Phoney rapport building (don’t try to build rapport too quickly)

Here is a common scenario.  Guess what type of call this is likely to be?

Agent  –  “Hello, can I speak to Mr James Smith?”
Customer –  “Speaking.”
Agent  –  “Hello, Mr Smith, how are you doing today?”

I wonder if you can guess what type of call that is likely to be?  That’s right, it’s a sales call.

It’s what I call “phoney rapport”, trying to build rapport too early.

I think people are getting wise to this type of call.  I certainly know if I get asked “how are you doing today” I instantly know it’s a sales call, and start to build up the mental barriers on how to deal with this type of call.

It’s much better to give a brief value proposition and quickly say why you are calling.  For example “Hello, Mr Pearce, I’m calling from the Energy Company and we think that we have a way that we can help you save some money on your electricity bill.   Would you be interested in finding out more?”

Opinions vary on this type of approach.  One manager confirmed my opinion. “Phoney rapport! Just had the same conversation with one of my agents warning them of exactly that! However, with some agents it seems to work really well and I think this is due to their tone”.

Another contact centre manager felt that early rapport building was important. “It is perhaps overly pre-emptive to dismiss the phoney conversation? Rapport is related to ‘gift of the gab’ and is intrinsic to the nature of outbound dialling,” she said.

Read our Best Tips, Phrases and Words to Use for Building Rapport

What do you think about rapport building? 

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Published On: 5th Mar 2012 - Last modified: 21st Jul 2017
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