In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the first step necessary to begin building a relationship with a prospective client that will lead to conversion; that is, building a rapport with your prospect that will lead to more design sales.A quick reminder from that post: Every positive sales encounter eventually devolves to the relationship created between the salesperson and the prospect. A positive experience, that is, when a sale is made, is the result of a relationship that benefits both of you – and – as a professional, it is your responsibility to build that relationship.After all, the prospect has already done their part by coming to you (however that may have been done) and presenting you with the opportunity to make a sale, which leaves the next part of the encounter, building the relationship, in your hands.Make a friend, if you hope to find out what is important to your prospectKnown among salespeople and sales trainers as “Qualifying”, questioning your prospect to discover their needs is a critical step in the sales process. However, few people like to be questioned in an obvious manner, which can make them defensive. Then too, in many sales situations, your prospect is unsure of what they are looking for – mainly because they have no idea what’s possible.However, if your concern for their welfare is genuine, your client will sense it and be more open to you, your questions about their needs, and your eventual solution or proposal.Remember, depending on the situation and environment, many of your prospects may fear “being sold” something they do not actually need. Of course, this is simply a euphemism; they actually fear that a good salesperson may “take advantage” of them. You ignore this mindset at your own peril for, even though you know that your intentions are honorable, the fear is very real for them. There is but one way to overcome this – be forthcoming and authentic with every prospect – while being firm within your own mind that your only goal is to help them find the best possible solution.Instead of simply “qualifying” your prospect, engage them in a conversation. Be empathetic and understanding. Get to know them to the extent they permit and pay attention to not just what they say, but also to their body language. Crossed arms and legs indicate resistance, as does avoiding eye contact with you. If you see these clues, relax your own posture and open up physically to them, in an effort to bring them along into a more relaxed frame of mind, and body.Most important, be genuine in your desire to help them find the perfect solution.Looking for more new design trends, tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.