Clients tend to go through the same song and dance with each salesperson they schedule meetings with. Salespeople come in, give the usual generic pitch, and then hope some part of what they said will stick with the client. A salesperson doesn’t stand out or make the best impression of himself or his product/service by following the crowd. Selling Power’s editors offer ways for you to achieve both based on Mark Jewell’s article “How to Ace the Complex Sale,” which is taken from his book, “Selling Energy: Inspiring Ideas that Get More Projects Approved!

To stand out as a salesperson, you can’t begin your client interaction with a generic topic. Asking how your client is doing, talking about the weather, or engaging in other stereotypical icebreaker conversations will only succeed in solidifying your position as another of the same salespeople your clients are used to, and that may distance the two of you right off the bat. Jewell suggests using relevant information you’ve found on your client, such as an article they’ve shared via LinkedIn, as the way to begin your conversation. It’s a fresh introduction that will get the client actively involved in the initial conversation and that can continue into the pitch.

Jewell also points out that salespeople make comparisons, not decisions. If you pitch a product or service that has a distant ROI, your client’s thought process will be comparing what it will cost him now versus what else he could be doing with that money in the present instead of banking on a future payout. Instead of emphasizing how the investment on your product will pay off later, Jewell writes that you should focus on the additional interest that the sale will return on the money that your client will spend now. That way you’re connecting the future and the present and focusing on benefits.

Lastly, don’t speak just to fill the silence. Many salespeople take the moment or two that clients require to think as a negative thing when, in reality, attempting to fill that gap in conversation with any random facts you can think of is just making you seem ill-prepared and on-edge. That’s exactly how you talk your way out of a sale. Keep your pitch concise, don’t talk yourself in circles, and be confident that the information conveyed in your well researched and laid out pitch will be enough to sway your client.