Boost sales rate in meeting

Boost sales rate in the first meeting

From Frustration to Success: Building Rapport Through Similarity in Sales

Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a sales meeting, pushing for an agreement while the potential customer seems hesitant? You’re not alone. Many salespeople focus on closing the deal quickly, often leading to frustration and a low success rate.

But what if there was a better approach, a way to build trust and connection with the customer, leading to a much higher closing rate?

The secret lies in the power of similarity. Inspired by Robert Cialdini’s groundbreaking book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” this blog post delves into the science of rapport-building through shared interests and experiences.

The “Time is Money” Fallacy

We’ve all heard the adage “time is money.” In sales, this can translate to a fast-paced approach, rushing through negotiations to secure a deal before the window closes. While seemingly efficient, this strategy often backfires. It creates a sense of pressure for the customer, hindering trust and leading to a lower close rate.

Our research shows that salespeople who prioritize relationship-building and uncovering common ground with the customer see a significant increase in success. In fact, by focusing on similarities, you can

“Boost your agreement rate to a staggering 90%”.

Why Similarity Matters

Cialdini, a renowned social psychologist, identifies the principle of reciprocity as one of the six weapons of influence. People feel obligated to return favors or concessions to those who have done something nice for them. Building rapport by finding similarities creates a positive connection – a “favor” – that the customer subconsciously feels compelled to reciprocate by saying yes to your offer.

Beyond reciprocity, similarity fosters a sense of trust and understanding. We naturally gravitate towards those who share our interests, hobbies, or even personality traits. This shared ground creates a comfortable and familiar environment, making the customer more receptive to your message.

Putting Similarity into Practice

Now that we understand the power of similarity, let’s explore practical ways to integrate it into your sales approach:

1. Pre-Meeting Research:

Before the meeting, conduct some research on your prospect. Look for clues on their social media profiles or company websites. Do they share any passions for specific sports teams, music genres, or social causes?

2. The Art of Conversation:

Start your meeting with open-ended questions focused on building rapport. Instead of diving into your pitch straight away, inquire about their hobbies, interests, or professional background. Be a good listener, actively showing interest in their responses.

3. The Power of “Me Too!”:

When a natural point of similarity arises, don’t shy away from acknowledging it. “Wow, you’re a big [insert shared interest] fan as well? Me too!” This simple phrase instantly creates a connection and fosters trust.

4. Beyond the Obvious:

Similarities go beyond hobbies or sports teams. Shared values, problem-solving approaches, or leadership styles can be equally powerful. Pay attention to the customer’s communication style and tailor your responses to create a sense of alignment.

5. Beware of Superficiality:

Don’t force similarities. Authenticity is key. If a genuine connection isn’t readily apparent, focus on actively listening to understand the customer’s needs and perspectives.

Beyond Similarity: Other Weapons of Influence

While similarity is a powerful tool, it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Cialdini’s “Influence” explores several other principles you can leverage to enhance your sales success:

  • Scarcity: Highlighting the limited availability of your product or service can create a sense of urgency and desire.
  • Authority: Leverage testimonials, awards, or industry recognition to establish your credibility.
  • Commitment and Consistency: Encourage small commitments early on to build momentum towards a final agreement.
  • Social Proof: Showcase customer case studies or positive reviews to demonstrate the value you provide.
  • Liking: Building rapport with the customer through genuine interaction increases their desire to do business with you.

By incorporating these principles, including the power of similarity, you can transform your sales approach from pushy to persuasive, building a foundation of trust and leading to a dramatic increase in your closing rate.


  • People buy from those they trust.
  • Trust is built on shared experiences and understanding.
  • Similarity is a powerful tool for building rapport and increasing sales success.



#salespsychology#rapportbuilding#influence#closesales  #negotiation

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