Last Updated on January 11, 2021
Soft-selling as a new business
As a new business, the pressure is on to build your clientele and see a fast ROI.
It’s not uncommon for business owners to respond with urgency and attempt to expedite the growth process under these circumstances.
But before you direct all of your energy to one approach, consider whether the strategies you’re about to implement are sustainable long-term.
According to a global study, only 37% of consumers believe that companies in today’s economy have a clear and strong purpose. That is, beyond the bottom line.
This same study found that consumers are increasingly more likely to trust, champion, protect, and purchase from purpose-driven companies.
To convert prospects into loyal consumers, you have to go a step beyond hard-selling your services and articulate a compelling story for why your company exists.
By taking a soft-sell approach, new businesses are better positioned to cultivate consumer relationships and ensure long-term profitability.
This article explores why B2B and B2C companies use soft selling and share ways that your new business can use this approach to attract and retain new consumers.
How to Soft Sell as a B2B vs. B2C Company
These days, people are highly selective when investing in new products and services. According to a Google survey, 59% of shoppers will research a product and company online before purchasing.
Because prospects need time to vet out their options, a hard sell approach can work against you — and deter prospects who might otherwise choose to invest in your services.
Ergo, the soft sell.
Soft selling is the use of subtle persuasion to convert prospects into consumers. Whereas a hard sell urges a prospect to invest then and there, a soft sell allows you to take the time to understand the prospect’s current situation.
Instead of pinning a prospect into a metaphorical corner, a soft-sell approach demonstrates that you’re attentive to their needs and confident in the value of your business. People prefer soft selling — use any online reputation management software to compare companies that soft sell versus those that only pitch their products at maximum volume.
Whether running a B2B or B2C company, soft-selling lets your audience know that you’re willing to meet them where they’re at. Still, it’s essential to adjust your sales approach depending on who your prospects are.
When soft selling to another company, the emphasis should be on your value proposition. Take the time to research the company and consider how this company specifically will benefit from your services.
If the company currently uses a similar service, you might ask about their user experience. If you recognize an issue that your business can remedy, you’ll likely gain a new client because of this conversation.
When soft selling as a B2C company, it’s also essential to identify your prospects’ pain points, priorities, and goals. Because B2C companies target individual consumers, a soft-sell approach enables you to connect with opportunities in a more conversational and personal way.
Though the target markets for B2B and B2C companies differ, the common denominator between the two business types is audience insight.
To successfully soft-sell your services, you have to show prospects why forming a business relationship with you is a strategic move on their part.
New businesses implement a soft selling approach in several ways. In the sections that follow, we’re focusing on three main benefits that transpire from soft selling.
With soft selling, your new business can…
Grow your consumer base by understanding buyer behavior
Sales and marketing go hand-in-hand. Marketers use paid and organic strategies to generate more traffic to the business, and sales representatives turn leads into new consumers.
For a new business to be successful now and in the future, it’s important to understand buyer behavior.
Buyers tend to interpret a hard sell approach as overly aggressive. If prospects describe their first impression of your business as “overly aggressive” and “pushy,” this is a far cry from the response you want.
As you can see from the infographic above, only 6.7% of customers trust the sales representative’s information and advice.
When starting your business, it’s vital to be proactive and take the necessary steps to establish trust with your consumers.
In addition to building trust, you should also clearly understand the business’s market segments. Your prospects’ geographic, demographic, and behavioral characteristics will inform how you go about soft selling your services.
Convert prospects to customers via social media
Soft selling through social media platforms can be extremely useful. Inbound B2B marketers obtain 57% of leads from LinkedIn, 52% from Facebook, and 44% from Twitter to offer some specifics.
What does this mean for sales? A lot, in fact.
With the leads you obtain through social media, you can begin soft-selling your business to the prospects who have shown interest in these platforms. By sending a message and introducing yourself, you initiate a conversation that could quickly turn into a new business deal.
Whether connecting with an individual consumer or a company representative, facilitating a soft sell through social media channels is likely to pay off.
Show your business’s character through narrative ads.
An effective way to soft-sell your business’s services or products is to create narrative advertisements.
Consumers are familiar with hard-sell campaigns that emphasize why they should buy a product. And depending on the advertisement’s intent, hard-selling might be the best approach for you to take.
However, a narrative ad appeals to prospects in the same way as one-on-one soft selling. The advertised product is present but not immediately put into focus.
Instead, the value of a business’s services and products takes precedence on-screen. Because the emphasis is on storytelling, prospects are more likely to engage with the company.
Long-term Benefits of Soft Selling as a New Business
Remember the tale of the tortoise and the hare? Well, soft selling and hard selling are interrelated in a similar way.
A hard sell may seem like the quickest and most effective route to revenue, and it might be. But there’s a reason why the tortoise in Aesop’s fable ended up at the finish line first.
Soft selling as a new business requires consistency and dedication on your part.
There may be times when it feels like a waiting game, but when you put in the groundwork to establish relationships, you build trust that can turn a lead into a loyal consumer.