Posted on June 28, 2010
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.
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.
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.”
Build Relationships - Make relationship marketing the foundation of your marketing activities, so your relationship focus goes through all elements of your business.
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.
White Glove Treatment - Treat your existing clients like gold to set the stage for referrals that support your soft selling approach.
Make It Emotional - Try storytelling to appeal to your prospect's emotions, make yourself more memorable and share a personal anecdote.
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).
A Quiet Approach - Use a gentle call to action when you do make a pitch that's passive, non-aggressive and conversational.
Subliminal Branding - Create meaningful customer touchpoints that are effective without being "in your face".
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.
Join Forces - Be open to collaborating for the networking and learning benefits, even if there is not a guaranteed financial gain.
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?
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