0c52759-3In the ‘NLP for Coaches: How to Build Rapport Quickly and Win New Business’ series, I will be explaining how you can use NLP to build successful relationships with your prospects and encourage them to buy your coaching services. But that’s not all – there’s a further plus for you – the NLP concepts and tools which I will be sharing with you are transferable which means that you can also use them to create value for your existing clients. That’s what I call a win-win!

In this, the second post in the series, we will be exploring what it is exactly that floats your boat when you are the customer; we will also cover verbal and non verbal communication.

Whether potential clients regard you as credible or not, is largely determined by your ability to influence their thinking and behaviour. Ultimately, your business success, or not, as the case may be, comes down to your ability to influence potential clients and this requires skill in building rapport quickly.

Let’s explore the following contrast for a moment:

Think of a specific time when you experienced a pushy sales assistant.

  • How did you feel at the time?

Think of a specific time when you were enticed by a sales assistant.

  • What was it exactly that he or she did that enticed you?
  • Would you feel comfortable with a person whom you felt had no respect for you?
  • Would you warm to someone who makes no attempt to understand your needs?




Rapport is not something you do and then move on – it is a constant

Rapport often develops naturally and you often don’t notice when it’s happening. It’s likely that you already have rapport with many people, but there will be occasions when a person who is important to your success is not on your ‘wavelength’, and you will need to work at building the relationship with them.

Verbal and Non Verbal Communication

In 1970, a landmark study by M. Argyle et al suggested that over half (55%) of communication is non-verbal. Of the remaining 45%, Verbal Communication, a mere 7% is associated with what we actually say – the words that we speak – while 38% is associated with how we say it, or our Tonality

55% of communication is non-verbal


  • Posture (including tilt of head & spine)
  • Gesture
  • Facial Expression & Blinking
  • Breathing
45% of communication is verbal:

38% is associated with how we say what we say which we refer to as Tonality

  • Tone (pitch or frequency)
  • Tempo (speed, pace or rhythm)
  • Timbre (quality or characteristics)
  • Volume (loudness)

while a mere 7% is associated with what we actually say!

  • Words
  • Sensory Based Words
  • Key Words
  • Common Experiences & Associations


Does this surprise you; that so much of our communication – 55% – is non-verbal? How can you leverage this knowledge so that you can quickly build rapport with and influence your prospects? And where does this leave you when potential clients call you by phone and you only have verbal communication to rely on. How can you make the most of the remaining 45%?

Luckily NLP has the answers.

Make sure you don’t miss Part 2!

Pam Rigden

Founder, NLP for Coaches



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