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How to Build Rapport to Achieve Trusted Advisor Status

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Executive Summary.

  1. Why this is important.
  2. Tips on building rapport


How to Build Rapport to Achieve Trusted Advisor Status

By Andrew Clare

pic_andrewAchieving Trusted Advisor status is the wholly grail in relationship based sales and marketing initiatives. Get this right and more often than not it allows you to maximise the potential market for your services and solutions in a client, hence maximising that client’s market share.

All too often however, we forget the simple basics in implementing this. The graphic below lays this out in a simple, logical sequence.



Source: Rainmaking Conversations 2010.

Building rapport is where it all starts. Where is the common ground, both on a personal and business level? This is made all the easier in today’s environment, given the propensity of social networking sites. The best in the professional environment is LinkedIn. A few minutes spent learning about the person you are going to meet with will be well rewarded. It goes without saying that a company’s website is a must prior to any face to face meeting.

Why is a bit of research of such import? Simple, in the majority of instances, people like to do business with people they like. This assists in building that all important ‘connection’. That’s establishing the foundation from which to build rapport. Get this right and you’ll earn their respect through offering advice, creating value and going the extra mile.

Over time, this will evolve into a trusted partnership with your client. A word of advice. Be sure to develop rapport with at least three to four individuals at your client company. Given that in B2B purchasing processes, several people will influence, recommend and make the decision to procure Capex or Opex, this protects one from the potential risk associated with personnel leaving or being reallocated to a different division or subsidiary.

Hence, genuine rapport will set the foundation for the rest of the conversations and will create the basis of a strong relationship based on trust for years to come.


Andrew Clare is Managing Partner of reLiance a business to business relationship marketing practice. I focus on improving client profitability through developing, implementing and measuring sustainable, collaborative business to business relationships.

Cell: +27 83 326 2451, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Web: www.rassa.co.za, LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andrewclare


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