What’s the Sweet Spot Between Pushy and Mushy?


The Situation

Aaron is a sales rep for a janitorial service company. While his firm has had success cleaning government office buildings, he now wants more private sector business.

Armed with lots of marketing support, Aaron is talking with Marissa, who is in charge of her company’s three buildings:

Aaron: Well, Marissa, you’ve checked out our website. I hope you watched the video . . . and I’ve summarized our advantages.
Marissa: Ah, yes, Aaron. The FAQ on your website was very good, but I have to ask, why do you think I should choose your company?
Aaron: Well, hmm. If your specific questions have been answered, I just think you’ll be happier with us.
Marissa: Okay, but that’s a leap I would have to take. One of your competitors, CleanCo, has a better name in the business — higher customer ratings online.
Aaron: That depends on which website you look at. An industry rating puts us at number one for the last three years.
Marissa: Aaron, doesn’t that rating come from a publication that carries a lot of your advertising?
Aaron: Marissa, if you’re questioning the rating’s credibility . . . I don’t want to be one of those pushy sales guys who tries to wear you down by arguing.
Marissa: Well, it’s a big decision. I want it to be informed. I’ll let you know by Friday.

How Forceful to Be?

No doubt, Aaron didn’t do enough to deserve this sale. But what about his point? Isn’t he right to avoid a Q1 pushy, insistent approach that tries to strong-arm people? If he talks her into it, couldn’t she regret it at contract renewal time? What do you think?

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