Orangeville, ON (Caroline Davis) Generating rapport with any individual or group you hope to win over involves three strategic elements.

First, you must understand their worldview. What do they value? Joint venture proposals I receive almost always miss the mark with me because they assume that how much money I would make is my number-one consideration for acceptance or rejection of a deal.

Second, you need to use their language. I once asked a financial advisor where he thought the economy was headed, and I barely understood a single sentence in his five-minute answer. No rapport there!

Third, as you build your case, make the type (or types) of argument they prefer.

  • Social proof: What other people believe and do
  • Facts: What science or history shows
  • Emotion: Connections with their fears and hopes
  • Anecdotes: Illustrative stories that make a point

Rapport killers include the attitude that you know what they should want or do; an egotistical “I, I, I” or “we, we, we” presentation; not explaining things sufficiently; or a tone that’s inappropriate to the subject.