Hard selling, or high pressure selling, refers to an advertising method involving assertive and direct delivery of a sales pitch. Soft selling, on the other hand, is more indirect and focuses more on getting the consumer to realize that the seller has what he needs.
In hard selling, a lot more pressure is put on the consumer to purchase the product or service as soon as possible. This pressure is exerted under the assumption that closing the sale at the soonest possible time is the best option for the customer. However, as this is not always true, this can cause strained relations between the seller and the buyer. Used car dealerships are notorious for hard selling.
A variety of methods may be used in order to hard sell. Hard selling is very direct and saves time, especially if the customer knows what he wants and needs to make the purchase quickly, as well. On the other hand, hard selling can be irritating to some customers, especially if they don’t want to be pressured into making a purchase they do not feel ready for.
Soft selling puts more emphasis on building a relationship between the client and the seller. It focuses more energy on letting the client know that his needs can be addressed by the seller and makes these available to him in a non-threatening manner. While building this relationship, though, it is possible to come across as too passive. Some companies or individual may fail to identify opportunities for offering products and closing deals. However, if done right, soft selling can be a more effective approach than hard selling.