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Persuasion : How to Build Rapport – Part 1

Do you find yourself behaving differently, using different gestures and adopting different lingos when you are with your friends… as opposed to when you are with your family members?

Well, we all do that.

In fact, if you pay close attention to people hanging around in a group and enjoying themselves, you’ll notice that they tend to use certain words over others, speak with the same tonality… and they stand/sit in a certain manner.

If someone starts folding their arms together, very soon the rest of the people follows suit.

So why is that happening? Well, it’s simple.

People who are in rapport often unconsciously behave, think and talk very similarly.

And the only reason why persuasive speakers are able to build rapport with their audiences all the time is because they have mastered the technique to behave, think and talk like their audiences.

Conversely, the only reason why some people find it rather challenging to bond with anyone else is because they have yet to master the technique to do the same.

So if you’re currently facing certain difficulties to bond with your clients, family members or friends, the good news is:

This will soon become a thing of the past after this chapter.

Oh and by the way…

Did you know that you can always tell if a couple is a newly-wed or couples who have been married for years?

Yes, it’s rather easy. You see if they are in rapport OR out of rapport.

Get Excited Over Your Ideas/Products/Services First

If you want people to be passionate about your ideas, first feel passionate about the idea yourself.

If you want people to experience a sense of urgency to get your products/services, you must first experience the sense of urgency yourself.

Here’s an example of how I apply this in my seminar previews…

You see, I really care about the success of my seminar attendees and I want the people attending my seminar previews to feel it as well.

So at the start of each preview before I speak, I’ll always take a few seconds to look at the audiences and visualize them as my family and friends.

If I see a middle-aged woman, I’ll picture her to be my mom. If I see a man, I’ll picture him as my brother or a close friend.

Then I’ll ask myself, “If this person is my loved one, what would I want them to learn from this?”

And naturally, I’ll begin feeling a certain level of care and concern towards them – both on my conscious and unconscious level — and they will pick that up via my words and gestures throughout my previews.

As a result, I was able to get people to sign up for my seminar without much hard selling

Now, is this something you can also do the next time you attempt to persuade people to your thinking? Of course it is!

Listen – If people can feel that you really care about them, half of the persuasion game is already won.

How can you win the other half of the persuasion game? Let’s find out in the next chapter!

Develop Empathy And Come From The Heart

Let’s assume that your oven was damaged and you’re shopping in an electronic store for a new one.

You come across sales assistant A who spots you looking at the latest oven on the shelf and right on, she dives into telling you all the features of the new oven.

Then, you told her you needed some time to think about it and you politely move away.

Then you came across another model of oven that caught your attention. And as you’re reading the specifications of the other oven, sales assistant B politely approaches you.

Instead of diving into the features of the oven, she starts by asking you what you liked about your previous oven and understanding what type and size of oven you are actually looking for.

Let me ask you: Which sales assistant will likely end up with the sale? Sales assistant A who dives into the features of the oven you were looking at… or Sales Assistant B who took the time to understand your needs and frustration?

The answer is obvious, isn’t it? Sales assistant B, of course!

And that’s why building empathy with the person/group you want to persuade is extremely crucial.


Have you ever had the experience where someone else praised you for something – but somehow you just know they don’t mean it?

The truth is, every one of us have that ‘sixth sense’ or lie detector which automatically lets us know if what the other person saying is sincere – or not.

And in sales, if someone else attempts to sell you a product they don’t have faith in, you can feel it too. They can talk till the cows come home, but you still wouldn’t buy it if you cannot feel their sincerity, would you?

So my point is, before you even think about persuading someone – your spouse, children, employees or team mates – first come from the heart.

If they can feel that you do not have any ulterior motive to getting near to them, they will generally be more willing to listen to your ideas.

You already know that dogs are human’s best friend, yes? But do you know why?

It’s because they will stop at nothing to love and genuinely care for their owners. Ask any dog owner and they can attest to this.

There are No Resistant Students, Only Inflexible Teachers

In my training seminars, I get a good number of teachers and lecturers who come wanting to learn to become more persuasive communicators. I usually tell them to adopt this belief: ‘There are no resistant students, only inflexible teachers.’

Initially, a few will get offended. But they eventually realize that by following this principle, it puts the responsibility back on them and gets results. Why?

Because with responsibility comes the power to do whatever it takes to build rapport with the students, until they listen. Once there was a teacher who asked me what to do with all the attention deficit children in her class. I replied saying, ‘Attention deficit is an excuse given by boring teachers.’ I almost got thrown out of the room for that one!

But the point I later made was that in the classes that I conduct in schools, every student, even those that had been labeled attention deficit were extremely focused, attentive and participative.

The reason?

Because I conducted my lessons with lots of fun and excitement! I kept modifying my teaching style until I got the response I wanted, attentive learning!

Take 100% Responsibility For The Way You Communicate

The key is to take responsibility for the way you communicate, and the results you are getting from it.

This way, we attain absolute power over the effect of our communication.

Whenever we communicate with someone, do we always get the response that we want?

When we attempt to motivate our staff, do they always respond by getting motivated?

When we sell an idea to someone, do they always buy what we say? Does the meaning of our communication always get across the way we want it too?

You know that the answer to all of the above is a flat “No!”

So what happens when we do not get the response that we want?

Again, we have two choices!

We can choose to blame the other person for not being receptive, for being unreasonable, close minded, stupid, etc. But you know what? By doing this, there is nothing more we can do about it! We have shut the door on them.

Let’s hear what traditional communication theory says about successful communication. It theorizes that when two people communicate, both have an equal, i.e. 50% each way responsibility, for the success of the communication.

In other words, say A is talking to B and attempting to sell B an idea. A can do his best to communicate, but 50% of the success of his communication lies with B.

If B has a closed mind and does not want to listen, the communication can never be successful. So B is to be blamed for the unsuccessful communication. Unfortunately, people who buy this theory never become effective communicators.

Why? Because by accepting this theory, we will always be limited as communicators. We will not always get the result we want! In fact we will seldom get the results we want.

You motivate your staff to work harder, but they don’t respond positively, so you give up!

You try to motivate your children to study harder, but it doesn’t work, so you say, ‘What’s the point? They are just lazy.’

Habits of Highly Persuasive People

The power to persuade and communicate is one of the most important tools we have as human beings.

In fact, your ability to achieve your goals almost always depends on your ability to communicate and influence other people.

As a salesperson​, your ability to communicate your product benefits will determine whether you get that sale.

As a business owner​, your ability to motivate your staff, attract new clients and investors is determined by your power as a communicator.

To be an effective teacher or a parent​, you must be able to motivate, inspire, convince, build rapport and sell ideas to your children or students.

So, do you want to become a master communicator, someone who is always able to influence others in a powerful way?

Then you’ll want to adopt the 3 habits of highly persuasive people, starting with…

The Secrets to Becoming More Persuasive

Would you agree that being more persuasive would help you out at work? How about at home?

The truth is, persuasion gives you advantage in various aspects of your life. It helps you build a harmonious family, get better prospects at work, sell more products and inspire the people you truly care about.

And unlike popular belief, persuasiveness can be learned and mastered.

In fact, ask any charismatic speaker and they will all agree that persuasion is more of a learned skill than in-born talent.

However, the trouble is that learning to be more persuasive is not that straightforward.

You see, most books will tell you that being persuasive is all about maintaining eye contact, and keeping a smile on your face.

Now, please allow me to ask you a question…

Have you ever had the experience where a salesperson smiled, looked at you in the eye throughout the conversation, and said all the right things… but for some reason – a part of you just didn’t feel right – and you walked away not buying anything?

Well… He/she smiled and looked at you in the eye, didn’t he? So why wasn’t he/she able to persuade you?

The answer is simple.

Sure, smiling and maintaining eye contact does make you appear friendlier and more personal.

However, doing just these two does not make you persuasive enough.