Sales is the most important part of any business as its profitable sales that puts the money in the bank but many business owners stereotypically think that they must train themselves/staff to be pushy salesman.
Soft selling is a way of doing business where the buyer does not feel like they are being ’sold’ to and the seller does not feel like they are selling. Everything is done in a professional and adult manner where the long-term relationship is key.
The majority of normal testosterone fuelled sales practices work against human nature. They just reinforce the stereotype of a typical sales person. Someone who is good fun but who is only interested in one thing – the money in your wallet! It is human nature to be cautious with pushy sales people. We avoid their calls and we say anything to get them off the phone. It seems that people think it is ok to lie to sales people. They say that they are busy when they are not and they say that they are happy with their existing supplier when they are not!
Sales people are used to this so they work out all sorts of clever ways to get past the gate keepers and to trick people into having discussions with them. It’s all a game to them. They know that people lie to them so they feel that it’s ok to lie back. With this attitude is it any wonder that professionals running businesses shun sales?
The salesmen are always thinking that there must be a better way to do business and achieve sales. I know because I was in the same boat 15 years ago when I stumbled into sales by accident. It was called ‘business development’ to make us consultants feel better about it but it was sales by another name. I was fortunate in finding a couple of people that were highly successful at selling consultancy without being pushy and I got mentored by them and over the years through reading and constantly looking for best practices I have evolved an approach I call ’soft selling’.
This philosophy of soft selling is that people do not like being sold to, but they do like to get help in solving their problems. The aim is to minimize resistance and maximize long-term relationships.