It’s a great feeling when you’re chatting with a prospect and the conversation flows smoothly. But what if you can’t seem to connect with the other person? You may be asking the right questions and actively listening, but the conversation still seems stilted. When this happens, Sarah Greer, a master trainer and coach, says it’s time to lean on your emotional intelligence.

This means instead of continuing with your usual rapport-building strategies, pause your agenda and take a step back. The prospect may be distracted, or they may simply not enjoy small talk. The key to connecting with them, Greer says, is to bring them back into the conversation in some not-so-typical ways. We share her ideas in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

1. Admit your flaws. This isn’t something you’d normally do if you clicked with a prospect right away. But when you’re talking with a potential buyer and the conversation just isn’t flowing, try sharing some mild flaws. Doing so can make you seem more relatable and can increase your connection with your prospect, Greer says. Try sharing a personal flaw when the prospect mentions that something didn’t go the way they had planned or hoped. Greer says you could say something like, “I’ve made that mistake many times and trusted others to do a job that wasn’t executed well.” This can show that you aren’t judging them but empathizing with them.

2. Make positive comparisons. While it may be unconventional to compare your prospect to someone you admire, it can help build rapport. Everyone likes to be complimented and hear good things about themselves rather than criticisms. You can use this innate preference in your favor in your sales conversations, Greer says. For example, you might say, “You know, you remind me of one of my favorite bosses. You both have the same great respect for your teams.” Whoever you choose to compare the prospect to, just make sure you’re genuine and avoid saying anything that could make them uncomfortable.

If you don’t immediately hit it off with prospects, all is not lost. You may simply need to try one of the less-than-typical approaches above. Give it a try to bring prospects back into conversations.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Sarah Greer is a master trainer and coach with over 20 years of sales and sales leadership experience in the advertising, staffing and uniform industries.