Strangers are unknown to you because you don't know their hopes, dreams and fears. If you start pitching products or services to someone you don't understand, you might meet resistance because people tend to buy from people who understand them. You can sell to strangers by taking the time to get to know them. They won't buy from you because you need the sale; they will buy from you because you have a way to make their lives better. Selling to strangers does not involve tricks. It involves an empathetic approach to understanding what they really want.

List the product benefits. Salespeople sometimes make the mistake of concentrating on the features of their product or service. Focus instead on the benefits your product or service offers customers. For example, instead of saying you'll offer the latest technology, emphasize that your product will keep your customers up on emerging trends. To give another example, instead of claiming a product has been scientifically approved, tell customers your product will protect their safety. List all these benefits before you ever contact a stranger, so that you'll have them at your fingertips.

Identify your customers' problems. Your target customers share a set of problems that your product or service will solve. From car breakdowns to poor computer connectivity to hard-to-clean tile surfaces, your target customers have annoyances with which you want to help them. Individuals will have specific issues in addition to these, but you can break the ice by asking if they have any of the common problems your target group has.

Delay your pitch. Don't start your conversation by offering to sell a stranger something. Ask questions about their problems, needs and desires, and avoid interrupting. Ask follow-up questions to deepen your understanding and establish rapport. Once you get strangers to start talking about what they want or need, you have the beginnings of a relationship.

Offer solutions. Your actual sales pitch should be an offer to solve your customers' problems. Demonstrate exactly how your product or service can eliminate difficulties or make life easier. This is the primary value a customer will place on your offer. You can negotiate a price after this, but price alone won't sell your product or service to strangers. They have to clearly see that you can make life easier for them. This makes you their ally instead of a sales adversary.


Exaggerated claims can offend potential customers, so stick with the truth.