Let\u2019s face it. There is tremendous overcrowding in the security space. 6500+ cybersecurity companies at last count. And as a media pass attendee covering #BlackHat, I am being pitched relentlessly so I know first-hand the tactic these vendors indulge in \u2013 full of ridiculously sounding jargon, scary stats shock therapy treatment and most awesome sounding award recipient fame.There has to be a better way. In fact, there is. If only, the vendors take a pause and decide to do something slightly different.First idea \u2013 When being presented with an opportunity to present to a prospect, chances are that you have already passed the smell test, or you have an existing relationship with one or more people on the other side who have given you the benefit of doubt. Seize the moment . Before you go to the meeting by looking at the attendees (most times you do have the names of the attendees beforehand) social profile. Tweets, Shares, Articles. Do they believe in crypto currency? Are they big on public cloud for data backup and recovery? Have they been on a podcast where they have revealed what they crave for in a vendor pitch? In short, do your homework and strike a conversation with the CISO and her deputies even before the meeting starts referencing their own public statements.Use social media to your advantage and establish a rapport with people.Second idea \u2013 As a former security vendor exec, I know this for a fact that asking a customer to reveal their problems is a non-starter. However, by charting on a time graph \u2013 yes on the whiteboard \u2013 about what I have seen other customers of mine (yes, their competitors included) do for instance in their \u201csecure digital transformation\u201d journey, I have always elicited comments that are golden. Either they completely subscribe to what I have charted (typically the minority) or they start throwing darts about how their journey is different. And this is the exact conversation you want as a vendor. Being able to learn what they are doing and see what value you can add or not (qualifying out early is a win too).Create a neutral transformation graph that can be used to debate and learn fromThird idea \u2013 Offer a longer pilot for your product. Not the usual 2-week cookie cutter one that you have on deck but a customized longer one for them to test your product. Why? Because you can then suggest to them that it gives them a chance to actually test you as a vendor \u2013 not just from a product efficacy and effectiveness perspective \u2013 but also from a post sales customer experience perspective. Let\u2019s say a three-month pilot. And chances are an attack of some sort that requires weekend support or an outage that requires rapid decryption of the gargantuan backup storage pushing the product capabilities boundaries and your customer support personnel as well. How refreshing would that sound?In good times and bad, we are with you \u2013 test usFourth idea \u2013 Really put yourself in the customers\u2019 shoes but answering this question for them \u2018What can I stop doing right now to listen to your pitch and maybe do an evaluation and a POC in the future aka where do I get the commodity that I don\u2019t have \u2013 time?\u2019 This is a difficult question to answer but a very important one. Knowing what is publicly available about the customer, what did they tell Wall Street, whose vendors\u2019 products do they already have, maybe some exposes about them that are public knowledge. Using this, create a theory of what they may be spending time on today that you could actually help recover some of if they invested in understanding your capabilities. Showing that you are cognizant of their time-strapped world and are seeking ways to help them through that would catapult you above most other vendors.Yes, I know you don\u2019t have time. Maybe this could help?I admit, none of the above are breathtakingly new ideas or breaking new ground. However, in this noisy environment where there is little attention span or tolerance for self-serving vendor pitches by the CISOs and their teams, taking a simple and more grounded approach is sure to set you apart. It will take some learning and unlearning for sure. A divorce from the dreaded PowerPoint or white papers in favor of whiteboard conversations and actual dialog with an intent to listen. I promise, it will do wonders.