Today I want to show you a simple trick for building Client rapport.
According to the research, when it comes to building Client rapport there are three general rules of thumb. As human beings, we tend to like people who;
• Are similar to us,
• pay us compliments, and/or
• work with us towards a common goal.
Look around you, who in your life do you like?
If the research is to be believed, then they should fall into at least one, if not more, of these categories.
But how can this information help us build Client rapport?
Building Client rapport with mirroring:
Communication experts have been quick to utilize this information by adopting a process known as mirroring.
Mirroring is exactly what it suggests: it requires copying a person’s behavior in order to demonstrate similarities and build a stronger bond.
At first glance, this approach appears too simple to be true.
However according to an ex-FBI hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, and author of the bestselling negotiation book, “Never Split the Difference”, mirroring is “simple, and yet uncannily effective!”
According to Voss, building Client rapport with mirroring can be achieved in the following ways;
- with speech patterns,
- body language,
- tempo, and
- tone of voice.
However, he suggests that when trying to establish rapport, negotiators should focus on the vocabulary and repeat either the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said.
For example, when a client says to you;
“There’s a Design Firm down the road that’s willing to do this project for half the fee you’re asking for, would you like to reconsider your fee?”
you should respond in a calm, deep, soft, and reassuring tone with;
“I’m sorry, half the fee?”
You should leave the sentence with an upward inflection, pausing long enough to invite a response.
Not only will the Client feel the need to fill the silence (and therefore provide more information on the subject), but this will also help you build rapport and achieve a stronger and healthier Client relationship.
Is there a Better Way to Negotiate Design Fees?
Now, this is just one example of how to build client rapport and communicate more effectively in the negotiation arena.
To learn more about the negotiation process and how to structure your fee proposals to avoid negotiations check out the Fee Proposal Mini-Series.
It’s currently available free of charge and it’s going to show you how to avoid the 3 biggest mistakes that Architects and Interior Designers make in the fee proposals arena.
We’re going to show why the current fee model doesn’t work and how you can fix it. CLICK HERE to learn more.