Actually, we’d had a great session. We were talking about soft sell sales and marketing activities he can take to grow their business in these tough times in one of the hardest hit industries in America: apparel. I was teaching him about the soft sell sales approach to selling: get to know the customer’s concerns and interests, her issues.
We did some brainstorming that he, his wife/partner, and I all enjoyed. We discussed identifying the real benefits. We talked about the challenges their retailers are facing and how difficult it is to get to the buyers these days.
That’s when my own passion overrode my listening skills. I believe Internet marketing is one of the best answers to their need to reach more stores as well as to attract consumers who will in turn ask their favorite stores for the brand. I got excited about how they could use a blog to give their company a personality, which goes a long way toward the soft sell sales and marketing goal of developing a relationship with customers.
All of this is very good. In fact, he even agreed with me. He caught the same vision about how important a website would be to their business and then the blog could help grow a community. And he personally prefers a soft sell sales style. The shock came though in answer to my question, “Could you see that I really care about helping you?” He said, “Yes. You stayed longer to work with us.” The embarrassing line was, “I had to tell you twice though that we can’t afford to invest in a quality website right now. We need to get the sales up so we have the money for the website. You did tell us about soft sell sales approaches, but I had to keep bringing you back to sales.”
The point of this blog post is that passion is a wonderful thing to have and normally helps you connect with your customers. The problem can come in when you are so enthusiastic about your solution that you stop listening — and fail to adjust.
In fairness to myself, we developed a wonderful rapport. And, we did eventually cover what he needed help with in the few hours we had together. I’ll also do a report that will include more tips and steps to take for soft sell sales and — non-Internet based — marketing.
Use my experience to double check your own soft sell techniques. Don’t let your passion blind you to what your customer wants. If you do, I hope that you have built enough of a relationship of trust that your customer gives you another chance like mine gave me yesterday.
My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. https://amzn.to/2BaP2AH I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.
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