Your first conversation with a prospective buyer is an important one. You can either say something that will cause the prospect to perk up, or you can use words that cause them to lose interest and tune out. You only have a few critical moments to set the tone. So, what can you do to make the most of that first conversation? According to Paul Petrone, LinkedIn’s senior content marketing manager, you should strive to disrupt.

Just like disruptions in tech or art, you can disrupt your sales calls. These disruptions may involve questions, actions or behaviors that change the conversation and how the prospect sees you, says Petrone. If the prospect views you as just another salesperson, the odds are already stacked against you. However, if you do or say something that disrupts that assumption, you can increase your chances of success.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’re sharing Petrone’s thoughts on three phrases that can disrupt your first sales call.

“Help me understand …” This statement can disrupt your sales calls in a good way because it shows that you’re not just on the call to sell something. You really want to get to know what’s going on in the prospect’s business and how you might be able to help. You could use this term in several different contexts, from “Help me understand your biggest marketing challenge” to “Help me understand what your goals are for this event.” Once you understand what matters to the prospect, it becomes much easier to structure a solution that fits their needs, says Petrone. In this way, you come across as a strategic partner and not another salesperson.

“Sorry, I didn’t get that.” Petrone notes that this phrase can disrupt your sales calls because buyers don’t expect salespeople to admit they missed something. Plus, buyers sometimes think that sales professionals don’t really listen. By making this statement, you break that stereotype. However, Petrone warns against using this phrasing just because you want to surprise your prospects. Only use this phrase if you truly missed something or don’t fully understand what the prospect said. People will respect you more for admitting it, Petrone. And on the flip side, if you use it just to be sneaky, you’ll earn the label of just another shady salesperson, he says.

“What matters to you is what matters most to me.” Buyers aren’t expecting salespeople to say this. That’s what makes this phrase so powerful. You should be focused on understanding the buyer’s problem early in your first sales call, says Petrone. But instead of diving into your pitch, make this statement. It can be differentiator that causes the prospect to want to continue the conversation with you.

Your prospects may not give you a proper chance on your first call. By making the statements above, you can change the dynamic and show that you’re not just another salesperson looking to land a sale. Strive to be curious and honest, and you can disrupt your sales calls in the best ways.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Paul Petrone is the senior content marketing manager for LinkedIn. He also wrote How I Found Peace: 14 Revelations That Cleared My Mind.