Express your true intent
Tell customers upfront: "I don't know if there's a fit between what you need and what I have right now, but I'm hoping we can explore that in more detail during this meeting."
Source: Sales/marketing consultant Colleen Francis
Or: "I only have your best interests at heart, and I promise to be honest with you throughout our conversation. In the end, I hope that we can mutually decide if there is a reason to move forward. If not, that's fine, too, and I hope you'll feel comfortable telling me so."
This advice runs counter to 90 percent of the approaches I see. But then again, maybe that's why only 10 percent of salespeople are top performers.
Try it yourself a few times, and you'll be amazed at the response you get.