Accountability in Sales

A few years ago, my wife and I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It’s a tremendous artist community and we wanted to look at many of the galleries that were there and enjoy the sites. We had no intention on buying anything.

There’s a road just outside of the downtown market area called Canyon Road. It’s about a mile long and all of the homes on both sides of the road have been converted into galleries. About halfway up on the right hand side, we went into a small, white, brick building. And on the inside, we looked at all the pictures that were there. It was a watercolor bonanza. There were some really beautiful pieces of art. As we finished, the individual who was working there said that the artist was in the gallery that day and asked if we would like to meet her.

Her name was Phyllis Kapp. We said sure we would like to meet her. We were introduced and we chatted a little bit as Phyllis engaged us in a meaningful conversation. Then she asked us a very important question. She said, “Which painting is your favorite?” Well, my wife and I had been talking about it as we walked through the gallery so we took Phyllis back over to the one room where there was a large painting over a fireplace mantel and we showed her that was our favorite. She then proceeded to tell us all about that picture.

Well, after a few minutes, she asked us another question. She said, “Just out of curiosity, where do you imagine in your home that this picture would hang?” Well, I’m thinking to myself, run! She asked a closing question. She asked a question that would require us to engage ourselves and actually own the picture in our minds placing the picture on a wall in our home. Well, my wife and I looked to each other , chatted for a moment and said, “It would probably look best in our family room”. And it does. Yes, we have a beautiful picture by Phyllis Kapp and the truth is we would have never engaged in purchasing that picture had Phyllis not stopped, talked to us to get to know us and to help us get to know her.

You see, Phyllis knew in sales that she has certain accountabilities and she knows exactly what she’s accountable for and that’s why she was in the gallery. She’s accountable to meet people. She’s accountable to build a relationship. She’s accountable to find out what people like and don’t like and then she’s accountable to find a way to show how her product, her beautiful paintings will help enhance our lives and our home. Phyllis did an outstanding job.

If you do that same type of detail work when you’re involved in a sales situation, and it doesn’t matter if we’re selling a product or a service or selling an idea to someone in an organization or to someone in our personal life, you will be successful. It’s all sales and we are accountable to know how to go about understanding what someone’s needs are, how to apply our service and benefits and products to those needs, and how to help them bring the two together. Because when you know what you’re accountable to do in sales, then more times than not, you will make the sale.


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