The words you use are important in sales. You can use different phrases to appeal to your prospects’ emotions, inspire urgency, establish trust or suggest exclusivity. Different words can shape the outcome of entire conversations. You probably have some go-to power words, but you can also dig a little deeper to set yourself apart with the language you use. How you conduct your sales conversations can be one of your biggest differentiating factors, according to Paul Petrone, the LinkedIn Sales editor.

Petrone says that many sales professionals think their product or service is their only differentiating factor. They think that differentiation is only possible if their offering provides some sort of unique value. This isn’t the case. Instead, salespeople play a major role in positioning both themselves and their offering as different from all the rest.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share some of Petrone’s best practices for using your language to set yourself apart from other sales professionals.

1. Talk less. Most buyers complain that salespeople talk too much, Petrone says. So, if you want to be uniquely different as a seller, talk less. One way to do this is by asking more questions. Short, open-ended questions will prompt your prospect to talk more, which gives you a chance to actively listen. When the prospect pauses, resist filling the quiet. The other person may be thinking through their thoughts, and you don’t want to interrupt them. By giving your prospects time to articulate themselves, you can often begin to build rapport.

2. Stay flexible with your sales discussions. Sales conversations seldom go exactly as planned. While it’s helpful to have a general idea of what you want to talk about, you should remain flexible in how you get there. Always give the prospect room to make their own points and bring up any concerns or questions. Try using talking points instead of a script. Petrone says this way, you leave room for flexibility while still leading the conversation.

3. Match your language to the buyer’s language. Each customer speaks their own unique language, Petrone says. Always customize your language to their language. For example, if a prospective buyer mentions their own goal for using your product or service, they may frame it in a different way than you anticipated framing it. The more you speak in the words the customer uses, the more connected they’ll feel to the solution, Petrone says.

4. Paint an aspirational but realistic picture. The key here is not to overdo it by portraying an overly ambitious outcome. Many sales professionals take it too far by saying things like, “It’ll change your life!” or “It will save you millions!” You can stand out by being aspirational and concrete, Petrone says. For example, you might say something like, “Based on what you have told me, I believe this solution could save you $100,000 a year.”

Remember that you can differentiate yourself not just on what you’re selling, but on how you engage with your prospects. Listen well, go with the flow during your sales conversations, mirror the buyer’s language and don’t make unrealistic promises. When you follow these tips, you can set yourself apart in the best way.

Source: Paul Petrone is the LinkedIn Sales editor.