Building Rapport With FORM

Building rapport is key to successful sales, especially in a cold call to close situation.

Acronyms often make it easier to keep track to behavior. A great example of this is the acronym F.O.R.M. as a method to build rapport and trust with a prospect.

I’m not suggesting you hide your intention when on the phone on in front of a prospect, but you should have a genuine interest in making your prospect comfortable. This will encourage a purchase and ongoing business or referrals for new customers.

I generally scribble down the letters FORM vertically along one side of the page. As the interview progresses I look to fill in the following information:

  • Family – It’s always nice to hear about someone’s family. With rare exceptions, they are proud of what ever they have going on, and if they’re not, they want you to think they are, so let them talk.
  • Occupation – What do they do for a living, or what is the experience that has led them to the position they how have.
  • Recreation – What do they do for fun? This can bleed into the Family category as many families center their recreation around their kids activities.
  • Message – Notice that the acronym is FORM and not MORF. Leave you message for last. Give your prospect time to talk about themselves.

People rarely have someone to listen to them talk about themselves and this is likely a more precious commodity than anything you are selling. Give them the time they want and pay attention. You can take priceless notes that will allow you to do follow up, friend them on Facebook or join them on Linked In and make relevant comments in the future as your relationship continues to develop.

Long after they forget the Features, Advantages and Benefits of your widget they’ll remember that you recalled a spouses name or child’s hobby. These are the habits of a master salesman and will help you grow your business.