Building Rapport with Clients

Business Networking

Building rapport with clients is your essential first step to successful customer relationships. Rapport is based on similarity. When two people are in rapport, the body language and energy levels are reflected between each other. It is important to build rapport so you can develop healthy short and long term relationships with other people.

5 Elements for Building Rapport with Clients

There are 5 key elements in building rapport with someone that determine how effective our interpersonal communication is. They are:

Words What we say – the words we choose
Vocals How we say it – how we speak
Body language What we display – how we signal and gesture
Learning styles
Our ability to understand their visual, auditory, kinesthetic or auditory digital learning preferences and communicate in a way they respond well to
Behavioural styles Our ability to understand their behavioural style and communicate in a way they easily relate to

Building Rapport by Matching

A very useful technique to building rapport with clients is to utilise a concept called “matching”. Matching is the subconscious copying of gestures between people who are interacting. It’s a way of people telling us they like us or agree with us. It is also a way for us to tell others that we like them, by simply copying their gestures.


 A simple way to match someone is to match their leg posture. If they are crossing their legs you can cross yours. If they have one hand resting on their face, you can do the same.

When matching, it is important not to mimic the other person. If you do, this will work against you and break the rapport.


1.  When you go into a restaurant, establish rapport with the waiter or waitress. 
2.  When you’re going up to a counter to purchase something, practice establishing “instant” rapport (it’s possible).
3.  You can increase your awareness of matching by practicing with a friend. Just sit opposite each other, keep eye contact and copy every movement the other makes.

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