Effective communication skills are highly valuable. They enrich our personal and social lives. In business it’s a matter of life and death.
This blog will show you how to gain almost instant rapport with whoever you meet whether in person or through writing using highly effective communication skills.
If you want to invest more time looking at Rapport Building then I highly recommend the book ‘Instant Rapport’ – Michael Brooks (no relation)
In recent years, much has been learned about the way the human brain processes information. The memories we have, the way we perceive experiences, are controlled by our visual, auditory and kinesthetic abilities.
Everything in our minds is there primarily due to what we see, hear and feel. Remember these three modalities, they are VERY important. Again, they are
These three modes combine in any learning or communication process. We use all of them to a degree.
However, research indicates that with the majority of us, one of those modes is more dominant than others.
Do you like to learn by watching, looking at diagrams or training videos? Probably you are more visually oriented.
Do you prefer to be told through the spoken word? Or are you the kind that likes to get his hands on the subject and starting doing, learning through a process of experimentation? Then you are probably more of an auditory or kinesthetic.
If this is true of us, it is true of the other person. What if you knew which kind of mode is dominant in the person you are talking or writing to? Could that help build rapport or in some way make your communication skills more effective? ABSOLUTELY!
Companies have spent thousands of dollars educating their salesmen to utilise this knowledge. The results? Dramatic!
How can you apply this very valuable insight? By taking special note of the words and phrases your prospect uses.
People often use expressions that indicate which modality they are thinking in at that moment. For example, “I see what you mean”, “I hear you”, “I’ve got a feeling about this”. When you hear these expressions, sit up, take note. They are sign posts pointing to that person’s modality.
So you have the sign posts, what do you do now? You respond in the same manner. Start using expressions in that person’s dominant modality. Why should this work?
Because words convey ideas to the other person’s mind. You start communicating on the other person’s wavelength. Just like two modems making an internet connection, your two brains start ‘hand shaking’. The effect is amazing.
Skeptical? That’s understandable. Just start, try it and you won’t be any longer.
Here is a true life experience.
A successful financial advisor read up on this subject and started employing the methods.
One day he walked into the office of a manager interested in a savings plan. The financial advisor noticed many artistic pictures on the manager’s office walls. He commented on them and gave an honest compliment.
The manager used expressions like “let me show you”, “you must see this”. The financial advisor immediately picked up on this and realised the manager was a visual.
When the time came for him to make his presentation, he started off by saying, “Let me first give you the big picture” and with that he pulled out a diagram. The manager immediately leaned over and started closely scrutinising the savings plan. From there on it went like a dream.
The rapport was established early on. The manager began to think “I like this man, I can do business with him.” A very good plan was devised which suited the manager’s needs well and both parties were happy – the manager with his plan, the financial advisor with his commission. A win win ending.
Don’t underestimate the power of communicating in the other person’s preferred mode.
Now, how can you apply this in your business? Do you write ad copy or sales letters? Do you do face to face selling or telephone selling?
Sprinkle your words with phrases from each mode and see how the prospect responds. If they respond with similar expressions, you have identified their mode.
Here is a list of words and phrases to help you identify a dominant modality:
crystal clear / focused / flash / hazy / sight for sore eyes / up front / it appears to me / get a bird’s eye view / it looks like / in the mind’s eye / you get the picture / it’s clear cut / take a dim view / tunnel vision / the naked eye
rings a bell / all ears / certain overtones / harmonize / make myself heard / tuned in / that’s unheard of / to tell the truth / in a manner of speaking / gave him an earful / listen up / tongue-tied / described in detail / sounds like / just say it
I’m conscious of / you can sense / she perceived / lay your cards on the table / come to grips with it / that’s a pain in the neck / pull some strings / hang in there / touch base with / it boils down to / start from scratch / that was under handed / hold on / you need to experience it / in a moment of panic
These lists are just to get you started. There are an abundance of signals out there in the way people express themselves.
You just need to “read the signs”, “hear the bell ring” and “grasp the meaning” behind the words your prospect is using, either in written or spoken form.
Rapport is almost priceless. Agreements, contracts, big business deals are often concluded between people because they sense a bonding between them.
Develop and practice these essential communication skills and your life and business will take on new vitality!