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. 

Whenever you’re ready…here are a few ways we can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you’ll land more clients:

1) Follow Tom Ruwitch on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.

2) Attend our free training: “How to Harness the Magnetic Power of Storytelling…” Discover how to transform marketing from a confusing, resource-draining hassle into something that’s simple, fun AND productive. Details and registration here.

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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.