Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

How to Use Micro-Rapport to Enrich Your Sales Funnel

May 27, 2015, Michael Karp

Many businesses have two main issues with their sales funnel:

    1. They struggle to capture leads

    2. They struggle to convert those leads into sales

Both of these issues stem from a major lack of one key ingredient. This part of the recipe is often missing in a marketing department’s repertoire, simply because they haven’t been exposed to it yet.


Salespeople typically reach out to leads and use their interpersonal skills to convert them. Since salespeople rely on these skills, they’ve honed them to a fine art.

Too many marketing departments, on the other hand, focus on getting as many prospects as possible over to sales. As soon as they detect interest from a prospect, they shovel them down the sales funnel.

This is a huge mistake! It’s a kink in the sales funnel, and it’s probably costing your company sales (and repeat customers).

How to Fix This Leaky Sales Funnel

So. How do you fix it?

You need to establish interpersonal communication with prospects across the entire funnel, not just when they hit the sales department. Some of those people skills need to transfer to the marketing department. It spreads out your communication with prospects.

This is called micro-rapport, and it acts to warm prospects from the very second they interact with your brand. Your marketing department becomes more hands-on. They start engaging in targeted, interpersonal outreach.

They establish rapport from the get-go, so when these leads eventually hit the sales department, they’re used to interacting with people in your business. It’s not foreign to them.

The Goal of Micro-Rapport

This is the goal of a micro-rapport based sales funnel:

Establish trust and open communication.

People buy from people and businesses they trust. Rapport builds trust. Communication builds trust. Blatant selling does not.

To incorporate this, we’ve established a system called “Inbound-Out Marketing.” This system takes the best aspects of sales and sprinkles them into your marketing interactions. It involves active social media prospecting. It involves email outreach with buyer-focused content.

This is marketing that’s quota-driven, and it’s the type of marketing that will raise the quality and depth of your lead generation ten-fold.

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So Should You Just Transfer Sales Over to Marketing?

Absolutely not. Micro-rapport will not work without a solid marketing foundation.

You still need intimate knowledge of your ideal prospect. This establishes a standard of communication across the sales funnel. It helps you identify the right prospects, not just any old lead who might make a good fit.

You still need a marketing department who understands that valuable and useful content is still the name of the game in digital marketing. Your business needs to provide value first before prospects will even consider you over your competitors.

This up front value can come in the form of discounts, deals, and promotions. But anyone who’s been exposed to inbound marketing knows that targeted content trumps it all.

Inbound-Out Marketing Takes This to a New Level

Traditional inbound marketing assumes that prospects are actively looking for your services through various channels (social media and search).

Then, it calls for creating content and distributing it in these channels to attract prospects and eventually convert them into leads and customers.

But what if your prospects don’t hang out in social watering holes? What if it’s the CEO who’s too busy to handle social media? What if your prospect’s needs are highly specialized?

Simply distributing content in these channels won’t cut it. Your marketing department needs to actively seek out these prospects, as well as engage in traditional inbound marketing practices.

They need to actively seek them out and establish micro-rapport throughout the interaction. A follow up email here and there. A request for a short phone call. A personalized introduction to a new piece of content.

This opens the lines of communication and builds trust, while exposing prospects to your products and services at the same time.

With a well-oiled inbound-out marketing system, this is how micro-rapport enriches your sales funnel, warms leads, and closes customers.


  • Establish interpersonal communication with prospects throughout your sales funnel
  • Use micro-rapport to build trust and open the lines of communication with potential buyers
  • Use inbound-out marketing to acticely seek out prospects who may not hang out in social watering holes