What is a 'Soft Sell'

Soft sell refers to an advertising and sales approach that features subtle language and a non-aggressive technique. A soft sell is designed to avoid angering potential customers and pushing them away. Because soft selling is a low-pressure, persuasive and subtle sales technique, it may not result in a sale the first time a product is presented.

Breaking Down 'Soft Sell'

Using a soft sell technique does not mean that a salesperson is passive; rather, this technique is designed to push a product without coming off as pushy. A salesperson may use a more conversational approach in order to allow the potential customer to relax. The soft sell requires a certain amount of energy on the part of the salesperson, since they have to maintain the customer's attention in a friendly manner. Soft selling is facilitated by the repetition of an idea, message, or communication of a desired conclusion. Such tactics tend to be more persuasive and less likely to turn off prospective buyers.

Soft sell advertising tends to emphasize the benefits of a product or service, and appeals to the consumer's emotions by using humor or invoking warm and friendly ideas. The rationale is that the decision to purchase something depends upon the consumer's feelings.

Soft Sell vs. Hard Sell

To better understand the hard sell it is helpful to consider the hard sell, which features especially direct and insistent language. A hard sell is designed to get a consumer to purchase a good or service in the short-term, rather than evaluate his or her options and potentially decide to wait on the purchase. It is considered a high-pressure, aggressive technique that has fallen out of favor according to some sales experts.

Soft Sell Techniques

The soft sell is more consultative than the hard sell, so typically it begins with questioning the prospective buyer. The salesperson will ascertain the buyer's needs based on the answers they receive. They will then be able to make a helpful and suitable recommendation to the buyer about which product of service will best meet their needs. Soft selling salespeople will take their time to educate and assuage the buyers concerns when they arise. Only when the prospective buyer is satisfied will the sale be completed.

In e-commerce, an example of soft selling may be when an online retailer recognizes when an online shopper has abandoned a shopping cart with several items in it by sending an email to the shopper to ask if they encountered a problem or if they needed advice or answers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Soft Market

    A soft market is a phase in the economic cycle where there are ...
  2. Soft Stop Order

    A mental price or percentage set by traders where they will place ...
  3. Soft Commissions

    A soft commission, or soft dollars, is a transaction-based payment ...
  4. Soft Metrics

    The intangible elements that define the presence of a company ...
  5. Soft Money

    Soft money is unregulated donations to political parties for ...
  6. Soft Currency

    A soft currency is one that's value is inherently weak and not ...
Related Articles
  1. Trading

    Increase Your Profits With Soft or Mental Stops

    A soft stop provides a trader with added flexibility, allowing him to react to the market.
  2. Trading

    3 Charts That Suggest Now Is the Time to Invest in Agriculture

    The bulls have finally been able to push the price of key agriculture-related funds above major resistance levels.
  3. Small Business

    5 Steps To A Small Business Marketing Plan

    Here are some tips for marketing your small business.
  4. Investing

    When to sell a stock

    Buying at the right price determines profit, but selling a stock at the right price locks it in.
  5. Managing Wealth

    How to sell stock in your company

    Read about options and important steps to consider when you're selling, even a small part of your business.
  6. Investing

    How to Uncover Hidden Investment Fees

    Don't be afraid to ask thorough questions about the fees you are being charged by your financial professional.
  7. Investing

    5 Proven Methods for Selling Stocks

    These common techniques can help investors take some of the emotion out of deciding when to sell a stock.
  8. Investing

    Playing hardball when selling your home

    Are you planning on selling your house? Learn these strategies to help you get you a better deal in house sale.
  9. Trading

    Triple Screen Trading System - Part 7

    This system identifies the intraday price movements that indicates entry points for your buy or sell orders.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the difference between "hard money" and "soft money"?

    Hard money and soft money are terms that are often used to describe coin money and paper money, respectively. However, these ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are soft dollars?

    The term 'soft dollars' refers to mutual funds making in-kind payments to their service providers; for instance, by passing ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between a commodity and a product?

    Understand the difference between commodities and products, and learn how they are connected to each other and to market ... Read Answer >>
  4. When does one sell a put option, and when does one sell a call option?

    An investor would sell a put option if her outlook on the underlying was bullish, and would sell a call option if her outlook ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Intrinsic Value

    Intrinsic value is the perceived or calculated value of a company, including tangible and intangible factors, and may differ ...
  2. Current Assets

    Current assets is a balance sheet account that represents the value of all assets that can reasonably expected to be converted ...
  3. Volatility

    Volatility measures how much the price of a security, derivative, or index fluctuates.
  4. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
  5. Cost of Debt

    Cost of debt is the effective rate that a company pays on its current debt as part of its capital structure.
  6. Depreciation

    Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life and is used to account ...
Trading Center