Rapport Building – Step 4: Making Good Eye Contact

There are all sorts of sayings about eye contact such as:

  • If you won’t look me in the eye, I can’t trust you.
  • The eyes are the mirror of the soul.
  • The eyes have a language of their own.

These few sayings alone demonstrate the power of eye contact. They tell you that you must use your eyes to build trust, demonstrate sincerity and speak honestly.

I teach nine steps to building rapport at my 3-day, high-intensity Boot Camp Sales Mastery program. The fourth step, making good eye contact, is one of the most challenging for some people who are new to sales. It’s also a challenge for some veterans who aren’t closing as many sales as they would like. They just don’t realize it.    

For some in sales, finding just the right amount of eye contact is a very uncomfortable thing. How you learn what’s right and best is through practice and by observing your clients well.

You never want to stare down a client. That’s too pushy. And if you notice your clients looking away frequently while you’re speaking to them, it could be that you’re giving them more eye contact than they’re comfortable with.

While you’re with clients, it’s critical that you notice what’s going on with their entire body language. This includes watching their eyes, their posture and their motions. Taking all of this in helps to keep you from giving them too much direct eye contact.

Make eye contact when your client is speaking directly to you. Rapt attention demonstrates interest. Make eye contact when you’re first introduced and exchanging pleasantries. This builds a level of comfort between you and the client.

It doesn’t take long to find a comfortable level of eye contact with clients once you give it some conscious attention. It becomes obvious what is comfortable for each client and you will quickly relax into a pattern of appropriate eye contact as you move into the next area of rapport building.

To learn the other steps to building rapport, do a search in this blog in the category: Intial Contact.

This information is copyrighted by Tom Hopkins International, Inc. for reprint permission, contact Judy Slack (judys@tomhopkins.com).

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