What do salespeople do when the pressure comes on to hit their numbers and they need to sell more? The natural response is often to try pushing their existing and new customers to buy more products or services and if this doesn’t work push them even harder! This ‘hard sell’ approach to gaining more business is seen as the macho response to the challenge of selling more which is in contrast to the ‘soft sell’ approach of building relationships with customers by understanding their needs and tailoring the product or service offer to deliver the desired outcome. This ‘soft sell’ approach can take longer to achieve the objective of increased sales and during times when the business needs to sell more it may be viewed as a luxury that can’t be sustained. So what’s the answer, do you take the short-term hard sell route or the longer term soft sell path? Every situation is different but my preference in selling situations, as both a customer and a seller, is to take a balanced and open approach to find out how the seller can help the customer by understandng their situation and needs and then confidently recommending and discussing what is best for the customer with clear next step actions. As with most things in life I think it’s about achieving the right balance!