You may not have noticed, but there are two types of selling techniques, and you must have come across both of them. There are some salespeople that send you an email or call you, ask for a follow up to give you a demo, and before you get to know it, they ask for the close.
This is a hard sell. This is the most popular technique because it gets your customers to buy your products and services in a short period.
This method is generally used in selling a car. A car dealer cannot wait for a long time to close the deal and hence use aggressive techniques to persuade you to buy the product.
The soft sell is absolutely the opposite of a hard sell. It prioritises the quality relationship. It focuses on subtle persuasion to bring the prospect to the decision-making stage.
While there are some products where the hard sell is supposed to be the best weapon, soft sell is considered the best-selling strategy in other products. If you want to build a long-lasting relationship with your customers, you should focus on soft selling.
Tips for making the soft sell approach successful
Here are the tips you should follow to make the soft sell technique work for your business.
Know your prospect
First off, you should do research to know about your prospect. Unless you know their current issues and their point of view, you will not be able to persuade them to make a decision. You have various kinds of products to offer them, but you will serve them what exactly solves their problems.
You can come up with the best recommendation by knowing your target audience. It requires spending a lot of time researching before reaching out to prospects. Understanding their priorities and challenges is requisite to make their soft-sell approach successful.
Have a pleasant manner
At the time of talking to your client, you must be professional. However, it does not mean that you will be autocratic. You can hold a pleasant manner. Being personable is the first thing your personality must have while pitching a client with a soft-sell technique. You should work on your communication.
You can easily persuade them to pitch a product by being courteous. Being personable does not just emphasise your communication style, but it also focuses on helping your prospects solve their problems and offering them reliability.
For instance, when you pitch a client with this technique, you do not need to stick to the script because otherwise, you will sound robotic. Instead, you should try to have a casual conversational style. It will make your speech feel more authentic. The prospect will be able to connect with you.
Look at the following instance:
Formal manner: Hi Michael, this is Eric from XYZ Ltd. I have called you to share the features of our product.
Conversational tone: Hi Michael, this is Eric. Today I will be sharing our product’s features, but before that, I am looking to get an insight into your needs. This will help me introduce you to a better model/type of our product. I would like to know about your current company’s situation.
What is precisely working for your company, and what problems do you face. You can maintain professionalism even by sticking to a conversational style. You will sound neither autocratic nor robotic.
The ultimate goal is soft selling is to build a relationship with your clients. Since you are taking a long time to lead your prospects to the decision-making, you will get a chance to rapport a relationship with your prospect that will go a long way.
You will be able to understand your prospects’ problems in a better way, and when you introduce them to the best product, you will become a trustworthy advisor. Once your prospects are converted, they will stick to your brand even in the future.
If you have a chance to choose between the hard sell and soft-sell approach, you should choose the latter because this helps you build a long-time relationship. This ensures long-time sales.
In a hard-sell approach, your customers will unlikely return, but in this case, your customer will keep coming to you. The benefit of building a long-lasting relationship with your prospect is that you will keep making profits without shelling out money on marketing.
Be a patient listener
Active listening is a must when you have to sell your product to your customers. You should ensure that you are actively listening to your customer. Repeating back to your prospect is a way to show that you understand things right.
Ask for clarification if you do not understand things. Use interjections like hmm, yup, okay while talking to them, so they know you understand everything. It is vital to make your prospects feel heard because it improves credibility.
It will indicate that you are serious in the conversation, trying to identify their needs so you can provide them with the best product. Active listening requires open body language when you are having a face-to-face meeting.
Maintain good and decent eye contact. During a virtual meeting, try to stay away from distractions. Constant diverting of mind by notifications will leave a bad impression on your customer. Avoid interrupting your prospect. First, let them finish and then ask what you want.
The bottom line
Most of the businesses spend a lot of money on marketing to attract their clients, and for that, they fund it with very bad credit loans with no guarantor from direct lenders. Still, you can avoid shelling out money on it by fostering a good relationship with your prospects, and that is possible with a soft-sell approach.
It will definitely take time, but your customer will value your efforts, and it will give you benefits in the long run. Know your prospect, build a relationship, have a pleasant manner and style, and be an active listener to make the strategy successful.