There are many ways to incorporate soft selling into your marketing strategy, including the following techniques:
Build trust with customers
Talking about building trust is one thing, but how do you go about actually doing it?
It starts with active listening, a communication skill that goes beyond merely hearing words to understand the meaning and intent attached to them. And the more you show your desire to understand and empathize with your consumers, the more they’ll trust you.
In addition to offering insight into positioning your brand to meet their needs, you’ll also establish valuable rapport.
Provide value and solve problems
Today’s consumers don’t have the patience for brands that talk the talk without walking the walk. Connecting with them comes down to one word above all else: value.
The ability to provide value comes down to many things, including identifying customer (and prospective customer) needs and offering tailored solutions, all while demonstrating your expertise in a way that fortifies your credibility.
Craft a compelling message
Listing a bunch of features without showcasing why they should matter to your target audience results in a major disconnect between consumers and brands. Soft selling overcomes this barrier by leading with benefits over features.
Effective messaging is also integral to any sales process. This is where storytelling comes in. Storytelling involves the creation of evocative narratives that center around your target audience’s wants and needs and make an emotional appeal while simultaneously speaking to your brand’s core values, culture, and experience.
Hearing about your products and services directly from you is one thing, but hearing about it from unbiased third parties is another. This is why social proof and testimonials are especially effective soft selling tools.
These social proof statistics speak for themselves:
- 97 percent of consumers seek out reviews before making a purchase
- 93 percent of millennials trust user reviews as much as friend and family recommendations
- 88 percent of consumers have more trust in reviews than they do in advertising
- 56 percent of consumers suffer from fear of missing out, AKA “FOMO”
The takeaway is clear for brands: If you aren’t incorporating testimonials and other forms of social proof into your marketing plan, you’re falling far short of your potential.
Maintain a customer-centric approach
Soft sell advertising keeps the customer at the center of the equation at all times. This means knowing and respecting your customer preferences, promoting honesty and transparency throughout the customer journey, and providing post-sales follow-up and support.
On the other hand, saying anything to make a sale or going MIA afterward not only runs contrary to the spirit of the soft selling approach but also compromises your relationship with your customers.
Examples of soft selling
Earlier, we discussed drip email campaigns as examples of the soft sell technique. Here are some additional examples:
- Sending a follow-up email to an online shopper who abandoned their shopping cart to inquire about their experience and ask if they need additional help or guidance
- Enlisting influencers to create video tutorials of themselves using your products and services
- Creating aspirational ads that showcase people using or enjoying your products and services without explicitly promoting them
Embrace soft selling to drive sales success
Rather, soft sell marketing is a modern sales technique that businesses can use to speak to today’s consumers in a way that not only acknowledges their needs but also how they prefer to interact with brands.
The equivalent of “the long game,” the soft sell strategy prioritizes the customer experience to create and nurture strong customer relationships and the organic benefits that go with them—including sales success.
If you’re ready to start leveraging the full potential of soft selling to sell services online, Mailchimp has many tools that can help, including social selling services and more.