Which salesperson would you be more likely to buy from? Think about a time when you were buying something and felt pressured by the salesperson. How did that make you feel? Now, think about a time when you were buying something and the salesperson was more laid-back. How did that make you feel? If you’re like most people, you’re more likely to buy from the salesperson who uses soft selling techniques. This is because hard sell tactics often make people feel pressured, which can lead to a negative experience.
After the first salesperson sends you an email asking for a five-minute call, they follow up with a demo. The demo includes a pitch, and before you know it, they’re asking for the close. The second salesperson takes time to create a pitch for you that will match your company’s goals. They work with you after due diligence to ask for a close that meets your budget and team needs.
The one who talks about how much you’ll enjoy the product, not how much it will cost you would you rather give your business to The one using the soft sell strategy, right The one who talks about how much you’ll enjoy the product, not how much it will cost you
The hard sell is a direct and straightforward attempt to close a sale as quickly as possible. The opposite of this is the soft sell, which requires more finesse. In this article, we’ll explain how to soft sell effectively.
What is Soft Selling?
Soft selling is a sales strategy that focuses on using conversational language and developing relationships with potential customers, rather than using aggressive tactics to get them to make a purchase.
A soft selling approach is designed to make prospects feel comfortable and unpressured.
The sales rep will provide value and ask questions throughout the conversation in a way that is helpful and not pushy.
The company representatives will work with the potential customers to determine if the product or service is right for them, without pressuring them into making a purchase.
This creates a strong relationship between the buyer and seller.
Here is an illustration of a soft sell.
If a sales representative asks to connect with a decision maker on LinkedIn and then proceeds to interact with them in a way that provides value throughout the following month,
The sales representative may contact the lead by sending them helpful articles or commenting on their posts. After developing a rapport with the lead over the course of a month, the sales representative may ask if they would be interested in having a quick call to discuss their business further.
The salesperson asks questions and moves the lead through the pipeline.
Instead of just presenting information, their web demos are more like conversations, with features serving as starting points.
After three months of deliberation, the leader decides to sign the deal, finding the solution to be a great fit.
The client will continue to buy from the sales rep over the next 10 years because they have formed such a strong relationship through many conversations and mutual understanding.
What the author is saying is that soft sellers need to be able to find a balance between being knowledgeable about the product they are selling and being able to relate to the person they are selling it to. They also need to be able to keep a conversation going without being too aggressive.
A sales rep for a company that offers custom nutrition supplements could warn potential customers by reaching out to prospects and attempting to push them into a sale right away.
The company representative could get better results by asking the prospective buyer about their current nutrition, letting them explain their wellness goals and personal circumstances. The representative could then suggest the custom supplement assessment and subscription as a way to help the prospective buyer reach their wellness goals.
Even if people do not immediately decide to buy a product or service when it is first shown to them, this can still be a good way to get people to keep buying from you and to turn them into lifelong customers.
What Is a Hard Sell?
The goal of a hard sell is to get a consumer to buy a good or service immediately. Usually, salespeople who use hard sell methods make the customer feel like they need to buy the product right away. This is considered a high-pressure, forceful way of selling, which some sales professionals do not recommend.
A sales technique that is forceful and aggressive in order to get a consumer to buy a product, for example a car, might focus on convincing the consumer that there are few of the same model available, that others are waiting to purchase the vehicle, and that the prices will go up if they walk away from the deal. Hard selling is often thought of as being used by salespeople who are not truthful, who withhold information, or who outright lie to potential customers.
Hard Sell vs. Soft Sell
Soft selling is less direct than hard selling. Instead of making a hard sales pitch, soft selling uses a series of subtle nudges to get the prospect to think, be interested, and trust the seller.
Hard selling is a series of aggressive sales tactics, such as calls to action or closing pitches.
Instead of focusing on making a sale, the sales representative during a soft sell instead builds a relationship with the customer, trusting that this rapport will lead to a sale.
In a hard sell, the sales rep attempts to close the sale quickly, even if it means sacrificing a potential long-term relationship with the customer.
We usually think of soft selling as something that larger firms do to try to build a large, loyal customer base.
The ROIs of their products require too much analysis for a quick purchase to be possible.
An enterprise B2B SaaS solution is an example of a software that uses a soft selling approach.
Hard selling is a term typically associated with smaller businesses who are looking to make a larger number of sales in a shorter period of time. This is often because the product’s ROI is self-evident.
A B2C low-cost SaaS solution might use a hard sell.
Which One to Use
A sales representative does not always need to use a soft selling approach.
Sometimes deals need to be closed quickly, and the sales rep can’t afford to spend too much time with each client.
This is especially true for products that are easy to understand and low-priced.
If you are selling B2B solutions that are more complex and require approval from more than one person, you will likely want to use a soft selling approach.
Use these relationship-building tactics to close more deals withthese informed, business-savvy B2B buyers.
Elements of Soft Sales
Soft selling is relationship-focused, and therefore consists of selling elements like the following:
- Conversations, not pitches: The sales rep asks open-ended questions that initiate conversations meant to uncover any of the prospect’s pain points, goals, and needs. Through discussion, the rep is trying to learn as much as possible about the prospect so that they can provide the best help.
- Less cold calling, more warm calling: Instead of initiating contact with a cold call, soft sellers will usually send an email first. This is called cold calling 2.0. They also might focus on reaching out to warmer leads who have interacted with their marketing content.
- Social selling: Soft sellers connect and interact with prospects in sales-free environments — social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. This enables them to build rapport before delivering any pitches.
- A focus on finding and solving problems: When soft selling, you want to form a strong understanding of what caused the prospect to check out your solution. Once you know that, you can cater your demos and presentations to their interests.
If your clients view you as a helpful resource for solving their pain points, they will be more likely to maintain a long-term partnership with you.
How to Leverage Soft Selling to Get Clients?
When networking with the goal of building relationships, the focus is on getting to know the person and understanding their needs and pain points. This type of networking might also reveal information about their hobbies or favorite vacation spots.
You act like a human being. This is what you should aim for when soft selling. You don’t have to be business-like all the time; instead, act like a normal person.
The following are the best ways to use soft-selling to get clients: 1. emphasizing the client’s needs rather than your product; 2. stressing the client’s satisfaction rather than your success; 3. avoiding high-pressure tactics; 4. slowing down the sales process; 5. and taking a genuine interest in the client.
Do Your Research
The most important aspect of soft selling is understanding your potential customers and what their business goals, pain points, and motivations are.
It is advisable that you do your research on the prospect and their company before each meeting. You can find information on LinkedIn, the company website or their competitor’s website.
Selling to a room of business executives can be tough. They’re tryng to look tough to impress and may seem uninviting and even mean.
Your job as a soft seller is to make the customer feel more comfortable and less tense. Show the customer that you are there to help them, not to convince them to make a purchase.
To come across as personable, try to be friendly and easy to talk to, while still remaining professional. It can be difficult to find the right balance, but you can do it.
Being personable is interacting with customers in a way that shows you care about them and their business. Being professional is having the industry knowledge and expertise to confidently answer questions and address concerns.
Focus On Relationship-Building
It’s important to build positive relationships with potential customers in order to close the sale and create loyalty. If you take the time to get to know your prospects and are seen as a reliable source of information, they’re more likely to buy from you.
It’s important to get to know your prospects on a personal level instead of going straight into business talk every time you interact. This will help you build relationships and trust with them.
Remembering to ask your prospect about their day shows that you care about them on a personal level. This can be as simple as following up on a personal anecdote they mentioned in a prior meeting.
Actively Listen to Your Prospects
For sales reps, active listening is essential. Improve your active listening skills by engaging in the following steps:
- Truly listen to what your prospect shares with you.
- Repeat content back to the prospect.
- Ensure you are understanding them correctly by asking for clarification and getting verbal agreement from the prospect after repeating the content back.
When you make an effort to understand your prospect’s needs, it will help build trust and credibility, making it easier to sell them a product or service that they need.
When you are speaking with someone, it is important to be engaged and have open body language. This will show that you are interested in what they are saying. You should also avoid multitasking during virtual meetings so that the person knows you are focused on them. Lastly, do not interrupt the person while they are speaking.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
When you ask your prospect questions that are relevant and open-ended, it shows that you genuinely want to help them solve their problem. In addition, asking questions will help you get to know them better and build rapport.
If your prospect is sharing a challenge they’re dealing with during a call that relates to your offering, use open-ended questions to gain more context about their situation.
This demonstrates that you are interested in the prospect’s experience and that you want to gain their trust.
Provide Value Without Asking for the Sale
To provide value for a prospect is to go the extra mile to give them a good experience, even if it doesn’t immediately result in a sale. You want to show your prospect that they’re top of mind and that you’re thinking about them.
If you are having trouble getting your leadership to approve funding for purchases, you could send them helpful content with pointers for navigating budget conversations with their managers.
Give Your Prospects Space to Decide
Allow your prospect time to make their decision and only provide information that is relevant to that decision. Don’t put pressure on them to buy.
If you want to empower the team to make their own decisions, back off and give them space to deliberate. You can check in with them again in 48 hours.
To keep them updated, offer to answer any questions that may have arisen or offer relevant materials. By constantly providing value, you will stay in their thoughts.
Perfect Your Selling Techniques
To be an effective salesperson, you need to know how to tailor your sales approach to engage with your prospects. This skill will allow you to land the sale in any scenario.
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