In a world where business deals can go sour any minute, caution is exercised heavily by all those who work for a living. A massive population of workers are out on the gold hunt to satisfy personal needs. Very rare is it that an office contact becomes a good friend.
In these days, being able to build a rapport with a colleague is equivalent to finding treasure.
One is very cautious of one’s interactions in the professional world. Everyone is protective of their personal information. No shifty individuals digging for information further than what’s made public are welcome.
This distrust spills over in business interactions where multiple parties are wary of each other’s intentions and seek to protect oneself from all possible harm. Maybe even you have held back information you felt others you work with needn’t know.
While this is what is spoken of in the physical world, there is a lot more to be said about the dangers of interacting online; where anonymity is a veil that can be used against anyone. All information pulses through the internet, with people’s identities exposed like an open vein.
So why would anyone want to build a rapport? Why take the risk?
This is the first point you must grasp towards learning how to build an online rapport: Understanding that the person on the other end of your screen is someone just like you is the purest perspective you can have while trying to build an online rapport with your client. Do and say nothing that you wouldn’t want to be said to you. Behave like you’d want to be behaved with. And this is for everyone who uses the internet, from social media users to CEO’s.
So, to answer the question in bold Italics up there:
An online rapport, though difficult to build, must be a sought after connection with clients by companies wishing to do good business.
It must be wonderful to connect with someone in the business field who you feel comfortable interacting with. There are many outcomes of a good rapport. It could be better understanding of parties involved, clarity of expression, better establishment of purpose, ease of dealing, and sometimes even better mood at the end of the day. To define:
A good online rapport in the business field is anything that improves the process of getting work done because of the positive relationship between the parties involved.
So, this is why almost every company tries to build a positive connection with their client. There is the added probability of sales of course, but it’s the honest positivity for the most part.
For Virtual Assistants who deal with a wide range of clients every day, it is a chess game to build an online rapport with clients. Following are some tips that will help one be better at this:
1. Listen till you understand:
We are hardwired to talk and explain our points of view first. Quite often the advice from our elders is: “Listen twice as much as you speak.”
Well, they are right.
Being a good listener is not easy as it requires you to open your mind to the other person and accept their points of view. A VA must learn to do this every day and with every client. Hear them out and try to understand their requirements, ideas, and plans. Before you know it, your clients will be impressed with you. After all, who doesn’t love a good listener?
Also, showing interest and being attentive is the best way to have people open up to you. In certain ways, you are silently urging them to talk.
Listening can sometimes seem endless. Here’s how you’d know if you’re listening enough:
Listen till you understand.
2. Deliver till praised:
Most rapports require a foundation to be built first. Let your professionalism and skills be your foundation. One major question anyone asks themselves before building a rapport with anyone is, “Is it worth my time to build a connection with this person?”
Let your good work be the answer.
In the initial stages with your client, be warm, be welcoming and be professional. Deliver work as they expect while listening to what they need. Your ability to achieve results will win their appreciation and trust in your abilities. Not to mention your confidence.
Remember, confidence is key to building connections.
Deliver till praised, and a rapport shall be built.
3. Volunteer till you’re a team player:
Building an online rapport with your client is hard work. Usually, rapport increases along with the frequency of interactions. That being said, understand that your professional interactions with your client will only be limited on a ‘Need-to’ basis. They won’t waste your time and nor will you theirs if there isn’t work at stake.
These interactions are often not enough to build a rapport. If you’re a good listener, you will have understood their requirements well enough to offer help in places they haven’t asked for it.
Volunteer help with more tasks than what you already perform. Don’t do it from the point of view of getting money for work offered; rather make a sincere offer. For example, if you have a client you know to who’s not too good at managing contacts, offer help with that. Of course, you must be good at the skills you offer.
Volunteer and let them see your generous, useful nature. Build connections through work. Volunteer till they ask your help permanently.
Volunteer till you’re a team player.
4. Earn till it is offered:
Much like respect, good company and rapport is earned. No one is running around distributing connections. Your professional and personal qualities and how you use them to be an asset to others will earn you good rapports with clients.
Work. Grind. Focus on being a help to others. Earn your client’s respect for a job well done and they will have a positive vibe about your work.
Being an inviting, attentive and an amicable individual, you will earn your client’s will to build a rapport.
Earn the rapport you desire from your client. Earn till it is offered to you.
5. Show passion till it is shared:
Someone who shares interests with others has more friends than someone who doesn’t. Being a person who has a tiny, strict list of interests will close out people from wanting to interact. However, showing that you are interested in learning about your clients’ work will give them a reason to speak and build a rapport with you.
Show your clients that you’re interested in their work and professional well-being by offering help, doing your job well, giving suggestions, etc. Show an interest in learning about their company or job and share their passion.
Soon, you and your client will have a better understanding of each other’s work and dealing with each other will become a lot more harmonious than it was before.
Show passion till its shared.
At the end of it all, never force things to happen. Remember the first point we said you must grasp towards learning how to build an online rapport? The person on the other side is a human like you. They are as complicated as you are. They have bad days and responsibilities too.
In today’s world of pushy salespeople and unlimited junk calls and messages, clients appreciate their personal space. Let them have it.
Just do your work, be attentive, earn your respect, show interest in their work and when they feel like it, they’ll connect with you.
Don’t be too insistent in your ways trying to build a rapport. No one likes a person who keeps pushing a relationship. Don’t belong to that category of people.
Building an online rapport with your client is a tough job in today’s world and requires several qualities of you. For the most part, being true to your work and your client should get you farther than most. Certain attributes that will sweeten the connection you have with the customers you serve are:
- Being a good listener
- Delivering work professionally
- Offering help where needed
- Earning respect for your work
- Sharing interests with clients
Patience is virtue. Never push for interactions. Focus on work and the rest should follow.
Hope these points helped you. Let us know in the comments below what you did to build good rapport virtually with your clients. We wish you happy customers!