15 Questions for Building Rapport in Sales With Prospects



Are you tired of being an average Joe Schmo salesperson?

Do you dream of becoming an overachieving sales superstar?

Hold onto your hats because we’re about to spill the secret to success!

Let me tell you something, to build a great rapport with your clients you don’t need any miracle potion or a complicated five-step program. It’s a skill that successful salespeople have mastered – The Art of Building Rapport. 

Using this strategy, you’ll soon become an expert in rapport building. Sounds enticing, right? So, let’s not wait any further and get started.


How Important Is It To Build Rapport In sales?

When you build rapport with prospective clients, you’re laying the groundwork for a successful long-lasting relationship. Why? Because rapport allows you to establish trust and credibility, two crucial elements in making sales. By building rapport you can achieve the following:

  • Establish trust: Prospects who feel comfortable with a salesperson are more likely to trust their recommendations.
  • Figure out the customer’s needs: As a salesperson, you’ll gain more clarity on your customer’s needs, once you establish a rapport.
  • Enhance customer retention: Customer loyalty is only possible once a strong relationship is built between the customer and the salesperson. So, building rapport results in repeat business.
  • More Engagement: We live in a world where all businesses are constantly fighting for customers’ attention. In such a competitive scenario, gathering engagement is tough but a good relationship with the customer makes it possible.
  • Repeat business and referrals: Rapport building with leads can help in generating repeat business and referrals. Satisfied customers who have developed a rapport with a salesperson are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the salesperson to others.
  • Increased sales effectiveness: Rapport building techniques help salespeople become more effective in their sales approach. By establishing a connection with customers, salespeople can better identify their needs, customize their pitch, and present solutions in a pleasing manner. 
  • Better objection handling: When a solid rapport exists among the customers, they are more likely to share their objections and concerns. This approach would help the salespeople to know more about the prospect and get to know their pain points and problems and address those objections more effectively.

Keep in mind that rapport building with prospects starts way before your first call. You start to indirectly build rapport right from your first email or Linkedin message. Sales engagement platforms like SmartReach.io ensure that all your communications (Email, Linkedin of WhatsApp) are hyper-personalized. They also provide AI-driven recommendations for effective communications. You could ask it to add humor or write in any other style. 



Building Rapport: Questions to Get Acquainted

Rapport building questions are designed to establish a connection with the prospect and build trust.

You can construct a number of questions depending upon the situation and style, but most of your questions will fall under any of the below-mentioned categories.


Hypothetical questions:

Hypothetical questions get the prospect to consider the future and how your product or service could benefit them. Examples of hypothetical questions include:

  • If your company pivots in the next month, how will you change your sales strategy?
  • If there’s a recession, what would be your approach?
  • If your competitor drastically reduces the price of their product, what approach will you follow to maintain your sales at the same level?

Two-Way Questions:

As we learned in school, communication is a two-way stream. You can’t just keep asking questions, where’s the fun in that? Even interviews nowadays have a back-and-forth communication. So, use questions like:

  • Would you like to ask me anything?
  • Do you have any concerns about the product?
  • Would you like to know anything else about our product before we move forward?

Open Ended Questions:

By using these questions you aren’t fishing for a tailor-made answer. These questions allow the customer to share anything they want to, it can be as detailed and as brief as possible. By using an open-ended question, you throw the ball into their court. However, by carefully analyzing their response you can learn a lot about them.

  • How effective do you think your current sales approach is?
  • What are the areas difficult for you to tackle?
  • Has customer retention ever been a problem for you?

Focus on building a genuine relationship with your prospects to hit your quota and make those sales.

Rapport building questions aren’t just small talk; they’re the key to unlocking a genuine connection with your prospect. And let’s be honest, nobody wants to talk to a robot, so personalize your questions and show your prospect you’re more than just a sales pitch. 

You could reference their latest blog post or congratulate them on that promotion they just posted on LinkedIn. And remember to keep it professional. No one wants to hear about your cat’s latest hairball incident. So, sprinkle some authenticity into your questions and watch the magic happen.

Here are some of the best rapport building questions you can straight up ask during your next sales pitch:





Rapport Building Questions


Question 1: You mentioned facing issues with X situations, right? 

But before flexing your sales pitch, show genuine interest in their pain points. 

Before flexing your sales pitch, show genuine interest in their pain points. Once you know what the difficulties are, build on them and ask them about their plans to address the issues. Whether they do have a plan or not you can always pitch in your product as a solution, but before you do that make sure to listen. Don’t make your customer feel that you only asked a question to pitch your product. Try to sound genuinely interested in their problem, and mention your product as a mere suggestion.


Question 2: I came across your Blogpost on X Topic. It was an accurate description of the process. What is your opinion on the related topic Y?

Ask your prospect their opinion on a related topic relevant to your product.

It showcases your genuine interest in them and their opinions. Asking such questions also lay the foundation for some fruitful conversations that could help you find out more about the customer. The best thing however is that the customer will be impressed by the research you’ve done. So, wear your personalization hat and get ready to charm your way into their heart (and hopefully their wallet).


Question 3:  Wow, you’ve been with XYZ for over a year. Where did you work before though?

Asking where your prospect worked before may seem like small talk, but it could uncover a surprising connection. Maybe they used to work at a company you’re familiar with, or perhaps you used to be coworkers without even realizing it. 

In either of those situations, you’ll find a common ground to talk more upon. So, don’t shy away from such questions, especially when you already know the answer. Wink, wink.


Question 4: I noticed that you are an alumnus of XYZ University. My sister/brother/friend was in the same institute, and they won’t stop talking about it. Was your experience incredible as well?

Who doesn’t love talking about themselves and their achievements? By showing genuine interest in their background, you’re not just building rapport but also transferring positive feelings.


Question 5:Congratulations on your recent promotion to manager! So, how’s the new role treating you? Any challenges or exciting developments? 

Who doesn’t like a little appreciation? By merely congratulating and enquiring about your customer’s experience, you paved the way for a strong long-lasting connection. People love nothing more than talking about their achievements and by asking such questions, you are giving them the opportunity to do so. It also shows that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested.

The last part of the question, about challenges and development, provides you with an opportunity to sell your product too. You can offer your product as a solution to the recent challenges the customer might be facing. It’s a win-win situation.


Question 6: I went deep through your Linkedin Page and discovered you volunteered for Organisation X. How was your experience with the X people?

When you notice someone’s volunteer work, it shows you care about more than just their professional life. You can learn about their passions and connect over shared interests by asking how they got involved. Plus, discussing their volunteer work can build trust and show that you value the prospect beyond just making a sale.


Question 7: If you could get rid of one aspect of your business, what would it be?

By means of this question, you can find out if your services or products are useful to the customer at the time of rapport building. This will make it easier for you to sell them your product later. Hypothetical questions can uncover the prospect’s deepest pain points and reveal the shortcomings of their current solutions. 


Question 8: I notice you are bilingual in languages A and B. Language B is my mother tongue. I often use it in official conversations once I get comfortable with the client. Do you do that too?

Asking if the prospect is bilingual like you shows your linguistic prowess while opening the door to explore their language skills. The questions for building rapport add a personal touch, making the conversation more engaging and memorable.


Question 9: Recently, I spoke with several managers from the ABC industry, and they mentioned XYZ concerns. Are these relevant to your organization too?

You show interest and gather crucial information by asking about the prospect’s industry and concerns.


Question 10: What are some long-term goals or aspirations you have for your business? And how do you think our product/service aligns with those goals?

The salesperson may portray their solution as a strategic investment by knowing the customer’s long-term vision and demonstrating its connection with the customer’s growth plans and long-term aspirations.


Question 11: What initially attracted you to our company/product? And what are you hoping to achieve by incorporating it into your business?

Understanding the customer’s motivations and goals allows you to tailor your sales pitch to their individual demands and demonstrate how the solution can help them achieve their desired outcomes.


Question 12: Can you share any success stories or positive experiences you’ve had with similar products/services? How do you envision our product/service surpassing those experiences?

The salesperson can highlight areas where their product can shine by describing previous positive experiences, portraying it as an upgrade or enhancement over the customer’s previous interactions with similar solutions.


Question 13: What are some key factors that your team or stakeholders prioritize when evaluating new solutions? How do you see our product/service meeting those criteria?

Recognizing the customer’s assessment criteria allows the salesperson to demonstrate how their solution meets those criteria, highlighting its compatibility with the customer’s decision-making process and creating trust in its worth.


Question 14: What are some aspects of your current vendor/partner relationships that you value the most? How do you see our company aligning with those aspects?

Understanding the customer’s desired attributes in a business partnership allows the salesperson to showcase their company’s capabilities in those areas, emphasizing the possibility of a mutually productive and value-driven connection.


Question 15: In your opinion, what differentiates a great vendor/partner from an average one?

Considering the customer’s expectations and criteria for assessing suppliers enables the salesperson to highlight their capabilities in those areas and position themselves as a superior alternative, highlighting the distinct value they bring to the table.





Benefits & Importance Of Rapport Building in Sales

Let’s understand more about the benefits of building rapport in sales:  

  1. Increased LifeTime Value (LTV): The better the rapport, the stronger the emotional bond, and the higher the chances of them sticking with your brand for the long haul. Thus, increasing the customer’s LTV.
  1. Lead Magnetism: Rapport building brings potential customers to your business and converts them into leads.
  1. Customer Relationship Management: You can only have a long-lasting relationship with good communication and rapport building. The same goes for your business and its customers. Building a solid relationship with your prospects is essential for successful customer relationship management.
  1. Reputation Boosts: Building rapport with customers can do wonders for a brand’s reputation. It will not only make customers come back to you but will also attract new ones.
  1. Exceptional TLC: Customers want to feel loved and appreciated, just like the rest of us. Providing excellent customer service through rapport building is like giving them a warm hug, a cup of tea, and a freshly baked cookie. Who wouldn’t want that?
  2. Trust and credibility: Building rapport helps to establish trust and credibility between the sales team and clients. Clients are more inclined to trust and depend on information, recommendations, and solutions supplied by trusted sales team members. 
  3. A deeper understanding of client needs: Building rapport allows sales teams to obtain a better grasp of their client’s requirements, preferences, and problem areas.
  4. Referrals and positive word-of-mouth: Clients who have formed a rapport building with the sales team are more likely to suggest the company to their colleagues, friends, or business partners. 
  5. Competitive advantage: A good relationship may distinguish a firm from rivals in a congested environment where several organizations offer comparable products or services.
  6. Customer loyalty and retention: Clients that have a great connection with the sales staff are more likely to conduct business with the company in the future, renew contracts, and make repeat purchases.

Building rapport in sales is crucial to nurturing leads and converting prospects into loyal customers. 

By incorporating rapport building questions into your conversations, you can refine your customers’ experiences and boost your brand’s reputation. So why wait? Sign up with SmartReach.io today to see how our modern techniques and multi-channel approach to sales automation can help increase your revenue and guarantee success.

SmartReach.io is a sales engagement platform that provides outreach via various platforms such as LinkedIn, WhatsApp, email, SMS & call with a focus on deliverability. The tasks that can be performed on LinkedIn are profile view, send connect request, send message and send Inmail. This feature would help build trust and credibility among the prospects. SmartReach also provides a shared inbox feature which will help with a reduction in the sales cycle, no emails from prospects will go unanswered, helping with a great prospect experience. 


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