Hard Sell, Soft Sell, Why Sell?

Mention selling, and you can be sure many people will try to avoid your eyes, and most likely, mumble some excuse about a sick puppy and move away.

Isn’t that interesting?

There is the “Snake Oil Salesman” and there is the friendly neighbourhood grocer. Both sell you stuff. One you love, the other you hate. Today, selling to consumers and selling business to business has evolved to a point of sophistication where the more different it gets, the more it looks the same.

Has it ever occurred to anyone that a company that fails to sell stuff, fails?

This aversion to “selling” is an insidious poison that is slowly killing a lot of good businesses. I just read an article over at CalvinWarr.com that asks the question: “When Marketing Becomes Selling?“. I think we try to sugar coat too much. The reality is that unless we succeed in selling our product or services, we will not remain in business very long.

To be fair, the article was not written as a question. But we can take liberty and twist it for what we need here. No one likes a pushy salesman. Yet, unless there was a push coming from somewhere, no one will ever take an initiative to buy anything. Good marketing CREATES a push from within ourselves. It causes us to perceive a need, which we are dying to fulfill, which for some reason, never occurred to us before we encountered that particular marketing message.

Whether the push is from “within” or from a pesky salesman, let’s face facts: no sale is made unless there is some kind of momentum. All businesses should be aware of this, and should embrace it. Then, figure out how to do it with finesse and gumption. If you are shy, your competition most certainly isn’t.

So, whether you choose to take a hard sell approach, a soft sell approach, a relationship building approach; whatever your selling approach may be, choose one. Those airy-fairy, high brow “marketing concepts” will mean nothing if it does not result in lots of orders, sales or hordes of people trooping into your stores.

Do you agree? Is there a better way?