How would you like to skip over the first three “fluff” levels when building rapport with prospects? Then you could get right to the deep-understanding phase where you and your prospect are in total harmony. It would be sort of like the Vulcan mind-meld trick from the Star Trek TV show, right?

How do you get to the 4th level of customer rapport?

This YouTube video defines the four levels of rapport, but doesn't tell you how to get to the deepest level that you need for selling.

Psychologists have identified 4 levels of rapport that you can establish between you and your prospects. They go from Level 1, which is non-verbal rapport, to Level 4, where you share the same beliefs and values. Sort of like going from very slight pleasantries to being deep in the mind of the other person. The deeper the level of rapport, the easier it is to make a sale. I’m sure that you’d agree with that, right?

That is why it is easy-peasy to sell to your family and friends than it is to sell to total strangers.

How do you get to that deep level-4 stage of rapport? This is the $1 million dollar question, that no is really willing to answer. Until now, that is. I’m going to share with you a technique that works exceptionally well.

As I was researching what others were saying about this topic, I came away with the conclusion that they were really concentrating on the first three levels of building rapport; and there was this belief that you had to do them in the correct sequence.

The first level was to build non-verbal rapport. This stage concentrates on sending the right body language cues to the other person you’re trying to influence (i.e., to sell to). For example, most prospect meetings start out with giving a prospect a hand-shake. And I’m sure you have been given a lot of tips on how to do that. One tip that I learned was to turn your body sideways when presenting your outstretched hand, so that you appear non-aggressive. The hope is that the other person will feel more at ease when talking to you.

Before I go too much further, I’d like to point out that most of the people that concentrate their study on this topic are NLP practitioners. The end result of their rapport building strategies is to get their prospect to a trance-like state (as in hypnosis). You’ll often see them gravitate to hypnotherapy careers, which I find interesting. And that I’ll come back to this later, as that tells me a lot about the personalities of a majority of the NLP practitioners.

The NLP practitioners build rapport in the Level 2 and Level 3 stages through a technique called “mirroring.” This is where you first start matching your voice tone to what the prospect is using. If they are in a sad mood, then you change your body posture and the tone of your voice to match that feeling. You may even establish the same breathing rate and pattern that they are using. Then you start dropping in the same phrases and the words that they are using.

mirroring is a technique to make someone else feel comfortable

Are you comfortable around that guy in the mirror?

The reason for all of this is to get the prospect to feel comfortable and to lower their defensive mechanisms. It is like trying to get them to feel as if they were looking into a mirror at themselves, where no one else is in the room except for them. Then, if you are looking into a mirror, you will begin to open up and let out your deepest secrets. In effect, the practitioner has got you to the point where the prospect has exposed their soft underbelly. See how close this is to hypnosis?

Does it work? Yes. After all, these are the same techniques that are used in hypnosis to put someone in a relaxed state and then into a trance.

For the prospect, they do feel safe enough in their vulnerability, that they will establish a significant level of report. In that sense, it is well worth it to investigate NLP techniques further.

However, it has two disadvantages. First, how do you use NLP tactics in a non face-to-face situation, such as selling on a web site?

Mirroring is hard to do when you can’t see the other person. But the NLP people will say that in this situation, you have to use powerful hypnotic stories. That works to some extent, but you have to be real good at crafting a story that someone else will be willing to read online. But to me, this is really “copywriting.” And in that sense, I am all for learning as much as I can about copywriting.

The other problem I see with the NLP technique of mirroring is that I’ve only seen a small percentage of people that are capable of multi-tasking at this high level of proficiency. It is really hard for most people to do two tasks at the same time: trying to sell their product and trying to mirror someone. My own observation is that it takes a specific type of personality that has this ability, and my guess it is less than 25% of the population. I’m not one of them, unfortunately. My mind is easily distracted, usually trying to do problem identification, than trying to do mirroring.

But if you’re capable of doing mirroring to get to level 3 in rapport building, then I say go for it. You don’t have anything to lose.

The fourth level of Rapport

But does going through the first three levels of rapport building guarantee that you’ll get to the fourth level?

The fourth level of rapport does exist. We know we have deep rapport with family and close friends. Right? That level occurs when we know about someone on a very personal level.

Some marketers say you have to be this close with your prospects. But again, that is hard for people like me (an introvert). And it is also next to impossible to do in the internet without consuming a lot of your time trying to establish life-long relationships. But I could be wrong about this. A large majority of marketers say you have to be on facebook and other social media outlets to build rapport to this level with prospects.

But my question remains. Can we get to the level 4 depth in rapport building without trying to be friends with every single prospect on the planet?

I believe that there is a way to get that deep quickly. And as evidence, I offer up con-artists as proof that it can be done. Does that make sense to you? They are quickly able to build trust and get to deep rapport, and they are able to get people to give them money.

How do they do it? And can it be done in an ethical way?

Next time, we’ll answer these questions.

In the mean time, if you want to learn more, see for the techniques that will get you to level 4 in rapport quickly and effortlessly.


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