How to build stronger rapport
Occasionally on this blog, I will shift away from tactics and share stories from any one of my 68 hospitalizations from cystic fibrosis and relate it back to how it can help you grow in your sales career. This particular entry was created in February 2019, during a 2 week hospitalization with the goal to help one person learn a tactic on how to build stronger rapport.
Well going on day 10 now at the University of San Diego Hospital?! I think 🤔 . I tend to lose track while I am in here.
It started as the simple flu, then I contracted two other viruses and had a full-on cystic fibrosis exacerbation. This has not been an easy hospitalization by any stretch of the imagination.
Adding to the complexity, our puppy finally became a lady pup (a month early) so my fiance hasn’t been able to visit for more than an hour every other day or so. It’s been rather lonely.
I haven’t accepted many other visitors just due to the contact precautions, so I have really taken this opportunity to get caught up on school, reading, and the mindset shifts we need to all have to be successful as we go about tackling our days outside of these walls.
I set out to make the most of the adventures I could have while here. For every person who enters my room, albeit housekeepers, nurses, dietary, nutritionists, generalists, CF care team, endocrinologists, pulmonologists, respiratory therapists, I’ve made it a goal to be fully present.
I put my phone down, mute the TV, and ask them about their day. Asking about the lives of the people taking care of me has lead to one of the most soul-enriching hospitalizations I’ve experienced.
We’ve laughed a ton, we’ve grown together, we’ve healed together.
And it got me wondering about the differences between hospital life and corporate America.
If you’ve seen my keynotes, I always steal a line from T. Harv Eker, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” And I wonder, is that the case with hospital life as well?
I think back to all of the companies I have consulted for or gone in to speak at. I can tell the company culture instantly. I can tell which keynotes are going to be mind-blowingly effective before I hit the stage, based on the conversations I am able to eavesdrop on.
- It comes down to the quality of the conversation.
- How authentic are the employees with each other?
- How personal?
- Do they know anything about each other besides their job descriptions?
I wish employees in corporate America were as open and as authentic as hospital friendships.
People always reference the quote, “it’s business- it’s not personal” and the more people I meet, the more I realize those with that attitude need to be avoided.
Because if we were all more personal in business, I believe we’d lose track of the days more, find what makes us thrive, help each other, and be able to overcome whatever life throws at us (whether it’s wondering if you’ll survive the year due to infection or the next market crash).
If you’re in business or own a business, or are in sales of any kind – I challenge you to make it more personal. Make it like a hospital room, where you are fully present in getting to know the other person while you work together.
Suspend your belief on what they want to hear and spend time getting to know them.
I don’t mean find out the demographics and who is in your target market. That’s the EASY part of connecting with prospects. I mean, know who they are. Know how they think and what they truly want out of life.
Humans have 3 primary needs:
- We all want to feel loved
- We all want to feel needed
- We all want security
Your customers are coming to you or will buy from you when you address these 3 primary needs.
So many salespeople and entrepreneurs are struggling to find out how to get their customers to buy from them…yet haven’t had an authentic conversation with them.
There’s a beautiful company I work with that understands this exact concept. I spent a few days with them in Texas before the hospitalization and was blown away not just because it’s a medical device company looking to help improve the lives of CF people, but because they took a genuine interest in my life.
Of who I am as a person.
Of how I will use their product.
Of my honest feedback on what I liked and *gasp* the CEO actually asked me what I would change about their product!
And on the last day, despite my health starting to tank, I gleefully had a 3 hour corporate meeting on how they can better serve their patients.
Go further than what the textbooks teach you about sales
It went beyond clinical and into the heart. I believe some of the concepts we came up with and conversations we have will help their product get into the hands of even more patients and improve lung health.
It was one of the best think-tank environments I have ever been a witness to (and a part of).
They shared aspects of who they were as people, I did the same.
- We were vulnerable.
- We were open.
- We weren’t just checking things off a list.
It was REAL.
So if you’re currently wondering how to get more sales, please, take some time to focus less on the numbers and more on the people behind those numbers. You might just find that your personal life and your business life aren’t all that different, in fact, they are the same.
Love and hugs,
P.s. should you want a tour of my hospital room, click here.