This Book Proves the Power of Rapport-Building


When I make a new connection on LinkedIn, I usually send a direct message ice-breaker to build rapport with the person.

Often I’ll say, “Please tell me something about you that I wouldn’t know by reading your profile…” and then I share something about myself. 

I got that idea from Ted Prodromou (America’s Leading LinkedIn Coach), who believes (as I do) that social media – and marketing, in general – is all about establishing real, personal, human connections with people, not about robotically pounding prospects with automated pitches. 

Experience and common sense told me this approach was right. 

Now I have a scientific study to prove it. 

I learned about the study on page 203 of the book Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Noah J. Goldstein, Steve J. Martin, and Robert B. Cialdini. 

NEWSFLASH: “Yes!” is the first book we’re discussing in the Mastermind Book Club that Ted and I will launch next week.

On page 203, the authors describe a study that examines whether personal rapport affects negotiating outcomes. 

In the late 1990s, researchers paired students from two elite business schools to conduct mock negotiations via email. 

In half of the pairs, students dove into negotiations without any rapport building. 

In the other half, students exchanged photographs and short bios – and they exchanged get-to-know-you emails – before negotiating. 

The results: 

The students who did not build rapport reached an impasse in 29% of the negotiations. 

Students who built rapport reached an impasse only 6% of the time. 

And get this…

Rapport-builders reached better settlements.

Page 204: The “…settlement—the sum of what each participant walked away with—was 18 percent higher in the personalized groups as compared to the depersonalized groups” 

The bottom line, as noted in he book: 

“It’s okay to use a computer to persuade.
Just don’t act like one when you do.” 

I love that. And I love this book. 

That’s why Ted and I chose it to kick off the book group. 

In case you missed my earlier email (link), here’s the deal…

Introducing the Mastermind Book Club!
The stress-free way for time-crunched business people to UNLOCK INSIGHTS from great books and share ideas on how to IMPLEMENT game-changing strategies and tactics  

You’re invited. 

Here’s how it will work: 

Every month, Ted and I will choose a great business book for the group. 

Ted and I will read the book. You can read it, too – but only IF YOU WANT TO. 

In our FREE, exclusive Mastermind Book Club online community, Ted and I will share short videos, blog posts, and other conversation-starters. 

For example, I’m going to post the story of the rapport-building study in the community, and I’ll encourage everyone in the community to weigh-in on how they build rapport to establishing meaningful, business-building connections. 

You can participate in any conversation you choose, or you can start your own.  

The idea: 

  • Share insights drawn from the book.
  • Discuss how to apply those insights to improve your business.
  • Celebrate success as you or other members implement 

The keyword above: IMPLEMENT. 

If you’re interested in joining the Club (it’s free), reply to this email and let me know. 

Next week, Ted and I will share details about how to join. 

p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.