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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

When customer gratitude does not work in business to business sales?

Published: May 27, 2020


Konstantinos Rigopoulos, Nyenrode Business Universiteit; Henry Robben , Nyenrode Business Universiteit; Edward Groenland, Nyenrode Business Universiteit; Ed Peelen, Universiteit van Amsterdam


Gratitude; Critical Incidents; Buyer-Seller Relationship


This study deploys an experimental design to better understand how sales approaches affect buyer-seller relationship outcomes in business sales. Taking into account the significant effect that customer gratitude has on business sales performance as well as the dominant role of critical incident resolution for the relationship outcome, we designed an experiment to measure these effects. This study investigates how strategic and consultative sales approaches help sales representatives to create feelings of gratitude and resolve customer problems and how these two constructs affect buyer-seller relationship outcome. To investigate the hypotheses of the study, this paper uses structural equation modeling in a multiple measurements experimental design, utilizing a sample of 190 sales representatives. The findings add to the current body of literature by controlling various elements of the business relationship, measuring the effect of customer gratitude and critical incident resolution on relationship outcome in a way that reflects the contemporary sales landscape.


Greek State Scholarships Foundation (I.K.Y.)