So Who Does What and When?
Years ago I gave a keynote speech about team selling to what was then the American Express Bank. (It has since been acquired by Standard Charter). It was an international sales meeting and the group was very enthusiastic. Harvey Golub, Chairman of the American Express Company at the time, gave a motivating speech the night before and the group was in good spirits.
I was discussing joint sales calls early in my presentation with emphasis on roles and responsibilities. I was preaching about how “the sales department owns the relationship.” I gave all the reasons why this was so important. I gave examples and told a few anecdotes and was having a great time making what I thought was a very important point. I probably used the word own three or four times. I was on a roll.
Just then, John Ward, who was the president of the bank at that time, raised his hand and said, “Excuse me, Eric.” “Of course,” I responded, as I was sure John was about to support what I had said. The two of us had a good relationship and he was very supportive of the work we were doing with his sales teams. He had a solid understanding of the sales process, so I eagerly awaited his comments.
Little did I know that he was about to drop a bombshell.
“I agree with you, conceptually, Eric,” he said, “but I have to take issue with a very important nuance. The sales team does not own the relationship with the client. Sales play a critical role and they are clearly the primary contact with ...