How To Set Your Sales World On Fire With Rapport Play

March is set to roar. The old weather adage, “in like a lion, out like a lamb”, takes on new meaning in our modern day sports world. Every college basketball team in the country is ready for tournament play. For some, the last hope for glory rests on doing well in conference tournament play—they have little hope of moving on. Others have their sights set on the big dance—the NCAA tournament. Either way, the stage is set for madness. March madness.

Among the many lessons sales people can learn from the great sport of basketball is one shared by college All-American and Boston Celtic All-Pro Danny Ainge. Ainge is currently the general manager of the Celtics and has great basketball IQ. With experience as a player, coach and manager in the NBA, Ainge is a rich source of life lessons.

While playing for the Celtics, Ainge was influenced by the wily coaching legend Red Auerbach. At least one tidbit from Coach Auerbach is worthy of consideration for sales people and business executives as we launch into the spring of our business year. As reported by Ainge, Coach Auerbach encouraged his players to, “be the instigator”.

That is great advice for business leaders and sales people. Be the instigator. Don’t wait for things to happen. Be the person that makes things happen. For Auerbach, being an instigator meant, initiate contact. The same is true for sales people and business leaders; fate rewards those who initiate contact. In the Griffin Hill Integrity Sales System, contact is initiated using the Case Open Routine. The very first play is Rapport.

The Rapport Play is used to break the ice, reach through barriers and initiate relationships. Skill with the Rapport Play is fundamental to social standing and business success. In business as in basketball, the person who initiates contact is rewarded. Instigators enjoy higher social standing, respect and admiration. They win more friendships, business connections and opportunities.

The Rapport Play is a simple self-introduction. Because it is governed by the law of first impressions: body language, dress and grooming count. Smile! A smile influences people around you and changes you, too. Surprisingly, putting on a smile boosts mood, happiness and enjoyment. A smile builds self-confidence. When you are well groomed, well dressed and smiling, your confidence and mood will be at its peak. From there it is a simple matter to reach out a hand and introduce yourself. If you want greater success, social standing and influence, initiate contact and do it more abundantly.


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