In the 2008 Key Motivators Business Survey by Porter Positioning, 93.4 percent of respondents report that a company’s reputation is “very important” when choosing a vendor or business partner, 65.2 percent cite references as “very important” and 41.5 percent say proof of results are “very important.” The survey of U.S. business professionals was completed by 214 people in a variety of industries and professions.


While 95.3 percent of respondents say that proven results are “very important” or “preferred,” only 30.8 percent say they actually ask for proof of results. Similarly, while 99.1 percent say references are “very important” or “preferred,” only 66.4 percent say they usually ask for references.

When asked to rank a list of the most important elements when choosing a vendor or partner: 

  • 46.6 percent say good company reputation is most important,
  • 39.2 percent say proven results are most important and
  • 7.8 percent say award-winning products and services are most important.

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