12 Tips for Using a Soft Approach to Make the Sale

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Soft-sell marketing is a subtle yet persuasive, low-pressure method of selling your products or services. The basic premise of soft selling is that your focus is on developing relationships instead of aggressively pitching your wares from the moment (or even before) you’re introduced to your prospect. Once you have started to create a real relationship, and you have learned about what he/she needs AND it jives with what you’re selling, you can suggest your solution. It’s less forced, more natural and conversational. It can also be more effective because you’ve taken the time to form a connection before giving a sales pitch. Here are some tips to help you soft sell for improved results.

  1. Believe In It – Make sure you are trying to sell something you truly care about. Passion can be infectious, especially when it comes to soft selling.
  2. Relaxed Networking – Try to network with the main purpose of forming relationships, nothing else. This is also a great way to remove some of the “networking pressure.”
  3. Build Relationships – Make relationship marketing the foundation of your marketing activities, so your relationship focus goes through all elements of your business.
  4. Open Networking – Be open to networking with everyone, even those outside of your defined target. If your focus is on relationships first, you never know when a connection will turn into a business relationship.
  5. White Glove Treatment – Treat your existing clients like gold to set the stage for referrals that support your soft selling approach.
  6. Make It Emotional – Try storytelling to appeal to your prospect’s emotions, make yourself more memorable and share a personal anecdote.
  7. Give It Away – Share valuable information for free, no strings attached. Try sponsoring teleconferences, webinars and other open-to-the-public events that teach first, sell later (if at all).
  8. A Quiet Approach – Use a gentle call to action when you do make a pitch that’s passive, non-aggressive and conversational.
  9. Subliminal Branding – Create meaningful customer touchpoints that are effective without being “in your face.”
  10. Do Your Research – Get to know as much as you can about the prospect and their needs. This will not only strengthen your relationship, but it will help you determine if your product/service is appropriate for him/her.
  11. Join Forces – Be open to collaborating for the networking and learning benefits, even if there is not a guaranteed financial gain.
  12. Open the Door – Provide access to your marketing information but let your prospects digest it on their own.
If you struggle with the marketing side of business and feel uncomfortable when it comes to sales, soft-sell marketing can be a great way for you to overcome that hurdle and adopt a sales technique that’s within your comfort zone. Do you use soft selling in your marketing activities? Image credit: straymuse

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Soft Sales Approach

What is the main difference between a soft sell and a hard sell?

The primary difference between a soft sell and a hard sell lies in the approach. A soft sell is more subtle and focuses on creating a relationship with the customer, understanding their needs, and suggesting solutions in a non-aggressive manner. On the other hand, a hard sell is more direct and assertive, often pushing the customer to make a purchase decision immediately.

How can I effectively implement a soft sales approach?

Implementing a soft sales approach requires a focus on relationship building. Start by understanding your customer’s needs and wants. Use this information to suggest products or services that can solve their problems or meet their needs. Be patient and give your customers time to make their decision, avoiding any high-pressure sales tactics.

Is a soft sell approach suitable for all types of businesses?

While a soft sell approach can be beneficial for many businesses, its effectiveness can vary depending on the industry, product, or service being sold, and the target audience. It tends to work best in situations where customers need time to consider their purchase, such as high-ticket items or complex services.

What are the advantages of using a soft sell approach?

A soft sell approach can lead to stronger customer relationships, increased customer loyalty, and higher customer satisfaction. It allows for a more consultative sales process, where the salesperson acts as a trusted advisor rather than a pushy salesperson.

Can a soft sell approach lead to more sales?

Yes, a soft sell approach can lead to more sales over time. By building strong relationships with customers and focusing on their needs, you can increase customer loyalty and repeat business. However, it may not result in immediate sales as it often requires a longer sales cycle.

How can I train my sales team to use a soft sell approach?

Training your sales team to use a soft sell approach involves teaching them to focus on relationship building, active listening, and problem-solving. Role-playing exercises can be particularly effective in helping them practice these skills.

What are some examples of soft sell tactics?

Examples of soft sell tactics include content marketing, educational webinars, free trials, and consultative sales calls. These tactics focus on providing value to the customer and building a relationship rather than pushing for a sale.

How can I measure the success of a soft sell approach?

The success of a soft sell approach can be measured through metrics such as customer satisfaction scores, customer retention rates, and the number of repeat purchases. It’s also important to track the length of the sales cycle and the overall profitability of your sales efforts.

Can a soft sell approach be used in online sales?

Absolutely. In fact, a soft sell approach can be particularly effective in online sales. This can be achieved through personalized email marketing, informative blog posts, and social media engagement.

Is a soft sell approach always the best approach?

While a soft sell approach has many benefits, it’s not always the best approach for every situation. Some customers may prefer a more direct approach, and some products or services may be better suited to a hard sell. It’s important to understand your customers and adapt your sales approach accordingly.

Alyssa GregoryAlyssa Gregory
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Alyssa Gregory is a digital and content marketer, small business consultant, and the founder of the Small Business Bonfire — a social, educational and collaborative community for entrepreneurs.

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