Self Depreciation Over Social Rapport
We naturally use social rapport to establish a connection with people we meet. At a wedding, we might ask a stranger how they know the bride and groom. We might talk to a stranger about the weather.
As a salesperson, you are more social than most people and have been trained that rapport is needed to build trust, which you must establish with the buyer in order to ask the hard questions.
When a salesperson is trying too hard to be liked, their efforts to establish social rapport on sales calls are often viewed as contrived and insincere. It is clear on call recordings that many buyers become impatient with chit chat.
In place of social rapport, use self-deprecation to establish rapport.
Self-deprecating humor has three big advantages over social rapport:
- There are four personality types and social rapport appeals only to two of the four. It is annoying to the other two.
- Self-deprecation, hard as it is for 100% of humans to do, is effective on 100% of humans.
- Self-deprecation takes less time. For almost all salespeople, time with customers is your constraint. It limits your personal deal flow and your company’s revenue flow. Use the time to ask the hard questions, which demonstrates competence and creates trust.