Rapport building in authentic B2B sales interaction

Timo Kaski, Jarkko Niemi, Ellen Pullins

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Acquisition of new customers is critical for any business seeking to achieve growth. This paper investigates the skill of rapport building in establishing new customer relationships and engaging customers for solution co-creation. A qualitative multiple phase study supports a micro-level analysis of rapport building in the context of business-to-business solutions and services selling. The study includes three parts: in-depth qualitative interviews, conversation analysis of video-recorded real-life sales meetings, and follow-up interviews. The results show that salesperson-initiated actions have little influence on rapport building and that strong initial rapport can compensate for potential interaction weaknesses later in the meeting. Our findings point to a set of collaborative actions and related skills needed to build rapport and move a relationship forward. These findings provide theoretical insights into the earliest moments of new customer relationship formation. The results inform businesses seeking to refocus and develop their rapport building skills towards more customer-engaging collaboration.
TidskriftIndustrial Marketing Management
Sidor (från-till)235-252
Antal sidor18
StatusPublicerad - feb. 2018
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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