You can have the greatest product or service in the world, but if you aren’t able to make a personal connection with your customers and clients, then chances are, you won’t be selling much.

However, most of the time, customers are complete strangers when we first begin to interact with them. Unlike personal relationships, when it comes to business, you don’t have a lot of time to build a connection with the client you are talking to. Unless you hook them within the first few minutes, you’ll slip from their mind and they’ll move along.

A big part of hooking your customer is making them feel like they have a personal connection and relationship with you. Building rapport, making them feel heard, and personalizing the information, products, or services you are discussing with them are all easy ways to start building strong relationships with your prospects.

Writing for Entrepreneur, Lambeth Hochwald discusses seven easy steps business owners can take to “bring a personal touch to the sales process.”

Our favorite tip from the article is to start by asking your prospect questions before you jump right into your sales pitch. Not only does this help build rapport, but it shows them that you see them as more than just another potential sale. Questions can also lead to you learning key information about them which could help you recommend better products or services that would be more useful to them and that they would be more likely to buy.

Adrian Miller, a sales trainer based in Port Washington, N.Y., says that “the more skilled you are at utilizing open and closed ended questions, the stronger the relationship you will be able to create.”

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