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Sales – What is Soft Selling

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I’ve been hearing the term ‘soft’ selling for some time now and to be quite honest, I had no clue as to what it meant.  I mean, for me – selling is selling!  Sure there are different ways to sell and some of them work for me and some of them don’t – much the same, I would imagine, as it is for you.

It stands to reason that if I don’t know what ‘soft’ selling is, there are others that also don’t know.  So after a little research – this is what I found.

Apparently there are those amongst us who, when they are ‘soft’ selling properly, they don’t even know that they are selling – sounds really strange doesn’t it?  I mean we all go out to sell and in the retail sector, in particular, everything is geared around getting the sale!

Here’s the thing though.  There are instances, particularly in the consulting or coaching or advisory arena, when your clients don’t ‘feel’ like they are being sold to and you don’t feel like you are selling.

Actually, now that I think about it, this makes perfectly good sense.  Think about it for a moment – when you are feeling like death warmed up and go off to the doctor, at no time do you see yourself as a client, a patient perhaps, but not a client.  You see the doctor’s advice as something to be trusted and it has a win/win kind of feel about it – he makes you feel better and you pay him for doing that for you (although in all honesty I still feel like a client when I go and get the meds).

It appears that this can be done in any kind of business and it is all about the ‘mind-set’ of the individual who is actually doing the selling.  The mindset is one of respect, service and ensuring that there is a ‘win/win’ situation.  Actually, if I think about it a little more, this is when we build relationships with our clients.  It’s like my favorite waiter at the Mugg & Bean (I can get quite irritated if he is not there) or the chap that the camera shop – I won’t buy anything unless he is there to explain stuff to me.  The bottom line is that I trust them and they make me ‘feel’ special and they take care of me and they meet my needs.

Sure they still have to follow procedures and whatever the sales process is that their jobs require them to, but they do that quietly and without fuss and usually out of sight, but what they do is make the ‘experience’ for me, one that is pleasant.

So perhaps what we need to do is go back to the basics – the thing that made the ‘Mom and Pop’ corner shops such a success, the building of relationships with our clients.  It must be like a second nature to them, to think of us whenever they need our product or our services.

Remember though, you still have to have your sales process in place and in order for you to be in control of your sales ‘efforts’ you still have to have to know who your target market is, you still have to have your business proposition in place and you still have to have your sales strategy and sales processes in place.

That said though, I really like the sound of a ‘soft’ sale – it sounds a lot less stressful than a ‘hard’ sale or even a normal one.