Category Archives for "Soft Sell"

Oct 30

Have You Heard the MLM Lies?

By John R. Aberle | Blogs and Blogging , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

First, let me say that I like MLM or multi-level marketing programs in general. Usually they sell really good products. Second, most are honorable and honest. However, some MLM lies show up when it comes to sponsoring and recruiting.

In a conversation this week, I was reminded of them. They usually come into play when the prospect resists such as when I explained that I have to stay focused on my present business. The first two we have heard for years from hard sell MLM salespeople. The third was new.

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Oct 30

Have You Heard the MLM Lies?

By John R. Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

First, let me say that I like MLM or multi-level marketing programs in general. Usually they sell really good products. Second, most are honorable and honest. However, some MLM lies show up when it comes to sponsoring and recruiting.

In a conversation this week, I was reminded of them. They usually come into play when the prospect resists such as when I explained that I have to stay focused on my present business. The first two we have heard for years from hard sell MLM salespeople. The third was new.

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Oct 13

Sales Motivation – Remember, There’s more to Life than Money

By John Aberle | Blogs and Blogging , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

What inspires you to extra effort? Can you be bought? Will you do anything to win a trip even at the expense of your relationship with your customer? Obviously to the heads of Enron and WorldComm and a huge number of people in the financial industry, massive amounts of money overrode all other considerations. How do you feel about that?

My co-workers and I often surveyed our clients’ employees to find out what was most important to them in their jobs. Interestingly, money was the most important motivator to only a fraction of the people we surveyed. For most, there’s more to life than money because they ranked it third or fourth in importance. While money is a strong motivator, heart centered salespeople are rare inspired solely by money.

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Oct 13

Sales Motivation – Remember, There’s more to Life than Money

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

What inspires you to extra effort? Can you be bought? Will you do anything to win a trip even at the expense of your relationship with your customer? Obviously to the heads of Enron and WorldComm and a huge number of people in the financial industry, massive amounts of money overrode all other considerations. How do you feel about that?

My co-workers and I often surveyed our clients’ employees to find out what was most important to them in their jobs. Interestingly, money was the most important motivator to only a fraction of the people we surveyed. For most, there’s more to life than money because they ranked it third or fourth in importance. While money is a strong motivator, heart centered salespeople are rare inspired solely by money.

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Aug 29

If Sales Calls to You Are Win-Lose Battles, Read No Further

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

If you like the hard sell approach, if sales calls to you are win-lose battles, then selling to help customers buy won’t work for you. Heart centered, soft sell sales and marketing is all about caring for your customers first. But don’t get misled by the term “soft” sell because soft sell is still about selling.

The difference between hard and soft sell comes down to a matter of priorities. The service approach of helping customers buy is the heart centered, soft sell sales style. The attitude of needing to beat the prospect so as to get the order is the hard sell attitude. Ironically, they both work some of the time. However, people who are service oriented die a little bit each time they use heard sell.

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Aug 29

If Sales Calls to You Are Win-Lose Battles, Read No Further

By John Aberle | Blogs and Blogging , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

If you like the hard sell approach, if sales calls to you are win-lose battles, then selling to help customers buy won’t work for you. Heart centered, soft sell sales and marketing is all about caring for your customers first. But don’t get misled by the term “soft” sell because soft sell is still about selling.

The difference between hard and soft sell comes down to a matter of priorities. The service approach of helping customers buy is the heart centered, soft sell sales style. The attitude of needing to beat the prospect so as to get the order is the hard sell attitude. Ironically, they both work some of the time. However, people who are service oriented die a little bit each time they use heard sell.

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Jul 09

How to Avoid Looking Stupid When Asking Questions

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

I’ve often wondered why salespeople have such a hard time asking questions that dig deeply enough to understand what their customers want. I’ve seen consultants do the same thing. The danger is that we make assumptions and then propose the wrong solution. Because the customer either recognizes immediately that it won’t work or maybe tries it before discovering it doesn’t work, we’ve lost credibility and trust.

Among the many reasons I’ve discovered for not asking enough questions, is that people are afraid of looking stupid when asking questions. When you operate from a heart-centered, soft sell sales and marketing viewpoint, it should make sense that you want to come across sincere and trustworthy. You do this largely by taking time to ask the questions for understanding.

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Jun 24

Social Networking Tip: If you’re going to write me, write to me

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Soft Sell

Social networking can be a blessing or just another annoyance. Used properly, it’s a wonderful tool for heart-centered, soft sell salespeople and marketers because it shows you as a person. Prospects and customers want to come to know, like and trust you. When they discover you’re a person too, it can help you to connect with them. Done wrong it merely shows you’re a twit and will hurt your chances. Remember, social networking is about being social and interacting with people. Which brings us to today’s social networking tip: If you’re writing me to become my friend or connection, then write to me.

LinkedIn and Facebook as well as most other social networking sites have marvelous tools for inviting everyone in your different mailing lists to join you on their sites. If we’ve never met, then I would appreciate knowing why you want to be friends. What do we have in common? If creating a new friendship isn’t important enough to jot a very short note as to why you would like to be friends on Facebook or connect on LinkedIn or any of the other social networking sites, then you don’t really want my friendship. You are just trying to attract numbers. That’s all right. It’s just not what I want in a friend or a connection.

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Jun 17

Old Selling Secret Improves Sales

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

Are you looking for a way to really impress your prospect? Here’s one of the simplest. Send a handwritten thank you note after your meeting.

In the day when technology often makes us feel isolated, a handwritten note helps make or reinforce the connection. This technique is ideally suited to heart-centered, soft sell salespeople. Few things tell your “prospectors” (prospects who are looking to buy a solution to their wants and needs) that you actually care about them.

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May 31

Hard Sell Intervention Ad Disrespects Customers

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Soft Sell

There’s a marketing struggle for survival going on amongst the traditional, generally hard sell marketers. They are finding it harder to grab people’s attention and offer something new and exciting. The latest hard sell ad is a television commercial in which a discount fashion store chain shows friends conducting an intervention to save another friend from over spending on the fashions she could get for less at Marshalls / TJ Maxx. This attitude shows disrespect for customers’ judgment.

You may feel that I am making a big deal out of nothing; it’s simply advertising and a humorous effort at that. In this case, I disagree. The Marshalls / TJ Maxx TV commercial shows an attitude that is prevalent in hard sell sales and marketing: I have the right to decide for you that you need to buy my product. Because I know better than you do, I can use guilt, pressure or other manipulations to control your actions.

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