The idea that soft sell sales is all about personality is wrong

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle

Feb 28

Kittens with daisies

In sales focus first on understanding your customers, not on being adorable

I had forgotten that people may interpret soft sell sales as an effort to succeed simply on the power of one’s great personality. Jim Sniechowski in his recent blog post, Soft Sell Marketing Misconceptions – A Dime a Dozen, mentioned misconceptions about soft sell. The idea that soft sell sales is all about personality is wrong. This false image produces the erroneous idea that soft sell salespeople are limited to sales to prospects who already know they wanted to buy that product or service.

Sales success takes proactive work, not just a great personality.

I can appreciate how someone might think that soft sell means personality. In fact, from over 30 years in sales and marketing, mostly in soft sell despite extensive hard sell training, I believe this problem is common to newbies in the field. Most people want to be liked. Unfortunately, regardless of your approach, whether traditional, hard sell or the rising in popularity heart-centered, soft sell one, sales success takes proactive work.

I’m not going to tell you that having a good personality has no impact on how easily likable you are any more than I’ll tell you that an attractive woman can’t get most men’s attention just by entering a room. In both cases, though, the initial appeal may undermine their ability to be taken seriously. In my experience, true heart-centered, soft sell sales success has little or nothing to do with having a likable personality.

But aren’t people supposed to know, like and trust you?

That may sound contrary to the Internet marketing mantra that even I espouse about wanting to help people come to know, like and trust you. The misunderstanding is due to a superficial idea about being liked. Remember that in soft sell sales, the goal is to get to know and understand your prospects’ concerns before you sell.

You need to care enough about their interests to ask questions first. It’s essential you understand their viewpoints so be thorough. Once they confirm that you really grasp what they need and want, then you can “help customers buy.”

Earn customer trust by caring and respecting them first

The idea that soft sell sales is all about personality is wrong. Don’t be misled because we say you want prospects to know, like and trust you. There are degrees to being liked. Customers trust and like people who respect them and care about them first. When they agree that your solution fixes their problem or delivers their desires – and when they are ready, they will buy. Focus on what’s in it for them. Even if you have a marginally pleasant personality, they will buy from you because you satisfied their deeper wants and needs.

If you would like to read the inspiration for this blog post, check out Judith & Jim’s “Soft Sell Marketing Misconceptions – A Dime a Dozen.”


About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. 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.