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Finding the Right Balance in Sales Contacts

Apr 06, 2012

by Holly Barr, TSSA Administrative and Education Assistant

I am in the process of researching and registering for a college-level course to improve my writing skills. I am struggling to decide between a continuing education course from an online institution and a community college course. During this time, I have learned some interesting things about the fine balance between what is "too much" and "too little" customer contact.

For example, one online “college” I contacted inundated me with e-mails and phone calls for days. Most of their e-mails were clearly form e-mails from an admissions counselor. At one point she even sent me an e-mail alluding to the fact we’d had a conversation about my educational needs, but that never actually happened! I responded with an explanation of why I would not be pursuing an education with her institution.  She apologized, and explained that she was only “trying to help me.” While I am sure that is true, this type of behavior is a big turn-off. I still don’t know whether or not they have a quality program – nor do I care to find out!

On the flip side, I have attempted to contact the local community college twice and have yet to get a response. This is equally annoying. But ultimately, I know from word of mouth that they do have an established, quality program. So, I am willing to work harder to talk to them. In the end, the likelihood of my choosing them is much higher.

Point being, there is a fine balance between good salesmanship and pushiness. When you are too pushy, you can come across as desperate or even worse, uncaring about the product or customer experience--just interested in making the sale. If you are not careful, you can also be forgotten if you are not responsive enough. When you have just the right balance, you remain relevant without coming across as a bully.

I have yet to decide which direction I am going to go. Hopefully, I will soon discover someone capable, helpful, and caring enough to help guide me in my journey. In the meantime, in sales as in life, it’s important to find that right balance!  

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