Marketing guru, Guy Galboiz, presents another essential tip to gain more customer trust.  Marketing is not only presenting the product but also reaching out to people and letting them trust the product. Galboiz uses a specific definition on rapport which can be applied to marketing:

Rapport is a process for building responsiveness with people.

As you can see from this definition rapport is not about how much someone likes you although this is often a by-product of building responsiveness. It is purely about increasing responsiveness. A clear example is two people in a heated argument. They will be matching and mirroring each other and showing all the signs of rapport and be highly responsive to each other. But they probably, in the middle of the argument, not particularly like each other.

Building Rapport

People respond better to the known rather than the unknown. This means that by matching a person’s body language, verbal language, belief and values that person will feel automatically more comfortable with you because they will “feel” like you are a known quantity. This makes them more responsive on an unconscious level. By using techniques like in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), you know how to develop this as a technique fully in face-to-face situations, over the phone and in writing.

The other real benefit of building rapport with people is that you get a far better understanding of where they are coming from i.e. you become more responsive to them. The idea of being able to walk a mile in the shoes of your marketing prospects is a huge benefit. There are specific NLP techniques to do this but are outside of the scope of this article.

Whilst it is great that you get to understand your marketing prospects better and that they feel comfortable with you…but this is not enough. Marketing is about presenting the right products and services to the right customer in the right way so that they get the opportunity to buy. To this end the next step in the rapport building process is to lead your prospects to your products and services in a way that will present your products so that they buy. In NLP terms this is called Pacing and Leading.

You pace the current situation of your prospect to build rapport and then you lead them to a solution to their problems which is hopefully, your product or service. If we were talking about persuasion skills or sales skill we would look at this in terms of eliciting a buying state in your customer and then anchoring that state to your product or service. In effect whenever the prospect sees the product they get the urge to buy it. If you want to look at great examples of this sort of thing just think about how Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nike and many other of these types of brands advertise.

But How Does This Help My Marketing?

Guy Galboiz takes a few areas of marketing and give you some ideas for how you can use the concept of NLP Rapport to your advantage.

Let’s just say you are thinking about a new product and are at a stage where you are doing some market research. Obviously if you know some rapport building techniques you can put your interview subjects at ease and get better quality information from them. But let’s just think for a moment about the type of information you can gain.

All the usual marketing type questions are obviously valid. But, there are all sorts of interesting bits of information I would be looking for. For example I would pay close attention to the language that they use. This is because in all my marketing copy I would want to match the exact language. I would like to know specific words and phrases they use, whether they prefer formal language, informal conversations, do they prefer emotional criteria or are they all about facts and figures. Understanding your market on this level has almost as much benefit as the answers to the questions about the product.

Understanding how your market processes information is key. By matching this you are building rapport. Imagine trying to sell trainers to young people through the use of government white papers detailing the impact of trainers on global economy. Or perhaps selling IT infrastructure systems to the CEOs of multinational corporations through 30 second adverts with lots of singing and dancing. Obviously I am being extreme to make the point, but understanding your prospect on this level allows you to deliver information to them in a way that is comfortable to assimilate.

Get to know the fears, dreams, hopes, problems and expectations of my prospects. I would like to know these things generally but in particular the context of the product or service. People think and act differently in different contexts. A parent might be a complete pushover with their children but an absolute demon and completely intransigent at work. So the context can make a big difference to a person’s values, beliefs and thinking patterns. So a general idea is useful and specific information within the context of the situation you have for your product is even more useful.

The Value of Values

One particular thing I would like to know from my prospects is their values around the product or service.

Values in NLP are those abstract concepts that are important to you in the particular context. For example, if I were to ask a range of people what is important to them about the car that they drive you will get a range of answers, such as:

  • Reliability
  • Fun
  • Safety
  • Economy
  • Looks good

In fact you probably have several of these but they will be in a hierarchy. In any given context these values define the types of cars you will want and how satisfied you will feel with the car that you have.

You move towards your values and judge yourself against them. For example If a car buyer has two values, one about getting a good deal and another about a good looking car they will look for a car that fulfils both values. When they get home they will evaluate the car against these values for their emotional response. If they bought a car that they really liked the look of but thought they paid over the market value for the car they could come down with buyer’s remorse. They may never like a car that was good value but they didn’t like the looks.

People sort their values into hierarchies and will operate from the most important to the least.

The thing with values is that they are ambiguous terms. Two people may have the same value e.g. the car must look good, but that the criteria that fulfils this value could be wildly different. For example “looks good” for one person might mean a particular colour whilst for another it might mean a body kit and aerofoil. By using the words “looks good” you are already matching their values, but if you have the opportunity you might examine the criteria they are using to fulfil that value.

In a 1 to 1 sales situation I obviously have the flexibility to ask these questions of the prospect in front of me and then tailor my responses to their individual needs. But when thinking about marketing you might want to research common themes.

When doing market research one fundamental question I would ask is “what’s important to you about (X)?” where X is the context for my product or service. By knowing the values of my market I have an inside track on how to sell my product or service. If I do enough of this I can start to pull out trends and common values. Once I have this I have a huge amount of targeted information with which to present my product or service. Below I am going to look at written literature to give you an idea of how you can use this information.

NLP Techniques and Marketing Literature

Okay, so now that you’ve have all this information from your market research how do you use it to build your marketing literature.

The following is a generalised idea for written marketing literature. If you have a look at the NLP Techniques section of my website you will find a specific post deconstructing the language and process I used for my most successful email. The email was selling a Hypnotic Language Pattern Course and created a response of over 50% from my list and I had sold out the course in days of the email going out. When you look through the email you will find that I used every bit of all the ideas I have suggested below.

The first thing I look to do is use the hopes and dreams and expectations of my marketing prospects. Nothing builds rapport faster than having shared, positive expectations. This also has the advantage of drawing the reader in. Basically I am building headlines that plug directly into common values and give your prospect a big benefit statement.

Next I would be building the problem that your product or service solves. I would be doing this in a way that will match their language, their situations and frustrations that you have found in your market research. Again this not only highlights the problem for your prospect but also builds rapport because you are matching their situation.

Only then would I be looking to present the product. Again using the language of your prospect.

All the way through this literature I would be talking about unfulfilled values in the problem states whilst fulfilling those values through the product or service.

The Reality of NLP Techniques and Marketing

NLP is really about getting underneath the surface of who we really are. A good NLP practitioner course will show you how to elicit a person’s unconscious values, beliefs, motivations and drivers in any given context. As a marketer this information is like gold dust because it gives you the opportunity to match and create rapport as well as leading people to fulfil deep, unconscious desires and values.

Using this sort of paradigm for your sales and marketing not only increases conversion rates it is also a very ecological way of selling. Whilst it is easy to misrepresent someone’s values they will always find out and you will lose custom in a very serious way. Conversely by making sure that people’s values are met by your products and services they become friends for life, will bring huge referrals as well is repeat business.

NLP Training Making Better Marketers

Selecting a good NLP practitioner course is a great way of honing your sales and marketing skills. We have only touched on one small element of NLP and looked at few areas and ideas where it can help. Imgine the possibilities of being able to:

Get your prospect to attach good feelings to your products and services…or even to yourself

Use hypnotic language to blow out their objections and focus them on the benefits of your product

Model expert sales professionals, marketers and business models so you can install them in yourself and your business

A good NLP course would be a great way of adding to your marketing skills.