By Jill Konrath, author of "Snap Selling"

Have you noticed how many of your prospects these days have a whole lot of knowledge regarding what you're selling? There's a good reason for it. They've been online doing their homework. Prior to meeting, they've often researched your company. They know about your products and services. They know about your competitors. They may even know a good deal about you — personally.

If you want to have a good meeting with these savvy people, you have to be sharp. They have no tolerance for sellers who want to pitch their stuff. They want an intelligent conversation centered on their key business challenges and needs. They expect you to have done your own homework on them.

They expect you to have thoughtful questions about their objectives, challenges and initiatives. The bar has been raised. If you've been selling for a long time and haven't changed what you're doing, you're on your way to extinction. Seriously. You'll just be working harder and harder with diminishing returns. If you're new to selling and listening to all that old, dated advice about having a good pitch, you'll never make it. Today's customers want to deal with savvy, educated sellers — people who are just like them.

This article originally appeared on the Fresh Sales Strategies Blog and is used here with permission.

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