Soft Selling Skills
Many people are completely resistant to the idea of selling - but in fact, when you look at it another way, those same people can be really good at getting others to accept their ideas and suggestions...
'Selling' can conjure up ideas of 'foot-in-the-door' suitcase carrying individuals who won't take 'no' for an answer. This is an old fashioned and unreal stereotype, and when introduced to the idea of soft selling, most employees can see that it's often something they already do, with customers or colleagues...
Soft Selling Skills Workshop Content
Overcoming fear and anxiety
To some, suggesting they include some form of selling in their role will immediately create fear or anxiety - so this has to be dealt with first, before any progress can be made...
What does soft selling mean?
The idea of 'selling' is unattractive to many, particularly those who work in the public or voluntary sectors. Indeed many will say they entered these sectors to avoid being commercially focused. Such objections tend to be focused on a combination of lack of motivation and lack of skill; but the concept of 'soft selling', when explained, can be much more acceptable, even appealing...
Why is it important?
To some extent, we all 'sell' - through the impact we have on others; and every organisation needs its staff to create a positive impression on its customers and stakeholders. So even if staff are not involved in 'shop-style' selling, it seems worthwhile to pay some attention to how staff interactions can encourage support, donations, and a positive reputation...
How to soft sell
What's involved in soft selling; the key stages to reassuringly follow, and the necessary skills, which many staff already have, but do not use... yet.
How to create a positive impression
Creating and maintaining a positive impression boils down to three key behaviours, represented by the letters L,S,A. All three are under each individual's control, so anyone can be very successful in making a positive impact.
Likeability, credibility & affinity
3 foundations to establishing and maintaining powerful, positive relationship bonds with others.
We all have currencies: ways we prefer to behave, communicate and live. For example, someone can prefer information to be presented visually, rather than through text; or someone may prefer to start with a 'big picture view' rather than the detail. Soft selling includes identifying someone else's preferred currency, then matching it...
Who is soft selling training for?
Our selling skills training courses are ideal for anyone who wants to get others to accept their views and ideas. The courses are particularly relevant for anyone who wants to:
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Soft Selling Skills Workshop Activities
Initially participants will discuss what they think the term means and how it might differ from 'selling'; they will then be given examples of soft selling in action, and asked to comment. The training then moves into developing key processes and skills, and concludes with extended opportunities to practice soft selling in work-related scenarios.
Never 'death by powerpoint'
We always provide a variety of learning approaches in each of our workshops.
Each workshop typically includes learning input from the trainer, supported by a range of mixed media, interactive elements, discussion and group work. Most workshops also include case work and practical skill-development activities to apply the learning, with more time dedicated to this in the longer courses.
'Want more?' resource pack
In addition to providing a copy of any slide deck, we always provide a ‘want more’ section, of curated resources including book summaries, podcasts, downloads and articles.
The course was over too quickly, and had definitely whetted my appetite. The ‘want more’ section was a brilliant additional support, allowing me to explore the topic further.
What are the benefits of soft selling training?
Soft Sell Frequently Asked Quesitons
How can I change my staff's resistance to selling?
A key approach is to reframe or redefine away from the unhelpful word 'selling'; adding the word 'soft' literally softens the harshness of the word, and there could be a case for using any of the other words, such as persuasion, or even making a positive impression, which avoids the word 'selling' altogether. And the examples in these training courses show the positive impact made when simple soft selling is used.
Aren't most salespeople naturally good at selling?
Some people are, undoubtedly. But everyone can learn some simple skills and behaviours that are appealing and attractive, without ever seeming to be 'selling'.
What's the best first step to overcoming resistance?
A first step that combines discussion and observation; allowing people to voice their fears and concerns helps release some of the anxiety and tension, and many 'doubting Thomases' may have their fears allayed if they see successful soft selling in action.
Which of your soft selling skillscourses should my staff attend?
If you feel they are likely to be resistant, then the first, shortest session, would be the most useful. If that course succeeds in reducing their fears and encouraging action, then the half and full day courses will allow them to develop and then practice key skills and approaches.
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