Have you ever felt interested in buying a product after seeing a review or story? The story feels so personal and in accordance with what you are going through. Not only that, at the end of the story or video there is a way to solve it with a product or service. If so, maybe you have just been presented with a sales strategy called Soft selling!
Soft selling is a sales technique or promotion strategy. In this way, potential customers or buyers will feel interested in buying our products without feeling forced. Interesting right?
So, what exactly is soft selling, how to do it, and is there any difference between it and hard selling? Let's look at the following description.
What is Soft Selling?
Soft selling is a subtle selling technique with a low level of aggressiveness. Done in a friendly and very persuasive manner, soft selling does not impose coercion on potential customers.
The soft selling strategy is considered effective to target loyal customers and increase sales quantity for a long period of time. This is because the sales strategy is applied by educating or providing useful information for the problems of many people.
How to Do Soft Selling
After we know that soft selling is one way to attract buyers' interest, then we need to know the right way to do soft selling. There are at least 7 ways that you can take.
Image Source: Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska
The first step you have to take to make soft selling work properly is to do market research. You must know very well what challenges you will face in selling products.
Especially in understanding the wishes of customers. This is very necessary because soft selling puts forward the advantages of the product which will be used as a recommendation.
Create A Personalized Ad Impression
Personal impressions are very important. This is because something related to personal things can easily touch someone's emotions. So, customers will be interested to listen and listen well.
For example, you sell a product in the form of non-stick cookware. You can tell potential customers, for example, housewives about how tiring it is to clean the stains that stick to cooking utensils.
Make sure the tone of speech you use later is also adapted to the existing personal story.
Focus on Building Relationships with Customers
Soft selling is a sales strategy that aims to acquire repeat customers. These customers are expected to continue to use the products or services you sell, in other words, be loyal.
Therefore, create a promotion that can make potential customers feel comfortable and confident with your product. One way to do this is by making personal advertisements and establishing good relationships with customers.
It is also important for us to remain polite and humble so that our customers feel valued. Customers who feel valued, comfortable, and heard tend to be loyal to using a product, even on many occasions they invite people around them to use the same product.
Listen To Customers Actively
Listening skills are very important. The reason is, that by listening carefully you will be able to understand what customers need and then provide an offer related to your product.
Not only that, through listening you can build credibility for your brand or company image.
One way you can do this is by opening a question and answer session or collecting other feedback, such as filling out forms.
Ask Customer Questions
The next way is to ask relevant questions. It may seem trivial, but in fact, asking customers questions regarding the problems they are facing can actually build good relationships and make it easier for you to recommend products.
Customers will feel that you are sincere in helping them. Likewise, with the recommended product, they will judge that the product is important to consider.
Ways that you can apply in this case can be open-ended questions. For example, related to what difficulties they experienced or what hope they dreamed of. This kind of open-ended question prioritizes answers in the form of narratives from customers, not short statements in the form of 'yes' and 'no'.
Give Value To Products Sold Without Asking Customers To Buy Immediately
Providing value means that you give a good image of the recommended product. In other words, you offer advantages that your product has that other products don't have.
Keep in mind, make sure not to drop the image of a competitor's product or brand. This is to build a positive image of your product and keep the impression of arrogance away.
Give Customers Time To Decide
In accordance with the main goal, namely to get repeat customers, in soft selling, you should not force the will of the customer to buy the recommended product.
Give customers space to think and make choices. Try to remain, friends, if they ask more about the product or more time to make a decision.
Difference between Soft Selling and Hard Selling
There are some pretty obvious differences between soft selling and hard selling. The easiest way is to understand the definition of both. If soft selling is a way of selling products persuasively and not offering directly, then hard selling is a way of selling products by offering directly to potential buyers.
In connection with the understanding of the two, the following is a further explanation regarding the differences between the two. Let's take a closer look below.
Soft selling targets long-term sales, this is related to the goal of soft selling itself which targets customers to remain loyal to using their products.
Meanwhile, for hard selling, the sales time of the product tends to be short or adjusted to the target. This is of course in line with the purpose of hard selling itself, which is to make customers buy the products offered on the spot.
Based on research conducted by New Century Media, shows that 97% of consumers will recommend a similar product to their closest people and 95% will buy or reuse the product (repurchase).
With this research, it can be concluded that the soft selling strategy is effective for the sustainability of product sales in the long term.
Consumer Interests and Goals
Soft selling is a strategy that is made not only to make customers interested and touched by empathy but also to help build awareness of a brand in order to get a good image in the community.
Some research shows that a brand that is famous for its good image tends to be more chosen to buy and attracts the curiosity of many people. This, of course, has a good effect on the number of sales for a long period of time.
It is different from hard selling, which puts forward sales quickly. The hard selling strategy is considered quite difficult to attract interested people and find out more about your product. This is because the hard selling strategy does not prioritize the existence of a bond between the brand and the customer, the existing method is focused on the success of the product being sold.
Soft selling is a form of sales strategy that is carried out slowly with the aim of achieving sales in the long term. Therefore, soft selling promotions prioritize information and solutions that can help/educate customers. Through this information, you can slowly introduce the product and its advantages or benefits.
In contrast to soft selling, the hard selling method of promoting products is done directly or in other words at the same time as the product offering takes place. This is done to encourage customers to make a purchase. For example, a shopping voucher is only valid when the flash sale lasts for 3 hours.
Industrial Fields Who is Using This Strategy
Every company has a different sales strategy. There are companies that use 2 strategies at once, namely soft selling and hard selling. There are also using one of the two.
Soft selling sales strategies are generally used by companies such as construction, manufacturing, consultants, content marketing, and many more. This type of company expects sales in the long term and takes a long time to approach customers. Therefore, the soft alternating strategy is considered appropriate to be applied.
As for the sales strategy in the form of hard selling, companies that generally implement this include retail stores, insurance, banking, telemarketing, car sales, and others.