When it comes to building great business relationships, professionals must realize that it’s not about them. People are only interested in themselves. They like to talk about themselves and its human nature that clients want to know “What’s in it for me?”
The fastest way to build rapport with a client or prospect is to ask them questions about themselves. This could initially be personal questions to find some common ground while being respectful of people’s privacy and then leading to business related questions.
What do your client’s treasure most? • Their children • Their job • Their community work • Their new car • Their upcoming vacation
Find out what your client or prospect is most excited about and ask genuine questions. Questions will show your client that it’s not all about the money and that you’re a great listener and care about them as a person.
Have you ever had lunch with someone, you asked all the questions and they happily told you their life story. At the end of the meal they told you were a great conversationalist and really interesting? Well they found you interesting because you first became interested in them. You gave them an opportunity to be in the spotlight to share their excitement, maybe unload their challenges and you listened with respect and sincerity.
In the end, it’s not about you, it’s not about me, and it’s about our clients, donors and members. Listening and coming from a place of genuine interest is one of the fundamental roots to building great business relationships!