Customer Experience News & Trends

Hard sell or soft sell?

Closing a deal is often just a matter of picking out the right approach for the prospect.

One type of approach — hard or soft — rarely works for all customers. Instead, you have to match the approach with the situation.  Barry Farber is the author of Superstar Sales Secrets and Diamond Power, describes the differences:

The Soft Sell

There are three “soft” steps to answering an objection:

1. Listen and observe. You want to know not only what the prospect is saying to you, but also how he or she is saying it. You want to hear the words and analyze the personality behind the words. Establishing eye contact early may lead to a strong relationship.

2. Question their objections. You can’t counter an objection unless you’re able to understand exactly what it is and where it’s coming from. Only then can you see the possibilities available to make your product or service fit with your customers’ needs.

So question your prospect’s objections and find out how you can best resolve them. Ask them to explain, expand and elaborate until you fully understand the situation.

3. Address their concerns. Use your prospect’s objections to deflect their concerns and lead them to a positive resolution of what they perceive as a conflict.

The Hard Sell

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a more aggressive approach to make a sale. Here are two tips to help you close this type of sale:

1. Let your enthusiasm and passion show. Customers should believe strongly that there’s a match between what they need and what you’re selling.

There’s a saying in martial arts: “If you understand yourself and not your opponent, you win half the battles. If you understand your opponent and yourself you win 100% of the battles. If you understand neither, you win no battles.”

If you really understand yourself and what you’re selling, and you really understand the customer, you will come away with a win-win situation.

2. Be able to support your belief. In sales, belief and enthusiasm can carry the day – if they’re backed up by knowledge and understanding. Have all your facts and figures down, and try to offer three or four strong reasons illustrating how your product stands out from the rest.

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