Top 5 Soft Selling Skills to be a Successful Salesperson
Mar 28, 2023
Soft selling is a sales approach that emphasizes the use of conversational and interpersonal techniques to establish strong rapport with customers and foster enduring relationships. The primary focus is on building quality relationships and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the customer's journey.
The ability to employ soft selling techniques is often what sets top-performing salespeople apart from their below average counterparts. By building a growth mindset and a constant desire to improve both yourself and those around you, you'll develop strong soft skills that can transform you into an effective deal-closer and a sales rockstar.
1. Product Knowledge
The cornerstone of successful sales pitches is having a thorough and in-depth understanding of the product or service being offered. This important skill enables your sales team to provide accurate answers to customer inquiries and craft effective solutions when presenting pitches. It also allows your salespeople to confidently handle any questions or curveballs thrown their way.
While having charisma, excellent communication, and organizational skills can benefit a salesperson, these abilities are ultimately useless without a solid understanding of the product or service being sold. Without sufficient product knowledge, a salesperson will have nothing to discuss beyond their sales script. The devil is always in the details. And this is where a comprehensive understanding of the product or service becomes essential.
To build this skill within your sales team, consider offering product training courses that focus on critical processes, features, and concepts relevant to your business. Additionally, you can evaluate your team's knowledge gaps and reinforce essential information by conducting regular check-ins, surveys, or short quizzes utilizing test maker tools. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your team has the necessary knowledge to succeed in sales and effectively communicate with customers.
Your sales team can attune themselves to both verbal and nonverbal cues and gain a profound understanding of a client's emotions and feelings with empathy. This essential skill enables salespeople to comprehend a customer's pain points, fears, and concerns, even when they are not explicitly expressed.
Exceptional salespeople go beyond mere sympathy when customers express frustration; they strive to comprehend the underlying emotions and perspectives that drive their pain points. By genuinely respecting and considering a prospect's thoughts and feelings, salespeople can respond with thoughtful ideas and solutions that align with their point of view. Ultimately, this approach can have a positive impact on a buyer's decision-making process.
Despite common misconceptions, empathy is a skill that can be learned and developed. To help emphasize this skill, design an course for your team that underscores the importance of empathy, outline techniques for enhancing it, and explain how it can positively influence your sales reps' commissions. By reinforcing these values, you can empower your team and create more successful sales outcomes.
3. Relationship Building
Building a rapport with a customer through common, non-work-related interests is an essential aspect of relationship building in sales. Rather than launching into a detailed discussion of product or service specifics, the salesperson aims to build trust by finding shared interests with the client. While chatting about non-work-related subjects may seem trivial, it's worth noting that trust is a crucial factor in closing a deal, as many sales leaders would attest. Taking the time to connect with customers on a personal level can have a significant impact on your sales success.
Leads and clients won’t buy from a salesperson who doesn’t consider their feelings and opinions. When a customer shares important personal insights, a great salesperson will take the time to record and remember them. Some examples of these insights can be:
Their personal hobbies and interests outside of work.
Their professional relationships with colleagues you are familiar with.
The names of their significant other or children.
Their most recent vacation or travel experiences.
The most important part of relationship building is the ability to remember insights and make them actionable at the right time. In the past, salespeople have relied on writing notes or just recalling them from memory. This can be extremely difficult to when you need to recall them right before your lunch meeting or zoom call. Timing is everything and you don't want to be caught rummaging through notes or forgetting altogether. That's why tools like Ravyn helps salespeople be relationship building sales rockstars that close deals faster.
To elevate your team's relationship-building skills, develop a internal sessions that outlines effective techniques and approaches for building rapport. You can also create meeting minutes or a slack channel where team members can share best practices and insights gained from their experiences with clients. Not only will this promote collaboration and teamwork but also enable your team to learn from one another and develop a broader range of relationship-building strategies.
By creating emotional connections with clients, salespeople will build long-term relationships, increase retention, and quickly close sales deals.
4. Effective Communication
Salespeople spend a significant amount of time communicating not only with customers but also with internal teams. The ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally, is a fundamental skill that your sales team needs to persuade customers to buy your product or service. It's important to recognize that the tone and manner of delivery can also significantly impact the message being conveyed.
Two significantly important attributes of communication in sales are storytelling and emotional intelligence. Storytelling allows salespeople to present a product or service in an engaging and authentic way by framing it within a narrative that addresses the customer's pain points and needs. Emotional intelligence, also known as emotional quotient (EQ), involves being aware of one's own emotions and understanding those of others. In sales, this skill enables salespeople to manage their interactions with customers and cultivate better collaboration.
Sales is an industry that requires flexibility and quick thinking. You can enhance your team's communication skills by encouraging peer learning and discussion. These activities provide opportunities for your team to practice and refine their communication skills while fostering collaboration within the team.
Networking is a critical skill that can determine the success of a deal in the sales industry. It involves building and maintaining relationships with individuals who can assist you in accomplishing your business objectives. However, effective networking is not solely about socializing with the appropriate people at the correct events. It necessitates a purposeful and deliberate approach to establishing meaningful connections with others.
Successful networking goes beyond mere contact exchange. It involves establishing a connection with others and demonstrating genuine concern for their goals and needs. Active listening, asking pertinent questions, and finding ways to be helpful are all vital components of networking. Whether you're meeting someone for the first time or reconnecting with an acquaintance, prioritizing the relationship itself rather than simply the transaction is critical to effective networking.
By becoming proficient in networking and leveraging tools such as digital business cards, you can establish a network of advocates, partners, and customers who will aid you in reaching your sales objectives. Therefore, take initiative, be genuine and tactical in your approaches, and witness your network expand.
Soft skills are an important set of interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies that help a salesperson relate to and communicate with others. By employing these 5 skills, salespeople can work more efficiently, achieve their sales goals, and boost overall sales performance.