I’m a naturally curious person. When I meet new people I like to find out what they do, where they’re from, what they like and what makes them tick. This trait helps in my negotiations. Honest rapport building is important because it helps build trust and facilitates collaborative information sharing. Studies show we are more likely to say “yes” to someone we know and like.
Recently, an Arizona-based colleague attended a college football game in Texas where he ran into a high school classmate from Delaware who turned out to be the brother of one of his important customers. “Small world” encounters like this can help us identify common personal elements that can strengthen our professional relationships. Of course, this was very fortuitous.
So what can you do, practically speaking? Take your negotiation counterpart, customer or client to lunch or dinner and build rapport by exploring your possible common interests, both personally and professionally.
How have you successfully built rapport with your negotiation counterparts, customers or clients?