Three ways for building rapport remotely

João Cruz
3 min readJun 16, 2020



In the age of Digital, Startups are launching innovative and disruptive products, often struggling with communicating their Value Proposition to potential customers. What can a startup learn from traditional sales to overcome this barrier?


Traditional salespeople would tell you to build a strong relationship with your prospects, earn their trust. But this is no easy task when most of your meetings are being held over the phone or through conference calls.

If you ask anyone how they deem someone trustworthy, the likely answer is: “ gut feeling “! But where does that come from?

Mirror Neurons are hailed as the cornerstone of human empathy and there are several techniques you can use to build trust with your prospects, even on remote. Here are three that are easy to use:


When presenting a product a dozen times a day, you pretty much know it all by heart and subconsciously you’ll want to let it all out at once and get a quick answer from your customer so you can close or move on.

But if you think about it, for your prospect everything is new! Give people time to process the information you are giving, become comfortable with silence and pace your speed to match the other person’s speech.


If you are passionate about your product you are likely to slightly raise your voice when you speak of it. Don’t!

Make sure to align your energy with your audience’s. Speak at the same level as they do and as they become more excited about the product feel free to share the enthusiasm. When you master this skill you’ll find that at some point you can even lead the way to excitement, but for now focus on strengthening rapport.


There’s technical jargon in every industry. You’ve been presenting your product and you know the ins and outs of it, including all the technical terminology. But always remember: in sales, getting the message across is more important than sounding like an expert who no one understands.

Backtracking is a good practice when answering questions: simply repeat the words that the customer used to formulate the question. Here’s an example:

Question: “How do I customise my panel so I can see the predicted churn rate for next quarter?”

Technically Correct Answer: “The dashboard allows you to analyse all forecasts on the Forecasts tab.”

Backtracking Answer: “The panel allows you to see all predicted metrics on the Forecasts tab.”

Key Takeaways

Mirror Neurons are responsible for empathy, they’re the ones telling us who we should or should not trust. When people sound like us we relate and Mirror Neurons love that resemblance! Feed your customer’s Mirror Neurons with recognisable speech features and you are guaranteed to get more of your message across and strengthen rapport.

Originally published at on June 16, 2020.



João Cruz