Your business depends a great deal on whether you and your salespeople can close a sale. Customers often prefer working with or talking to live people when they make a purchase. However, the method of selling to a customer can make or break a sale. Do you make a high-pressure sales pitch? Or let the customer feel in control? Hard and soft sells have been debated for decades. We’ve all been through the experience of a car lot with a salesperson making high-pressure, almost desperate sales pitches to get us in the car of our dreams “today.” And anyone who has seen the play or film, Glengarry Glen Ross, remembers the line, “A-B-C: A-always, B-be, C-closing.” But does selling require such hard approaches, or should we give customers a little more credit? Here are some things to consider: Customers Buy on Emotion High pressure, or “hard” selling, has been a staple of selling for highly emotional items, such as cars, homes, and large investments such as stocks. Consumers spend money with emotional factors. A house is purchased if it is “perfect” or “beautiful.” Cars are bought with the emotion of having luxury, speed, good mileage, or comfort. However, the same holds true for simple things like food. A particular entrée is purchased because the customer is “in the mood” for that dish. If you are going to make a sale, you must appeal to customers’ emotions. Build Trust Consumers will spend money with people they trust. Whether your sales people meet a customer off the street and try to get to know them, or if your customer visits your retail store many times a month, you must be able to acquire and keep their trust. Get to know the customer and their needs. Find out what drives them, and how they like to be sold. You can easily determine whether a hard or soft sell is necessary. Call To Action Don’t forget the call to action. If you’ve appealed to a customer’s emotional states and gained their trust, let them know the ball is in their proverbial court. It never hurts to ask a customer whether they want to buy today. Both hard and soft selling techniques can be used for your customers. The important thing to remember is to know your target customer and what type of selling messages appeal to them.