapport:

We should not only master questions, but also act upon them, and act definitely.
Woodrow Wilson

Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson—not the attitude of the prospect.
W. Clement Stone

Gary O'Sullivan
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