In 2007 I was working for Hewlett-Packard acquiring businesses and spending a lot of time in Moscow, Russia…
I couldn’t speak the language.
I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying to me.
I couldn’t communicate with anyone.
I couldn’t do my job.
But then I remembered the most important factor in dealmaking… the one thing that matters the most inside of a deal… the one word that can make or break any opportunity…
Rapport is the ability to build relationships with people. And if you are successful at building relationships with people, you can influence them.
In show business, performers who excel at singing, dancing and acting are called triple threats.
Today, I want to show you how to use rapport to become a dealmaking triple threat.
Building good rapport with sellers is absolutely critical because it helps them get to know you…
Then they get to like you…
After that, they’ll get to trust you.
Once the seller feels like they know, like and trust you, it’s easy to position yourself as the “safe pair of hands” to take over their business.
Now, granted, there are lots of ways to do this…
In 2007, I started smoking.
To be honest, I wasn’t in a great place. My partner Julia (now my wife) was pregnant with our amazing son, Josh. But I was 30 pounds overweight and drinking like a fish.
I was tired…
I was stressed…
And to top it all off, I was stuck in Russia, sitting in a meeting on a deal and nobody was taking me seriously.
My message wasn’t getting through. I couldn’t communicate. Which only added to my stress.
Plus, everyone was smoking. It’s a big deal in Russia.
Back at my hotel one evening, I was feeling pretty low. I opened the minibar and stared at the shelves…
Stacked down one side were multiple brands of vodka in mini bottles.
Stacked down the other were multiple brands of cigarettes.
I don’t know what possessed me. I grabbed a pack, opened it, struck a match and started to inhale.
After coughing and spluttering for 10 minutes, the stress started to dissolve. I actually slept pretty well that night.
The following day, I sat in a meeting and lit a cigarette — the rest of the room was already smoking — and instantly the dynamics changed.
Everyone wanted to talk to me.
When I spoke, everyone listened intently.
My message was getting through.
I had become a triple threat overnight. As we puffed away, they got to know me… like me… trust me. I was finally able to influence everyone and get the deal done.
That’s the power of rapport.
Now, please don’t start smoking to build rapport and/or relax. It’s not worth it.
In fact, I haven’t smoked in four years — my lungs are clear, I’m considerably healthier, and I don’t have any issues building rapport or letting go of stress.
That’s because I’ve got a few amazing tips that I’m about to share with you…
I wish I had known these in 2007 so I wouldn’t have started smoking.
- Take deep breaths — Remember, 4-8-16. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 8 seconds and breathe out for 16 seconds
- Meditate — Just 10 minutes will work magic. Use a great app like Headspace. Even 10 minutes of silence works. Just focus on your breath — in, hold, out
- Get moving — Go for a 10-minute walk. Breathe fresh air (in, hold, out). Get the blood flowing.
To build rapport (even in Russia) simply ask personal questions.
Do you have kids? Are you married? What sports teams do you follow? Have you ever been to [your country, town or state]? What’s your favorite drink?
When I meet a seller for the first time, I spend at least 30 minutes speaking about them. I don’t talk about the business at all. Not a word.
I want to get to know them. And I want to get them to know me…
And trust me.
It makes a massive difference.
So — please don’t start smoking to relax or build rapport.
Just remember my two-step secret: Breathe and ask personal questions.
Until next time, bye for now.
Editor and co-founder, Dealmaker Wealth Society
P.S. Do you have any de-stressing secrets? I want to know! Reply to this email and tell me how you chill out.