How to Build Rapport Virtually
Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Now more than ever, finding clients is as easy as posting an ad online, and creating your network has also been convenient. However, what comes with this is the risk of losing those clients to someone else and those networks falling apart is just as easy. Hence, building rapport should always be one of your main priorities.
Do you remember how or why you’re friends with the current friends that you have? Chances are that when you met each other, you hit it off immediately or as time passed by, you found out just how much the two of you have in common. It’s not that different when it comes o your clients. Building a professional persona is vital of course but being on friendly terms with your clients helps them stick by you in the long run.
Whether you are the business owner or a customer, you would always prefer to deal with someone who has a good rapport with you.
For us virtual assistants, this becomes even more important in the long run as we have to deal with clients every day. Hence, building and maintaining a good working relationship with our clients is a must! Here are some tips to help you build rapport with your clients:
1. Build Your Persona First
This may sound like some instructions out of an online game, but what it means is that you need to let your clients know who you are first as a person. Having an impressive portfolio is great, but remember that these clients are people looking to have a working relationship and it’s hard for them to know whether they will like you or not as a person based on your portfolio alone.
Know your target clients’ common interests or gain some knowledge about their fields and let them know that you can communicate with them not only as an assistant but also as a person who knows and values their work and interests. Now your clients will be more likely to approach you and hire you for your services.
2. Turn Your Video On!
This is perhaps the easiest way you can build a personal connection with your client. It lets them know that you are more than just a voice behind a screen or more than just a chat message in their notifications. This makes your meeting and transactions with the clients feel more personal and authentic especially if you meet with them on a daily basis.
They say that humans love familiarity. We tend to favor things that are more familiar to us. Seeing the other person’s facial expressions also allows us to trust them more. So, why not let your clients be more familiar with your face?
3. Have an initiative
Another way to help build rapport with your clients is by volunteering to help them with extraneous tasks. These may range to simple or moderate tasks, but do not be too helpful of course as you do not want to be too helpful that you seem like a pushover.
However, when you do it in the right amounts or in the right moments (i.e. when your client is too stressed out), lending a helping hand can work wonders for you and your mission to build rapport with them.
Remember to be sincere with your offer though, as you want to be like a friend who was with them in their time of need and not just an opportunist who waited for the right time. This will show how generous and reliable you are and will help foster positive relations between the two of you.
4. Be Engaging
As we tend to speak with our clients mostly about paperwork, documents, and reports, it’s inevitable that some days will be boring. To prevent this you need to get creative. Either with the way your present or the way you present it.
For the former, speaking in an engaging way keeps your client’s attention for longer and keeps them interested in having this meeting with you. You can also allow them to participate more by allowing them to ask questions should they have any.
When it comes to what you are presenting, make use of personalized or engaging visual elements in your design. Don’t just use a plain background with text! Yes, brevity is good, but it wouldn’t hurt to make your presentation more appealing. Just be careful not to overdo it and let too many design elements overshadow the point of your presentation.
With this, the clients will have a better impression of who you are as a professional and will want to keep working with you longer.
5. Stay in touch
Just like in any other relationship, losing contact is one of the primary reasons why we fall out of touch with each other. So, make sure to catch up often with your clients and schedule a meeting with them. This may be weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly. Just make sure to not lose contact with them for too long.
Even simple messages such as those asking them about their day can help you stay in touch with them this helps further build rapport between the two of you as you let them know that you are available whenever they need you.
Just like with the previous ones mentioned above, be careful not to overdo this too! You wouldn’t want to come off as obnoxious or creepy by bombarding them with text messaging every hour.
They say that nothing beats real-life connections, but with these tips, you can make your virtual connections just as good, if not even better than a face-to-face encounter. Building a good working relationship with a client helps you in more ways than one. It helps build your brand and allows you to have frequent or loyal customers that feel comfortable working and communicating with you.
Simply remember to be sincere, thoughtful, and reliable to all your clients and not only will be able to have a good working relationship, but also have a genuine human connection.