The paper “Storytelling by the sales force and its effect on buyer–seller exchange” by Gilliamand Flaherty (2015) is one of the first attempts to empirically explore the use of storytelling in customer–supplier relationships. In this commentary we acknowledge that the topic is original and timely, and the issues addressed are relevant to an inquiry into the role of storytelling in B2B sales. However, we also argue that a more thoughtful discussion on the nature of sales and the characteristics of buyer–seller relationships in B2B markets would be more effective in capturing the scope of storytelling in B2B sales. In particular, we argue that buyers are not merely passive listeners of salespersons' stories, but actively participate in the storytelling process by initiating, interrupting, complementing or disseminating these stories.
- Storytelling, Communication, Sales, Customer-supplier relationships, Networks