A lot of times, as business owners, we try to force a sale on our products. Hard selling is definitely a useful technique to close your sales. But there’s also a better way to sell with less effort and is more pleasant for you as a seller and the customer. It’s called soft selling
There’s no better way to explain this with a story.
The Mango Lady
“A couple of years back, I was travelling with a group of friends in Bali. We were on our way to Gili islands. We travelled by boat so we had to board the board in a nearby jetty.
It was quite close to mid-day and the weather was pretty hot. While waiting for our boats to arrive at the jetty, there was an elderly woman selling mangoes. The moment our eyes met, she would call out to you and say “Mango, mango,” with an enthusiastic mile.
We just had our lunch so we were pretty full by then. We politely declined but that did not stop her.
She continued to smile and each time we made eye contact, again she would call out “Mango, mango!”
She was persistent but in a pleasant manner. Still, we turned her down with a smile. That never dampened her spirits.
Bad Weather Strikes
Our boats were supposed to arrive at the appointed time. Due to bad weather, a sudden announcement was made informing us that our boat would be delayed for another 20 minutes.
Everyone groan in dismay. Luckily it was just a 20 minutes delay.
While all of this was happening, the elderly mango woman continued her sale of mangoes. She maintained her cheerful demeanor; each time calling out to anyone with whom she made eye contact with.
Strangely but unsurprisingly, after the announcement, we felt that it was nice to have a mango. Everyone else on the jetty felt the same way as well.
Without hard selling, the mango lady, had a windfall and everyone was buying mangoes from her. She was merely present and ready. She sowed the seeds earlier on and at the right moment, the sales just kept on coming in.”
What is the lesson learnt from this story?
- Be in the customer’s mind until he/she is ready to buy.
This is the same reason why big brands invest in purchasing ads in various mediums (ie TV, print & social media). These ads, especially the good ones, rarely talk about the features or the benefits of the products that is being sold. They merely exist to allow the brands to be in their customers mind until he/she is ready to buy.
- Stop hard selling your customer about the benefits or features.
Find your customers in the right place at the right time and be ready when they are ready to buy.
The mango lady didn’t convince us that her mango is sweet or that it was packed with vitamins. Neither did she mentioned that it was organically farmed in a fair trade industry.
She figured that waiting for a boat ride in the hot sun can be exhausting. And that a sweet mango might be a nice treat while waiting.
- Don’t give up. Be patient and wait for the right moment.
Even though she turned down each time, she maintained a pleasant and cheerful demeanor. It was as though it’s okay that we didn’t want her mango. And it was just her way of being in touch with us.