Are you trying to make sales online? Are you wondering if you should go with the “hard sell” or the “soft sell?” You know the difference. Hard sell is “in your face, buy now.” Soft sell is “Let me understand your problem and see if what I sell solves it.”
Often, a hard sell comes across as a sleazy “get rich quick” scheme, and people resist it because it’s “in your face.” A soft sell, on the other hand, seems more like someone taking you by the hand and gently guiding you in the direction of a good purchase. Something that would benefit you. So, which approach should you take in your sales writing? Should you go with a hard sell or a soft sell?
The fact is, whether you go with the hard sell or the soft sell is very subjective. And how well it succeeds will depend largely on what you’re selling and how skilled you are as a writer. One person, for instance, might be able to do a hard sell very effectively, if he or she has the right personality. Another might blow it completely.
When the hard sell works
Frankly, there are some products that lend themselves to the “hard sell.” I hate to say this about my fellow human beings, but if you’re selling an item that relates to a person’s ego, you’ll probably discover that a lot of product moves via the hard sell. If you have a magic pill that’s going to empower people to lose five pounds a week, your best prospects will respond to hard sales writing.
Are you down-to-earth, easy to get along with and charismatic? Do you want to start your prospects down a path that will lead to additional sales, such as upgrades? If this describes you, a different approach will deliver your most effective sales writing. You don’t have to take the “hard sales” approach; you have to believe in your product and be comfortable with promoting it. Yet if you’re not all that comfortable asking people to buy, chances are you won’t make much money.
You still have to close sales.
You can try following other people who have done well selling online, but if your style of marketing doesn’t match theirs, then you’re going to be disappointed. Just copying what the other guy does isn’t necessarily going to lead you in the direction of success. You have to find your own voice.
Trust and soft(er) sales
Of course, it’s natural to try to emulate what successful salespeople do, but it might not always work. You might have seen people who have made phenomenal amounts of sales by doing nothing more than blogging, which is, of course, what you’re probably trying to do. These people don’t even have to sell at all – they just write, talk about products, and generate sales. The more they talk about their products, the more sales they generate.
So how are they doing that? It’s a pretty simple principle. They’ve built trust, and now all they have to do is sit back and wait for the sales to come in. Here’s the thing – you can sell a lot and build trust, or you can build trust and sell a lot. If you’re new to the game, you have to build trust first; then you sell more. Then you build more trust. Eventually, you create your niche. The more you sell, the more trust you build, and the more trust you build, the more you sell.
By the way, although I’m using the word “trust” here, a major component of that trust is authority. Let’s say that trust is recognizing authority in a person you want to have a relationship with. In this case, that relationship revolves around sales.
And here’s a tip if you’re just starting out: Work on building an online community. Determine the area where you want your sales to come from eventually, and start building up a following. Create a forum. Establish a blog. Publish an ebook. Build an email list. Gather social media followers.
Once you have a community that trusts you, then you can begin to turn the corner and start selling items that appeal to your community. When you do this, keep your community in the loop. Get their thoughts on your products and use them to fine tune what you sell.
You’ll also discover that when you get to this point, you have established a “voice” that leads to effective sales writing in your niche.