There's a way to sell things to people without making them feel dirty. The hard sell is the pushy, assertive sales tactic that we all know and hate. It has become a science - get under the potential buyer's skin enough times and they'll eventually give in. Small business owners get it all the time. It can lead to a sale and buyers' remorse, and forget about a second sale. There is another way..
The soft sell is like dating.
If you're interested in dating someone, you try to get to know them. You'll find out what they like, what they dislike, who they associate with, and what their needs and wants are. You'll gradually determine a fit - whether or not they are someone you can see yourself spending a lot of time with. Most importantly, you'll listen. If you wish to continue seeing this person, you may propose...that you become a couple.
Selling can work the same way. If your small business has something that a buyer might want, have a conversation with the potential client with a view to get to know them and their needs. In doing so, you're creating rapport and developing a relationship that may turn into a sale. It only makes sense that a seller who takes the time to get to know the potential buyer and the problem they're trying to solve will earn that buyer's business.
We all want to be with someone who listens to us, don't we?