6 Expectations Clients Have of Partners – part 4: Accountable

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There are six expectations that must be met if you are to be perceived as a partner…not a vendor. This episode of the Sales Management Minute deals with the fourth of the six expectations.

Years ago there was a study done where CEOs were asked why they bought from one salesperson instead another. You’re probably thinking it was price…or value…or differentiation.


Nope! Overwhelmingly, the response was that they bought from the salesperson they believed had the full support of the company behind them. So, when…not if, something went wrong, …the sales person had the full support of the company behind them to get it resolved.


These CEOs recognized that it isn’t realistic to expect 100% perfection despite what the brochures may say. Yet, they did hold the salesperson accountable for supporting the relationship. This leads to the 4th expectation clients have of partners…accountable.


On a consulting basis, I worked with a high-end travel agency that sold $15,000+ exotic vacation packages. What many of their agents (a.k.a. salespeople) failed to realize was that, while it was important to position how wonderful the trip was going to be, it was equally important for the prospect to know that the agent was going to make sure the traveler had a fantastic experience…that they would be accountable for any problems encountered.


The purchaser of the trip didn’t hold the hotel, rental car agency, or the airline accountable for the experience. They held the travel agency, more specifically, their agent accountable. And, that accountability was the difference between getting the sale and not.


Next time, we’ll talk about the 5th expectation clients have of partners…Suggestive.

See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.

Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at lsalz@SalesArchitects.net or 763.416.4321.