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Competition Killer Part 1: How to Build Instant, Unparalleled Rapport

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competition killer

jp mosesA Word from JP Moses, Director of Awesome...

This lesson is the first in a 3 part min-series of lessons brought to you by Shaun McCloskey. We had a chance to sit down and discuss how he’s crushing his competition, and woah boy did we get some awesome stuff!

For part one, Shaun's going to dig into how he crushes his competition by knowing how to build instant, unparalleled rapport with people. Part 2 and part 3 will dig into even greater depts of Jedi Mind Trickery and how to kill your competition...

But f you can get people to believe in you, to trust you and do the right thing then you've done a heck fo a lot to become the only game in town. And Shaun's an absolute master at this. Seriously, you should see this guy in action.

As a seasoned short sale real estate investor in St. Louis, Shaun has been running a full time real estate investing business all the while teaching others how to invest in short sales.  He’s a “systems guy” and has even trained his own team on how to use the important instant rapport building techniques you are going to learn in this lesson.  

This is some seriously powerful stuff if you use it. So enjoy part 1, and tune back in with us for parts 2 and 3...

From Shaun McCloskey, Deal-Getting Adviser...

Let's Just Be Honest...

The fact is, there are a lot of other people out there doing what you do, right?

I mean, we all “buy houses.” But what sets you apart? Why should they choose you over the next Joe? Why are you so special?

Well, in this lesson I’m going to share with you how to build unparalleled rapport with your customer right from the 
very first conversation so they do choose you every time! When we're done, you will have a better understanding of how to mirror and model four senses to help someone feel more connected to you and build instant rapport.

Building Instant Rapport...

competition killerLet’s start at the beginning: how to build unparalleled rapport with the seller, as quickly as possible.

It starts with mirroring and modeling. If you want both you and your customer to get the most value out of your encounters together, you’d do well to become a student of these arts.

Even though we all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different family structures and traditions, we all still have the same basic emotional needs and many predictable common denominators in our preferences.

For example, we all like to be around others we perceive as similar to us in some way – and the more like us we perceive them to be, the more we find we enjoy their company.

Think about it... have you ever met someone and just immediately hit it off with him or her? Have you ever just “clicked” with someone and felt like you've known him or her for years, though you may have only met 5 minutes ago?

I know I have.

And I know the reason that I've felt like this in the past is because the person that I felt so connected to was really a lot like me in some way. And I’m not just talking about hobbies we have in common, although that can play a part.

But a lot can be said from more subtle similarities – things that may not jump right out at you, but are alike nonetheless. Things like similarities in how you speak or listen, expressions on your face, how you stand, your posture, the pace at which you speak, etc.

You Must Feel Empathy

In order to build rapport with someone quickly, you must first feel empathy for how the other person thinks and feels. By mirroring or matching the other person’s body language, posture, breathing and vocal tonality, you can more easily tune in to their world, and have them simultaneously tuned in to you.

Once a “mirror” has been established, respectfully leading someone down the right path will become nearly effortless. At times it’s almost like that person is being led by themselves.

Think of this like a mime doing his routine. If you can imagine two mimes performing an identical routine together, this gives you an idea as to how two people could build some serious rapport very quickly.

Unless the routine is pre-designed and rehearsed ahead of time, there is always going to be an initial tone established by each of the people involved. And this “tone” is usually established by the person you would like to build rapport with. (In this case, your customer.)

The Listener and the Leader

Before we jump into exactly what mirroring and modeling is it’s important to understand that in all interactions there are two major roles: The “listener” and the “leader.”

  • Listener – The listener’s job is simple. Sit back and listen to the other person and be open to suggestions. In the beginning of rapport building, the listener is the person trying to establish rapport (YOU). Do not offer solutions too quickly. As the listener, you will initially be the most receptive and open to discussion between the two of you.
  • Leader – The leader will set the initial pace in both tone and the overall feel of the conversation. This person will essentially be the “leader” of the content of your discussion, how it will be discussed and the overall feel of the conversation. The leader will usually be the person you’re trying to build a relationship with (your customer). This person will initially lead the conversation. 

    Your duty in the first part of the conversation is to be the listener. You will listen to the homeowner and get them talking. Ask them questions about themselves that demonstrate you have some level of interest in them personally, not just in their house.

    The more you can get them to talk about themselves, the more rapport you will build quickly. The more you can get them to lead the conversation, at least in the beginning, the more open and comfortable they will feel with you.

So What is Modeling and Mirroring...

mirroringMirroring and modeling someone should be done in conjunction with asking open-ended questions. If you've done this properly (without going overboard) the other person will have no idea it’s even occurred. But they’ll feel at ease and quite comfortable with you. And since they’re in good hands with you, it’s a win-win.

To break them down a little more...

Modeling is the process of adapting the behaviors, language, strategies and beliefs of another person in order to “build a model” of what they do, think, and feel. What’s interesting about this is that when you “model” another person for a moment, you can literally (temporarily) suspend your own beliefs, feelings, and thoughts for a short time and take on the beliefs, feelings, and thoughts of another person. It’s what actors do when they’re trying to really “get into” a role, but you’ll do it much more subtly of course.

Mirroring is the process of physically imitating whatever the other person is doing. Picture yourself in front of a mirror. If you tilt your head to the side, the person looking right back in the mirror tilts his/her head to the side as well. If you lean forward, so does your counterpart. If you cross your legs, he does as well. And when you speak a little fast or slow, he also does the same.

Now you want to be careful not to go overboard in either of these or you’ll just come off as creepy or making fun of them– again, not something you’re going for. Be subtle, but intentional.

Through the process of mirroring and modeling, you will subliminally build rapport. Once this initial rapport is built, trust begins to occur. And with trust you can transform your seller from a “leader to a “listener”.

Once the seller has had a chance to vent their problems and issues to you and you've been the one to actually listen (unlike so many of the other investors they may have already spoken to), the roles can easily be reversed.

Now, instead of you being the listener, your role can be switched to that of the leader. You are now free to lead the conversation wherever you would like to go and the seller will be more receptive to you because you've really listened to them first before providing solutions.

There’s a reason why the last part of that sentence is underlined. You are NOT to provide solutions to problems until you are fully aware of the problems. You cannot be fully aware of the problem until you have asked enough open-ended questions and then listened.

To Help Someone Feel More “Connected” To You, Mirror and Model These Four Senses:


 talking listeningNotice the speed of their speech.

Is the person talking rather fast? A little slow maybe? Imagine the awkwardness of trying to have a conversation with someone who’s speaking 500 words per minute while you’re only going about 60. Maybe you've even experienced this before. It’s troublesome and frustrating for both parties.

Building that rapport “connection” is so difficult in these situations because the fast talker is thinking, “Just spit it out already!” and the slower is saying “Slow down a second, would ya?”

As you become more aware of this, you’ll notice that some people automatically adjust their communication speed to match the other person without even realizing it. It can be somewhat intuitive sometimes, but I’m asking you to try and do it intentionally, to help make your overall interaction with the seller more effective.

Notice the intonation of their speech.

Think of this as the “pitch” of how someone is speaking. Are they speaking in high tones?  Or are they speaking in low tones? Maybe using a bit of a drawl? Does their speech pattern move up and down? Or is it fairly monotone?

Notice the amount they're speaking.

Are they telling you their whole life story right off the bat? Or are they a little bit more reserved? If the person is a little bit more reserved your position should be to get them talking about themselves. Again, asking open-ended questions does this. Don't force the issue with them, however, you can ask subtle, open-ended questions with this type of person and still get them to open up to you.


touchThis may seem a little abstract, but what you literally FEEL can be in part defined by your sense of touch. 

When you’re talking to your seller, notice their hands.

  • Are their hands clenched up into a fist?
  • Are they relaxed and spread out on the table?
  • Are they moving around quite a bit?
  • Are they tapping the table?
  • Is their foot jumping up and down or tapping the floor?
  • Are they chewing the side of their lip as they talk to you?
  • Do they scratch their head every time they start to talk?
  • Do they play with their hair in a nervous fashion? Or is it more of a bored manner?
  • How is the person sitting?
  • Are they upright on the edge of their chair? Or are they slouched in the chair.
  • Are their shoulders tensed up? Or are they very relaxed?

The more you can mirror what can be literally felt by the other person, the closer you will become to seeing their thoughts and feeling what they feel.


eyesWhat you see and focus on has a huge impact on your thoughts and feelings as well. Visual clues can be a bit more challenging to pick up on.

  • But where are the person's eyes as you're speaking to them?
  • Are they looking up at all?
  • Dancing around the room?
  • Or are they looking down at the ground?

Again, the more you can see what they see, the more you'll feel how they feel. Ask yourself what you might pickup from where the seller is spending most of their time looking – either about their situation or how they feel about it.


breathModeling breathing patterns is a dead giveaway to how another person is feeling. This will bring you to another level of closeness to the person you’re mirroring to the point where you can almost step into their thoughts. I know it sounds a little spooky, but there’s nothing magical about it.

  • Are they breathing fast and hard?
  • Soft but shallow?
  • Are they taking long, deep breaths?
  • Or are they taking short spurts of breath?
  • Are they breathing from their diaphragm or from their chest?
  • Sighing a lot?

Try to Duplicate The Other Person’s Thoughts, Feelings and Emotions

When you arrange yourself into the most accurate duplication of the other person, you will have an unbelievable representation of what they’re thinking and feeling, and this gives you a very real edge over your competition.

There is a direct relationship between the mind and the body. When the mind does “X” the body does “Y”, therefore, if you can duplicate a persons “Y” you’ll have a pretty close (if not exact) representation of what they’re thinking.

Think about this for a second...

What is everyone’s favorite topic to talk about?

If you guessed “themselves” you are absolutely correct! People LOVE to talk about themselves, and the interesting thing is that the more you get people to talk about themselves, the more connected they feel with you.

I've had people end our conversations saying things like, “I just feel like I've known you for so long.” or “I feel so comfortable around you, like I could just tell you anything.”

The reason they feel like this isn't because I’m someone special. The only thing I did differently than any of the other investors out there is that I got them to talk about themselves for a while... and then I actually LISTENED!! Not only did I listen to them, but I was genuinely interested in what they had to say and did my best to identify with them – even physically!

Have you ever met someone that was the exact opposite as this? Someone that just wouldn't shut the heck up long enough to let you get a word in? Someone that just rambled on and on for hours on end about their life, and their husband, and their kids, and their job, and their hobbies, and their...

UGHHH!!! Don’t be that person anymore!

Notice how you feel when you’re around that type of a person. You may like the fact that this type of person feels like they can open up to you initially, but the reality is after a while you get bored with them. You more than likely don’t feel like you have very much in common with them, and odds are you probably don’t feel like you've connected with them much, if at all. You don’t have that “magic rapport” we’re going for here.

My sister jokes around sometimes by saying, “I’m sorry, I've
 been talking long enough. Enough about me, let’s talk about what 
you think of me...” I laugh every time she says that because it’s just so true for most people, though they’re completely clueless to it.

Again I urge you, make sure you’re not that person! You don’t gain rapport by talking about yourself for two hours or trying to impress the seller with your endless knowledge of real estate jargon. God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. You should to listen at least twice as much as you talk. Invite people to talk about themselves first, and they will flock to you because they feel important and heard.

Mirroring and Modeling Can Be Used On the Phone Too!

can phoneKeep in mind that these mirroring and modeling techniques can be implemented even over the phone with the exception of the visual clues. You can instantly build rapport with someone in just a few seconds over the phone with these same principles.

Practice this and get good at it. The next time you meet someone, try to mirror and model them and see how fast your relationship blooms to a new level. Remember, people like people who are like themselves, so the more like them you are, the more rapport you'll build instantly.

Empathy = More Deals

This is a great lesson on how to really engage with your customers and buy more houses. 

Do you understand the role of the listener and the leader in all conversations?  (you are the listener, your customer is the leader).

Are you starting to understand the four senses you need to mirror and model build rapport? (Auditory Senses, Kinesthetic Senses, Visual Senses and Breathing Patterns).

Do you understand the role of the listener and the leader in all conversations?  (you are the listener, your customer is the leader).

By mirroring and modeling the fours senses you are essentially trying to duplicate the other person’s thoughts, feelings and emotions resulting in empathy for your customer and instant rapport so that you buy more houses!

Do It To It! Immediate Action Steps
  • Practice mirroring/modeling someone today. Find someone today you can try this on, withtout them even knowing it. If they take up a position, copy it about 10-20 seconds later. If they lean closer, you lean closer, if they have their right leg forward, you have your left leg forward, if they put their left hand on their hip, you put your right hand on your hip (if I dip, you dip, we dip).
  • Practice intentional empathy today too. As you're talking with this person, make continual, direct eye contact. Try to really duplicate the other person’s thoughts, feelings and emotions outwardly, and even inwardly if you can.
  • Pay attention to what happens. Did you feel more connected to them? Did they seem more connected to you? Did anything unusual happen in the conversation that might not have otherwise?
  • Try it with sellers. This is part science, part art. But anyone can learn it. For some it comes more intuitively and others have to practice. But practice makes perfect, so start implimenting it into your REI conversations and see what kind of results you get!
  • Keep learning. Read part 2 and part 3 in the Competition Killer series.

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