If you’ve ever taken a NLP training or read a NLP book you will hear the word rapport over and over.
What exactly is rapport and why is it so important?
Google defines it as a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.
Think about a conversation you’ve had with someone who you just couldn’t seem to connect with. For whatever reason you couldn’t see eye to eye on whatever it was you were discussing.
You probably remained polite despite the deep frustration and disconnection you felt. You had no reason to dislike the person but you just wanted to get away from them.
Obviously you were lacking in rapport with that person.
Drop into the memory of that situation and imagine as if that person is right in front of you right now and your goal is to persuade them to do something or perhaps you’re aware of a problem they have and you know the solution and you can help them. Imagine trying to give this person advice and imagine getting them to act on your good advice.
Seems impossible doesn’t it.
Being an effective change agent, whether you’re in sales or you’re a coach or therapist, starts with rapport. You cannot skip this crucial first step, but many people try to.
Think about the pushy salesperson who assumes you want to buy whatever they’re selling. Even if you actually value the product they’re selling, you don’t want to buy it from them. Why? Because you don’t feel like they get you or that they even care about you. They just want to make a sell.
Rapport works because it makes people feel familiar and comfortable. Rapport works because it creates trust.
Once people are in rapport they tend to want to stay in rapport. This is when you get to lead and they will follow.
Rapport is a natural process humans engage in. It’s not something NLP or any other technology created.
Learning NLP brings these natural human processes, which are unconscious for most people, into consciousness so you can become more intentional about when you want to create rapport, for example, and when you might want to break rapport. Also, in order to lead someone to buying from you or lead them through a transformational change you will need to recognize when you are in rapport to do this.
If you skip rapport and try to jump ahead it simply won’t work. Sure you might get the person to buy from you if you’re pushy enough and they just want to get you to stop annoying them, but you’re not creating a client who will come back to you to buy more.
You might be able to get a person to go along with your NLP technique or process without rapport but you won’t help them create lasting change.
Rapport creates alignment with a person (or people if you’re working with a group or team) and when you have that alignment you can begin to dance. Great dancers who dance together have that trust and alignment. It’s as if they know what each other is going to do before they do it. That’s rapport.
So if you find that you’re doing incredible sales presentations but no one is buying or you study and practice NLP processes but they’re not working, always go back to rapport.
Everything happens in rapport. You can persuade and influence with rapport alone without any fancy NLP techniques, but the best NLP techniques and processes will not work without rapport.
If you haven’t signed up for Dr. Matt’s talks November 4th yet, what are you waiting for? You will likely not get a chance to see such a dynamic speaker and teacher for such a small price again.