The difference between hard and soft selling

In the world of sales, there are two broad categories of sales approach which can generally be taken by a company. These are the hard sell and the soft sell and each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, meaning businesses usually adopt a combination of the two techniques in their overall sales strategy. Here are some of the main differences between the two:

Hard selling

Techniques such as cold calling customers from a database of contacts can be considering hard selling, where people are often told to buy something at that moment. This approach can work well with people who act impulsively (for example without weighing up the pros and cons of the purchase first), are easily influenced by others or give in to avoid confrontation with the caller. On the other hand this type of sale can cause potential consumers to be put off by the brand straightaway and is not very likely to lead to repeat sales, brand loyalty or positive word of mouth.

Soft selling

Techniques associated with soft selling include promotions, trial periods and satisfaction or your money back offers which take a gentler approach to achieving a sale. Unlike with hard selling, the approaches are designed to put customers at ease. In the long term this type of selling is more likely to result in repeat sales which can help business in the long term. However, with this kind of sale it is possible to lose out on potential business if the offer is not convincing enough as the consumer may not buy at all. Or, with more time to think things over and compare price points, they might choose to purchase the same product/service from a competitor instead.

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