In the sales business, we talk a lot about personality types. If you are a Driver, you are fast moving and logic-based. If you are an Amiable, you move more slowly and are more emotion-based (to put it very broadly). If you are a Driver interacting with an Amiable, you'll want to slow down and appeal to their emotions. Many trainers will talk about the importance of matching your body language to the person you are talking to and mirroring some gestures. This is helpful for developing rapport.
However, something equally important is often overlooked: COMMUNICATION STYLE. There are 4 basic communication styles.
1. VISUAL: It's all about the picture. About 75% of people have this style. Listen for phrases like "See what I'm saying?" or "Give me the big picture".
2. AUDITORY: Often these people are musicians or have other deep connections to music. "I hear you" or "That sounds about right" are typical phrases for them.
3. KINESTHETIC: These are hands-on communicators. Phrases like "This doesn't feel right" or "My gut is telling me..." will clue you in to this style.
4. AUDITORY DIGITAL: These folks are very well-spoken and are usually very logical, though they have aspects of the other styles as well. You will hear them say things like "Let me spell it out for you" or "Let's think this through".
It's a good idea to understand your own communication style, just as you probably know your personality type.
When communicating, LISTEN for the clues outlined above, and match your style to your client. Take your mirroring and matching to the next level. It is not enough to act like your customer, you must communicate like them. This will enable you to become a master at building trust and rapport.
To learn more on this topic, try the books below.