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Courting Your Customers: Hard Sell Vs. Soft Sell

Imagine that you're single and sitting at a bar next to an attractive male or female (you know, the scene you’ve seen in a million movies, but perhaps never experienced in real life). You’ve been talking all night and enjoying each other's company. Do you (A) push hard for a second date or (B) share your phone number or social media info and tell them you’d love to see them again? The answer is likely to depend on the situation and your larger goals. 

Similarly, when it comes to marketing, your approach will depend on the relationship you hope to build with your customers. Is this a single transaction or are you hoping to build a long-term relationship that will result in repeat business?

We’ve probably all heard or experienced the hard sell. We often associate it with car salesmen (nothing against the profession, we know not all car salesmen are pushy). Or those classic infomercials where they do everything possible to get you to call before the commercial is over.

Under the right circumstances, the hard sell might help entice indecisive customers and increase short term sales. However, similar to a pushy date or an annoying infomercial, many people are turned off by aggressive sales approaches. Alex Wren, a Tubular Insights contributor, makes this point:

“The customer is now empowered to make informed decisions and will commit only when they are ready. If you are unsure about this, try to remember the last time you watched a video and then called the number at the end!”

Investopedia describes soft sell advertising as a technique that “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.” For most business today, a softer approach is likely to be a better long-term approach. Delivering content that educates and/or entertains is a good example of a soft sales technique. This can include relevant photos, blog posts, or videos. 

Here’s an example of a soft sales approach that uses a fun animated video together with a specially commissioned song to entertain the audience. It’s essentially a corporate music video. It has over 90,000 views on their YouTube channel. It doesn’t directly tell the audience to buy the product it showcases. There’s nothing pushy about the video. It doesn’t even include a direct call to action at the end (more on CTA’s in a future blog post). It’s the epitome of a soft sales approach.

The old adage that content is king is still relevant. Creating an animated music video may not be the right approach for your business, but delivering quality content that entertains and/or educates is a great way to engage almost any audience. If your audience likes your content and can see you have something that can improve their lives, they will naturally want to reach out.  

If you’re considering an animated explainer video as a soft sales approach to help reach your customers, review our portfolio and give us a call. And regardless of your current video needs, we’d love to stay in touch. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to us on YouTube. Let’s do this again sometime (wink, wink)!



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