Knowing how to ask rapport building questions is a basic skill in sales, but it does a lot more than help you close a deal.
Most people haven’t realized it yet; but knowing how to ask questions can also get you good grades, earn people’s respect and cement relationships.
In short, knowing how to ask rapport building questions is a necessary skill in life if you want to succeed. Read on to find out how!
1) Establish common ground.
When it comes to establishing rapport, it is crucial that you find something in common with the other person first.
Imagine it’s your first day in school. There’s nobody you know and nobody who knows you. What do you do? The usual thing to do is start a conversation with your seatmate.
One of the questions you can ask is, “Is the teacher strict?” If he knows the teacher, then he’ll definitely have something to say.
If he doesn’t, take the conversation a bit further and say something that you feel he might agree with like, “I hope this teacher won’t be too strict. I’ve got enough strict teachers this term to last me a lifetime.” When he reacts, agree with him and then introduce yourself, “I’m (insert name), by the way.”
2) Volunteer information first.
Some people are more tight-lipped about themselves than others. To encourage honest answers, you must first be willing to give out your own information.
For example, when you want to ask a person’s age, casually say something like, “I’m turning 26 this April. How about you?” In this way, you two can get to know one another.
If, however, the person does not answer you specifically or dodges your rapport building questions, then leave it. Don’t press for answers because you’ll quickly break any bond between you two before it has even begun.
3) Focus on the positive.
Rapport building questions should always stem from positivity. If you want to find something in common with the other person, concentrate on your common likes.
Are you both interested in bodybuilding, golf, hypnosis or Star Wars? If the person you’re talking to lets it slip that he has no love for this politician or that politician, don’t be quick to jump on the bandwagon by saying that you dislike him too.
Find a way to steer the conversation into a positive light. Say something that can easily be disregarded like, “Well, I’ve heard he’s always been unpopular with the masses,” before moving on to a new topic, “Politician X, on the other hand, is always leading public polls. Have you heard of the campaign he recently started with National Geographic?”
Rapport building questions have always been useful. They can get you into exclusive clubs, get you out of sticky situations and basically make your life more pleasant. Try them out on your next conversation!
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