In last month’s column, I discussed how to quickly generate rapport — and therefore trust — with a prospect through the use of mirroring. Through this technique, you can gain your client’s trust by mirroring their body posture.
Now, I’d like to discuss how your vocal inflections will help facilitate the rapport between you and your client.
People tend to trust others when rapport exists. That rapport comes not only from body posture, but also in voice qualities. You probably are aware of the difficulties inherent in a hard-charging New Yorker trying to generate rapport with prospect in Alabama. The fast-clipped harshness of the New Yorker would not engender trust from the slower-talking, “down home” client, especially on the telephone. But are you aware of more subtle voice characteristics?
Peak performing practitioners like Craig Beachnaw in Lansing, Mich., can do wonders on the phone. Craig is able to raise or lower his voice pitch depending on his client’s voice qualities. Craig instinctively knows that if he talks in a gravely deep tone, the listener will lose rapport and trust if the listener’s voice is high pitched. Most importantly, Craig knows to speed up his voice pace or slow it down depending on the way his client says hello.
Matching and pacing
I recently heard about an executive who received an insurance settlement after learning about voice matching and pacing. After his car was stolen, he spent weeks of negotiation with his insurance company. He phoned the Des Moines headquarters from his office in Newark, N.J. He became immediately aware of the slower voice tempo and tone of the manager on the other end. He changed his voice to match his listener. He not only received a larger cash settlement than expected, but the check was mailed the next day.
If your clients already know and trust you, there is no need to use these techniques. But if you constantly deal with new people and you would like to attract more high-net-worth clients, you must develop high levels of rapport. Your technical expertise is not as important as your client’s level of trust in you. Your high-net-worth clients buy trust first, technical expertise second.
Trust is the skill that separates those who barely succeed from those who always do. If you want clients who will give you business for life, get good at dealing with people. Use these techniques to gain your customers’ trust today.
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