7 Tips to Make a Good Impression with Everyone in 90 Seconds (or Less)

What is rapport exactly? It happens when two or more people are in sync or on the “same page” because they feel similar or relate well to each other. When you master establishing rapport, you will have more success in business, a wider social circle and greater options romantically. Here are seven fast and doable ways to establish rapport with anyone, in any setting.


1) Do Your Homework

Study whom you’re meeting and where you’re meeting them. This will guide you in what to wear, when to arrive and what to bring. The bottom line is people like people most like them. Don’t step out of character to become someone else, but do everything you can to walk in with a confidence.


2) Get Introduced or Endorsed

The studies on this are clear: people follow the lead of credible people. To dramatically increase the strength of your rapport, have the most influential mutual friend provide your introduction and endorsement. When the person introducing you is not “influential” but simply an acquaintance, social validation also works.


3) Observe

When first meeting someone, most people waste the opening seconds by not shutting up. You can learn a great deal about someone by simply watching and listening to not just what they’re saying but how they’re saying it. The most important aspect to pay attention to is tone.


4) Parrot

After about 30 seconds of observation, you should know their tone, the cadence in their speech and if they tend to do anything particular with their body (like keep hands in their pocket or periodically touch you). With this information, you’re armed to parrot them – literally mimic the tone, cadence, and body language. It may feel odd, but it’s the most effective way to quickly make someone feel comfortable with you. I try to do this in my interviews.


5) Align Values

This step isn’t about adopting the values of everyone you meet. It’s listening for underlying clues and cues about a person’s values and their personality type. Do they use thinking words or mostly feeling words? Do you hear a common theme of value-based words such as trust, honesty, ethics or credibility? Once you get a sense of their belief system, you’ll know how to introduce yours. If you can connect on values, you have the baseline of a strong relationship.


6) Confirm Level of Trust

Rapport is where trust begins.  Use a few seconds to validate whether you’ve built rapport with the person or if you need to return to one of the previous steps for a quick adjustment. Attempting to move a conversation forward before it’s time often results in you feeling that you’re just spinning your wheels.


7) Make Yourself Scarce

Once you feel a basic level of rapport is established, it’s time to get ghost! Items as well as opportunities become more desirable as they become less available. The bottom line is that we want more of what there is less of (and this applies to people, too)!



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About Paul C. Brunson
I'm a husband, father, mentor, and mentee. The host of weekly syndicated TV show, founder of an award winning matchmaking agency, CEO & Co-Founder of a tech startup, and advisor to several companies. If you couldn't tell from all my jobs, I'm Jamaican. No really, I'm Jamaican :)
Naomi Ambrose
Naomi Ambrose

Great tips as always Paul! I really liked the part in # 5 about determining whether the person uses thinking or feeling words.

Liz Jackson
Liz Jackson

i'm back to bed chat later thanks you paul

Niya St-Hill
Niya St-Hill

Wow, #7 blew my mind. I never saw it that way…I gotta try going ghost protocol! For the most part, i just always made sure to be myself, cuz if a first impression says a lot, I want it to say the truth about who I am. Another great post Paul :).