[Articles on Communication][Freeing the Mind]

Building Rapport

Research on super-salespeople shows they are better at creating rapport than less successful ones. I suppose this is obvious. When we meet a really good salesperson, we might think they are going to be very persuasive. But we are surprised to find they seem like really nice people. They have us prattling on about our pet interests and they listen and seem to understand so well, that we believe they are really our sort of people.

When they get around to persuading us we tend to believe them because they are so much like us. They seemed to understand us in a way one else seems to. They have paced our beliefs exactly. They make us feel good.

Good runners, too, are good at pacing. They don't run out in front and lead the race, they let someone else take-up the pace and they follow them, until they get near the winning post when they move ahead and win.

Similarly, in communication, we let the other person set the pace and we pace them.

In written communication, we try to do the same thing. However, we have to pace the other person by saying things they must agree with. We get them saying or thinking 'yes' until we are ready to move into the lead and give them our beliefs.

For example:

"At this precise moment, you are looking at these words on your computer screen. You are reading this message now. Your eyes are moving over the words and you are having certain thoughts. Did you notice your eyes blink as you begin to feel excited about all the benefits of being a good communicator. You are wondering how you can use this information in your ever-day life.

"You notice the sound of your computer as you read this message. You may be sitting down, and you are suddenly aware of certain sensations. Specific thoughts are passing through your mind. You want to know about communication and you are getting more and more excited ... I bet you are thinking 'I must master this technique!'

"Learning about communication is so exciting! Especially when you think of all the things you will be able to do in life ... "

In the above I have tried to pace exactly what you are doing. I have slipped in one or two extras. Things I want you to believe (for the sake of the example, of course!) I say a few things that must be true. For example, 'At this precise moment, you are looking at these words on your computer screen'. This will be true in almost every case. You might have printed this out and be reading it in printed form, but it's most likely your looking at the screen.

The above contains a number of these statements which might make it appear I am reading your mind. I have got under your skin. Yet they are so vague and meaningless that almost everyone would find them true and have to agree.

For this type of pacing, you say several things which are almost certainly true and follow them with something you want your reader to believe.

I wonder if you feel as excited as I do about it, or whether you are yet to have that pleasure?

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Most Recent Revision: 26-Mar-99.
Copyright 1998, 1999 Ken Ward,
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