“What is distinctively human at the most fundamental level is the capacity to persuade and be persuaded” – Bertrand Russell, 1927
Welcome to the capitalistic bonanza everyone, hope you enjoy your stay. You can avail an upgrade at a small price of just half of your peace of mind, that has been ruined by constantly being pushed towards advertisements. In today’s world, saturated with capitalist influences and relentless advertising, it becomes essential to explore approaches beyond aggressive sales tactics to build trust and credibility with sceptical prospects. So how does a sales representative go beyond and build trust with sceptical prospects rather than being pigeonholed as being aggressive and pushy?
By knowing when and how to implement a soft selling approach.
Soft sellers possess a remarkable skill set that keeps prospects engaged without resorting to pushy techniques. By avoiding incessant pressure and allowing room for deliberation, they provide valuable information and empower prospects to make informed decisions. To master the art of persuasive soft selling, here are some effective tips and tricks:
• Simplify and communicate your message clearly: Complex jargon and convoluted explanations can alienate prospects. Strive for clarity and simplicity in your communication.
• Understand your audience: Tailor your approach to suit the needs, preferences, and pain points of your prospects. When you genuinely comprehend their perspective, you can effectively address their concerns.
• Speak with confidence and authority: Confidence inspires trust. Convey your expertise and knowledge while presenting your offering.
• Harness the power of storytelling: Craft compelling narratives that resonate with prospects. Stories possess inherent authenticity and credibility, making them powerful tools for persuasion.
• Practice active listening: Engage prospects with an open body language, displaying attentiveness and respect. Avoid multitasking and interruptions, allowing them to express themselves fully.
• Provide sufficient information but avoid overwhelming prospects: Strike a balance by offering relevant details without inundating them with excessive data, which can confuse and deter decision-making.
Persuasion skills are not solely innate; they can be honed through persistent practice and developing resilience to rejection. Selling is an art form that flows freely, requiring tact and charisma akin to interpretive dance or improv comedy.
Two often overlooked tools in a salesperson’s arsenal are listening and mirroring. Offering something as simple as attentive listening can significantly increase your chances of persuading others. We are most likely to persuade someone if we have given them something and listening is the cheapest concession you can make. Additionally, mirroring plays a vital role, as people naturally gravitate toward those who are similar to them. Building rapport, fostering cooperation, and establishing positive associations contribute to successful persuasion. However, it is crucial to strike a balance, avoiding both insufficient effort and excessive talkativeness.
Another essential aspect of effective persuasion is preparation. Prospects want to feel confident that they are buying from someone knowledgeable and well-informed. To achieve this, the salesperson should develop a comprehensive understanding of the prospects and the industry. Consider their position relative to competitors, their challenges, and obstacles they face. Take all this information, use it to shape talking points, and be able to articulate them naturally and coherently. Lead with empathy and think about how your product or service could solve the challenges your prospect is facing.
Objections often arise during the sales process, such as concerns about pricing, timing, maintenance, or resource allocation. At this stage, it is essential for sales representatives to empathize with customers, acknowledging their concerns and validating their emotions. It is important for the sales representatives to establish themselves as a trusted advisor rather than merely a salesperson. Continually check in with prospects, inviting their input and addressing their concerns with relevant questions such as “Are we on the same page?” or “Do you have anything you would like to address to me at this point?”. Once the concern has been raised, it is the duty of the salesperson to diffuse their concerns. This can be done by posing questions such as “Does this process sound like it could be the answer for you?” after explaining your suggestions to address the concern or offering an alternate view to theirs by posing “If there was a way you could ____________ … would that help you?”.
Finally, the closing stage is the pinnacle of the sales process. It encompasses congruency, conviction, and consistency. Congruency entails embodying the essence of your solution, aligning your values and actions with what you offer. Conviction reflects your unwavering belief in the transformative power of your product or service. Consistency involves following established steps and routines, adhering to scripts, and maintaining a high level of conviction. This can result in evidence where more people tend to believe what is being said by the sales representative and this evidence can lead to closing more deals.
The landscape of sales has also gone through various changes as a result of global changes. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant societal changes, and the world of sales is no exception. In the wake of COVID-19, there has been a transition towards faceless interactions, and this trend has persisted even beyond the pandemic’s initial impact. However, individuals have come to realize that this approach is standardized and homogenous, lacks diversity, flexibility, and personalization. Relying solely on this approach is no longer sufficient for success and growth. The landscape has to shift back, and the critical question is whether you are able to adapt to the old order.