A hard sell is a direct sales approach that uses insistent language, pressure, and aggressive techniques to make leads purchase a product immediately. It results in customers having negative feelings and impressions about a particular company.

In this article, we’ll review several reasons why a hard sell doesn’t work, compare a hard sell and a soft sell, and grab some inspiration from examples.

Four reasons why hard selling doesn’t work

Companies can choose among a great variety of sales techniques that bring excellent results to their business leaders. However, some sales representatives still use a hard-sell approach. The strategy absolutely ignores customers’ needs and wants and only focuses on the fact of purchase. Let’s find out why a hard sell approach doesn’t work.

  • Insistent language of sales reps. The tactic can intimidate buyers with an often aggressive tone of voice. It leaves negative emotions and impressions about a company and discourages customers from purchasing a brand’s products or services again.
  • The intimidating character of communication with buyers. The method can easily hurt the feelings of buyers because of sales reps’ excessive persistence and the goal of closing a deal. Salespeople as representatives of a company greatly influence the opinion of consumers. Unpleasant communication with sales reps results in a bad impression and takes away the desire to buy something or deal with a brand. Moreover, customers can share negative comments on such companies’ sites, complain about annoying calls, messages, and emails, and, as a result, downgrade their rating and discredit these firms.
  • The absence of information about product value. A hard sell focuses primarily on closing a deal. That’s why sales representatives try to sell a product as soon as possible by telling about its features rather than providing its actual benefits and explaining what problems it can solve.
  • Mistrust in what companies try to convey. Sales reps are often insensitive and desperate to sell a product, which can provoke customers’ mistrust and suspicion. As a result, people won’t buy any products from such brands.

Now that you know the reasons why it’s better not to consider a hard sell in your marketing strategy, let’s proceed to the difference between a hard and a soft sell.

Hard sell vs. soft sell

A hard sell is a sales strategy that involves persuading customers to buy products or services. The approach is considered aggressive because of the invasive behavior of salespeople. Sales reps usually use insistent language and strive to close a deal as fast as possible. They often ask prospects to purchase certain products without explaining their value and the benefits they can bring.

A soft sell is an indirect approach that entails salespeople offering products and services to customers. However, in this strategy, sales reps focus on building relationships with leads and buyers. They aim to gain trust rather than push customers to buy unnecessary goods.

To reach their consumers, sales representatives learn about their challenges, interests, and points of view. It helps figure out whether their product or service is a great fit for customers. Moreover, salespeople provide genuine recommendations to help consumers solve their problems.

Let’s walk you through some hard sell examples.

Hard sell examples

You can encounter hard sell in some infomercials you can see on TV. They are packed with reasons to buy certain products and a call to action so that customers could purchase immediately. These long commercials also include an expert’s testimony to convince a consumer to make a purchase.

Let’s take the PajamaJeans infomercial, for example. It includes the features of the product, a special TV offer, and a call to action.

To sum it up, if you aim to build trust and strong relationships with your customers and want them to become regular clients, it’s no secret that you should better master a soft sell. Consider using soft language and non-aggressive approaches to not only keep your existing customers but also attract new ones.

Resources:

  1. This article defines the term and explains the difference between a hard sell and a soft sell.
  2. This article covers the difference between a hard and a soft sell and explains which one of them is more effective.
  3. This article clarifies why a hard sell approach doesn’t work on social media.
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