3 Ways To Instantly Build Rapport With Someone You Just Met

There’s an old adage that goes, “If you want to be a millionaire, help 1 million people solve a problem.” Though not everyone wants to be a millionaire, there is a clear learning opportunity in that statement. Whether or not material wealth is important to you, the process of creating abundance in your life is pretty simply:

Constantly surround yourself with new people. As time goes, upgrade and cultivate your relationships.

By surrounding yourself with quality humans and consistently building those relationships, you will grow in ways you simply cannot on your own. Whether wealth represents money, happiness, fulfillment or something else to you, you elevate your ceiling for achievement by adding good people to your life.

This is true for colleagues, romantic interests, friends and family.

If this makes sense, you might then ask, “How do I start adding these people to my life?”.

Well, in the same way that to walk you must crawl first, it’s a good idea to understand how to start a relationship with someone if your goal is to foster and develop it.

Truthfully, the process of how you go about developing your circle of influence is limitless. In this social-media-driven world, anyone is at your fingertips at any given moment. If you understand the keys to starting a new relationship, you can really make a dent in a goal like this quite fast. Now, you just need an idea of where to start.

This is where building rapport becomes valuable. We have all met that person that everyone seems to like no matter who they are. If you’re anything like me, I’ve spent many hours trying to dissect what it is about someone like this that makes them so adored by the masses. What might you achieve or elevate in your life if you modeled some of your behaviors after a person like that?

What I’ve learned- mainly through experimentation- is that building rapport is just as much of an art as it is a science.

Here are 3 ways you can begin building rapport with the next person you meet:

  1. Use their first name at least TWICE in the conversation. Everyone loves hearing their name, especially when it comes out of the mouth of a stranger. It’s rare to meet someone that goes out of their way to remember everyone’s name. Maybe you’re different, but I always experience positive feelings when someone new proves that they remembered my name some time after I introduced myself. That at least gives you proof that some, if not most people in this world like it when people remember their name. Did you know that another person is 60% more likely to reflect back on your conversation if you use their first name two or more times while you talked?
  2. Mirror their tone and language. If you find yourself in a conversation with an individual that has a more mellow approach to speaking, match it. Don’t turn your voice down or speed it up to the point that it doesn’t sound like you. This isn’t the right time to prove you have ‘no chill’, as the kids would say. Just keep it simple, and match the tonalities and language patterns they are putting out. If you want to experiment a little bit, what what happens when you take the opposite approach (i.e. if they speak fast, you slow it down). Watch how the conversation will shift, and see if the person becomes less engaged. When people are like each other, they like each other.
  3. Mirror their physiology. Again, don’t overdo it here. The point of building rapport is not to copy what the other person is doing, but to match some underlying characteristics. If they are slouched over, you might try doing the same thing. The next time you have a conversation with a vivacious, strong speaker, stand tall and exude confidence in your words. See if little changes in your body language or body position increase the engagement of the other person.

It should go without saying, but none of these tips are intended to ‘trick’ another person. You should always be your authentic self, because no strong relationship was ever built on a foundation where someone was choosing to be someone they weren’t.

Going forward, here’s how you might take action and apply these easy rapport building tips/experiments for developing new relationships:

  1. Commit to regularly surrounding yourself with new people. Adding or reaching out to one person in your life during the third week in September of 2016 is not going to cut it. Maybe you decide that you’ll look to add one new person to your life each week, month, or quarter. Whichever you decide, acknowledge the trade-off of time that it will take to truly develop a meaningful relationship. You are dealing with other human beings, meaning you must be selfless and respect their time, as well.
  2. Experiment with the rapport building tips in your interactions with strangers. See what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s really fascinating to see the lady at the bank brighten up when you begin matching her energy and enthusiasm for her job. Your experience, and hers, will more than likely be better as a result.