Better Retail Selling Comes From Better Rapport

A sale occurs when your customer feels comfortable and trusting enough to buy something they need from you. Comfort and trust are the key words in that statement, but how do you achieve this with customers?

The way to make a customer comfortable and trusting of you is to build rapport. Rapport is about establishing an environment of understanding, respect and safety which gives the other person the freedom to express their ideas and concerns. It’s not about agreeing with everything the other person says, but rather making the person feel listened to and understood.

The capability of building rapport is essential for retail selling. The first thing to do in building rapport is to become more like the customer by matching their behaviours. Matching behaviours is not the same as mirroring them. It’s not about copying every little movement the person makes, but rather trying to be more similar to them to make them feel at ease.

The next time you go to a party with friends or visit a restaurant, carefully observe the people around you to see who is in rapport.  If you notice carefully, you will see or hear a similarity between two people in rapport. The body posture of one matches the other. If you can hear their conversation, you will notice the vocal tempo and loudness of one is matched by the other.

When building rapport the most important aspect to focus on is body language.


When selling to customers, a sales person should be aware of their posture, gestures, facial expressions, breathing and smiling.  Become similar to the customer to create an environment of trust and comfort. This environment will enable sales people to sell more and build closer relationships with customers.