How do I get from building rapport into my pitch?
Great question! This moment of transition is a stumbling point for many of us. You’ve taken the time to get to know someone and make a genuine connection, and you want to keep it! If you’re clumsy and switch into ‘sales mode’, you might ruin the rapport you just built, and even worse, you could create suspicion about your motives that would be hard to overcome.
Here are three things you need to do in order to make that transition smooth and successful:
Create Curiosity, have a Strong Value Proposition ready and Personalize Your Pitch.
When you’re networking, let yourself enjoy the process of getting to know someone! If you do more listening than talking, you’ll find people enjoy being around you because they feel valued and important. Remember that wonderful phrase: Don’t try to be interesting; be interested! Ask lots of questions that allow someone else to share who they are and what’s important to them – and really hear their responses. This takes the pressure off of you and makes it a lot easier to relax and let your best self out.
Now don’t worry – this is still about sales. When you’ve really listened to someone for a while, they will feel a natural social pressure to reciprocate and ask ‘so what do you do?’ Voila! You’ve created curiosity and earned some air time.
Have A Strong Value Proposition
Have a strong value proposition ready and deliver it from your audience’s perspective. For example, instead of saying ‘I’m a Real Estate agent’, say ‘I help newly divorced people find their next home and move on with their lives’ or ‘I help young couples easily navigate through the process of buying their first home.’
A predictable next question will follow: ‘Really? How do you do that?’ When you hear it, you’re off to the races. You’ve just made a smooth transition into your pitch and brought an interested listener along for the ride.
Personalize Your Pitch
Now, leverage all that great listening you were doing, by pulling something from your Prospect’s sharing into your pitch.
Let’s say you’re an Investment Advisor.
Example: Congratulations on moving into your second year of business! I know the start-up phase can be really challenging. You know, it’s interesting. I work with a lot of business-owners who’ve told me they wish they’d planned out their finances sooner, but they had tunnel vision for that first couple of years. No doubt about it, there are lots of demands on your time and bank account, especially at the beginning. The good news is, it costs you nothing to sit down with me for a financial review, and it really only takes an hour or two. Imagine the peace of mind knowing you’re setting yourself up for financial success! Why don’t we set up a meeting?