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Why is Phone Rapport Important?
At around the age of 11 I started Rob’s Odd Jobs. This little business venture was to take my suburb by storm. I offered lawn mowing and car washing, two jobs that any young child can do. The plan was every one in my street would call me through the week to book a time on the weekend for me to come and mow their lawn and wash their car. I knew as a kid that this would be an easy business that I could just start and every thing would simply work and I would make money.
The first thing I did was put a simple flyer in every mail box in my street. From there I knew it was time to start calling around to every one in the suburb as well. Now I don’t remember every having a fear of “cold calling” as a child but I do know that it is one of the biggest issues with small and medium business today. As a young boy this simply didn’t exist. I just picked up the phone and started communicating what I was passionate about to people. This simple act of calling people and communicating worked a charm. I found that while I was interested I had lawns to mow and cars to wash. And as it has turned out, this was my first introduction to creating phone rapport, though I had no idea at the time.
Fast forward to now, many jobs, many businesses and many phone calls later I have found that, when talking on the phone, it can often be one sided for most people. When they make a phone call the person on the other end of the line misses the message.
I think of every person that has had to call a help desk to get support on a issue, weather telecommunications or IT support. I think almost all of us can recall a time where we wanted to hang up (or actually hung up) or even tell them to get stuffed. There is so often a breakdown of communication when it comes to talking on the phone and it is the intention of this book to teach you the skills and tools you need to have the best possible chance of your message been heard over the phone.
I believe it is my responsibility to help everyone that has to do business over the phone have the best change of getting their message across. It is my job to teach you how to build phone rapport.
Rapport = Connection.
This book will teach you how to create a deeper level of connection with people you are talking to on the phone.
I will teach you the specific skills of phone Rapport as well as look at other techniques and strategies to get the most out of every phone conversation you have, weather it be with a colleague, client, partner or friend.
What is phone Rapport?
Phone Rapport could be defined as a a moment of connection, a physical, emotional or mental state of trust between you and another person. Rapport is where you truly hear the other person; they are responsive to you and can hear what you are saying.
Why Are We On The Phone?
I think smart phones are one of the biggest reasons we are on the phone these days, but this is not the type of communicating I am talking about. Not Facebook, not twitter etc. I am talking about, why are we talking on the phone? We are on the phone talking to our family, our friends or something to do with work. Why are you making phone calls? Who do you normally call (work or play)?
In the context of work, these are some of the key reasons we are on the phone:
– Sales calls
– Cold calling
– Booking appointments
– Working with clients
– Helping people
– Delivering training
– Working on a help desk
– Ordering supplies
– Booking accommodation
– Paying bills
– Talking to a colleague
– Talking to a partner
So we have lots of reasons to be on the phone, and many more than could be listed here. The trick is to improve your ability to connect with the other person on the end of the line.
What Specifically Is Phone Rapport?
Phone rapport is made up of the way you talk on the phone, it is the words you are using and the way you use them. Phone Rapport includes the inflection in your voice, the speed you speak at and the message it self, that you are trying to communicate.
The way you communicate over the phone will include visual, auditory and kinaesthetic words and phrases as well as your own key words that you use.
Phone rapport is the process of actively listening to the person on the other end of the line, hearing their words and phrases as well as the specific sentences they say to you. Phone rapport is about noticing those things, as well as matching the types of key words and phrases the other person uses, by speaking the same as the other person (same speed, pace and pitch). All things that you will learn about over the next few chapters.
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We all communicate using different representational systems, using our five senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and touching) plus self talk (internal dialog) to view the world and things happening in it. Using these senses we make ‘sense’ of what happens around us, what we say to others and what others say to us.
Simplified, we use the following senses to listen and to communicate:
Though we use some or all of these systems all of us have a primary one that we use. The one system we favour, and as you go through this book it becomes your responsibility to start to notice which system you use the most and the systems other people use.
Preferred Representational Systems
People who are primarily visual (V) tend to speak faster over the phone, they will stand or sit with there bodies erect and eyes up. The appearance of things can be important to them and they tend to be organized. They learn by associating images with their conversations.
If communication is only verbal they are more challenged to recall the information, so they will wan to get a clear picture in their mind as to what you are talking about, they like to have pictures and diagrams to go with there conversations.
They aren’t easily distracted by noise and they usually have to see something for it to capture their attention or interest. Once key trick when talking with a visual communicator over the phone is to email them information that relates to your conversation, so they can see what you are talking about.
People, who are primarily auditory breath from the middle of their chests, move their eyes from side to side, often talk to themselves and are easily distracted by noise. They learn and memorize by hearing information sequentially, they like to be told how they’re doing on a job and feel liked by hearing a certain tone of voice or words.
They respond to sounds and consequently like music, talking on the phone and listening to the radio. If you are on the phone to a auditory person you will be in luck, all it may take is the phone conversation to meet them where they are at, so long as what you have to say ‘sounds right’ to them.
Auditory Digital (Ad)
People who are primarily auditory digital are often listening to inner dialogue in their heads, they make decisions using a list of criteria and they can use any or all of the other representational systems but are interested in something when it makes sense to them. A AD person is the one that is going to ask you hundreds of questions, they will want all the details and if you miss one small thing they will pick up on it.
You might find they spend a lot of time listening to your pitch with little to no feedback, it does not mean they are not listening to you, it means they are measuring what you are saying against what they thing is important.
People who are primarily kinaesthetic generally breathe from the bottom of their lungs, so their stomach visibly moves up and down, they may move and speak slowly and respond to touch and physical rewards, they learn and memorize by doing. Something has to feel right for them to be interested.
These are the people you cut off and try and finish their sentences for them. This is going to break rapport with them very quick, when connecting with a kinaesthetic person you need to take a moment to slow down, listen and let them finish their sentence.
When talking with a K person you want to get them to a point of imagining acting out what you are talking about, if they can be enabled to ‘feel’ what you are talking about, you will have a better chance of connecting with them.
Worth an honourable mention are tastes and smells, never really noted as primary representational systems, as they only process very specific information. Still can be relevant with our ever growing food and wine culture, and in the right context will be key to building a connection with some one, especially if you are talking about a new release of wine to your prospect customers. Neither olfactory nor gustatory will be referenced pass this section of your phone rapport book.
The olfactory system is the sensory system used for olfaction, or the sense of smell. Though not related to eye accessing cues, is apart of peoples communication, in certain contexts. You will find over time there is a percentage of people that will communicate using words that relate to smell. The use of olfactory language and references can easily be noticed by the comments people make when they smell a perfume that reminds them of something or some one. You will also find there are industries that people work in the mean their olfactory language is far more developed than others, people that work in the food industry or are fragrance testers.
The gustatory system is the sensory system for the sense of taste. Like the olfactory system there is no eye accessing cue for the system. How ever you will see it present in the language of people that deal with taste in their every day lives, most often people that deal with food, they not only find it important to create beautiful ‘visual’ dishes, they are wedded to the taste of the food. Similar to the olfactory system it is not very prevalent in communication.
Preferred Representational System Test
As you know we tend to favour one representational system over another. This activity will give you and indication as to which system you favour, focusing on visual, auditory, auditory digital and kinaesthetic as these are the primary systems people will use. As this is a e-Book you might need to do some writing out to see your result of this test, or you can go to http://www.robertway.com.au/2015/11/06/preferred- representational-system-questions/ to complete a similar activity there.
Write a number next to every statement for each question. Using 1-4 for each. 4 = Almost always; 3 = Often; 2 = Sometimes; 1 = Almost never
I make a choice when:
___ It feels right to me
___ I hear it, and it sounds right to me ___ I see it, and it looks great
___ I review it, and it fits my criteria
When discussing and issue, I am persuaded by: ___ How convincing the other person sounds
___ Really seeing the other persons point of view ___ How reasonable the individual makes the point ___ My own gut feeling
When I meet someone for the first time, I am impressed by: ___ The appearance of the person
___ How he or she makes me feel
___ How articulate or intelligent the individual is
___ If what the person says rings true to me
I generally respond to:
___ Sounds, and I am easily distracted by noise
___ Interesting facts, and I am easily distracted by my own thoughts ___ Sensations, and I am easily distracted by the way my body feels ___ Colours, and I am easily distracted by sights around me
When I like a proposal, I tend to say things like: ___ “Sounds good”
___ “Makes sense”
___ “Got it”
___ “Looks good”
From here write out the number values from the previous page in the same sequence you wrote them.
1. __K 2. __A
__A 3. __V __Ad __K
__V 4. __K __Ad __A
__A 5. __A __Ad __Ad __K __K __V __V
Next, record each number in the corresponding box and then add each column.
Auditory Digital (AD)
Finally the scores in each column will give the relative preference for each of the four major representational systems. The highest total will be your favoured representational system. One should also know when ever doing a personality test or activity like this one that these results can vary depending on what you are doing at the time, the sort of work you are doing or activities you are undertaking. As you learn more about rapport and begin to hear more of what people say, and defiantly when you finish this book you should redo the activity to see if there are any changes.
Words and Phrases
This section is a simple section, but a very important one. The words and phrases people use in conversation are going to give you a clear idea of the representational system a person preferrers. We will focus directly on the types of words or phrases you might hear from each representational system. It is your job to start listening our for the use of each type of word and to start building a picture of what it is like to listen for these different words in conversations.
To be continued..
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