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Soft Selling and Hard Selling Techniques: What’s the Difference?

Soft Selling and Hard Selling Techniques: What’s the Difference?

11 Oct 2023

In the world of marketing, two popular marketing concepts are soft selling and hard selling techniques. Both of these techniques have different approaches to promoting products and services. Curious about how they work? Let’s delve into the details in this article.

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Understanding Soft Selling and Hard Selling Techniques

Sales play a crucial role in business. They are pivotal to a company’s success, with smooth sales operations advancing business operations. Conversely, if a company struggles with sales, its operations tend to slow down or even come to a halt.

Sales here don’t just refer to products but also services or offerings. In the modern era, businesses are becoming smarter in their sales methods, and one way to achieve this is by implementing soft selling and hard selling techniques. To make the distinction clearer, let’s explore the differences between soft selling and hard selling.

What is Soft Selling?

Soft selling is a more gentle and less aggressive marketing approach. It focuses on building relationships with customers, understanding their needs and desires, and attempting to influence indirectly. Some typical characteristics of soft selling include:

  • Friendly Approach

Soft selling techniques tend to avoid pressure and aim to create a positive relationship with potential customers. This can involve a more relaxed and friendly way of communication without immediately discussing products or services.

  • Education Focus

Soft selling often involves an educational approach. Salespeople try to provide relevant and helpful information to potential customers so that they can make informed decisions.

  • Social and Emotional

A notable feature of soft selling is the use of emotions and social connections. This includes building trust or a connection with customers, both through social media and direct interactions. Sellers often try to identify customers’ personal problems and offer relevant solutions.

What is Hard Selling?

In contrast to soft selling, hard selling emphasizes a more aggressive marketing approach. In this technique, sellers strive to convince potential customers to buy products or services without much delay. Some typical characteristics of hard selling include:

  • High Pressure

Hard selling often involves high-pressure tactics to make customers buy immediately. This may include special limited-time offers, essentially directly persuading customers. In hard selling, the focus is often on closing the sale in a single meeting or communication.

  • Focus on Features

Hard selling marketing typically focuses more on the features and advantages of products. It tends to disregard the long-term value customers will receive, unlike soft selling, which involves building long-term connections.

  • Lack of Emotion-Based Connection

The hard selling approach may not prioritize building emotional relationships with customers. Since the primary focus is on offering products or services, personal connections may not be considered as essential.

Key to Successfully Implementing Soft Selling and Hard Selling Techniques

Sellers employing the soft selling technique should have a deep understanding of their products or services. This enables them to answer customer questions confidently and provide the best solutions.

Listening is also key in the soft selling technique. Sellers should pay full attention to the needs and desires of each customer, as it helps in providing more relevant product information.

Additionally, providing testimonials, positive reviews, or case studies that illustrate previous customer satisfaction can strengthen the confidence of new customers and indirectly help build emotional interest.

In the case of hard selling, sellers should create an impression that customers must act quickly. Otherwise, they will miss out on valuable opportunities. To boost sales continually, you can introduce special offers or discounts to create incentives for customers.


From the explanations above, we can conclude that the main difference between soft selling and hard selling techniques lies in their approach. Soft selling is more educational and relationship-oriented, focusing on understanding customer needs, building strong relationships, and providing the best solutions to achieve sales success.

On the other hand, hard selling focuses on closing sales as quickly as possible. Its primary advantage is the speedy achievement of targets, making it an effective method for products or services that require quick decision-making.

However, it’s important to note that both soft selling and hard selling techniques require time. As a seller, you must be patient, flexible, and prepared to follow the buying process of your customers.