Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

The Impact of Salesperson's Behavior on Consumer's Purchase Decision: An Empirical Study

Academic journal article IUP Journal of Marketing Management

The Impact of Salesperson's Behavior on Consumer's Purchase Decision: An Empirical Study

Article excerpt

Introduction

Looking behind 50-60 years, when retailing was more of the unorganized kind, consumer's purchase decision was mainly based on the product and its benefits. They tended to visit a store to look for the product they desired, choose it and pay for it. Very little attention was paid to the shop owner's or salesperson's behavior with them. But, in the last few decades, with the change in the retailing concept and introduction of organized retailing, the consumers are exposed to a kind of freedom for choosing and behaving sensitively towards the buying process. The marketers are now experiencing a dramatic change in consumer's behavior. Nowadays, apart from the product features, there are lot many aspects that a consumer explores to reach the purchase decision. It has been observed in the recent past that consumers seek the attention of the shopkeepers and salespersons and are more likely to visit those outlets where they have experienced a royal and cantered attention from them.

It will not be a mistake to say that a consumer today has started to feel like the 'king' of the market and strives for a similar treatment. So, it is of utmost importance for the outlet owners to satisfy the consumers not only with the genuine products but also with their behavior and proper response. A well-treated and pleased consumer often turns out to be a loyal consumer, which is profitable for the business.

The salespersons can be considered as the key around whom the sales and profitability of any business or retail store rotates. A bunch of effective salespersons can decide the success or failure of any business. As a salesperson remains in constant interaction with one or other customer, he should be efficient in certain behavioral aspects, so that a customer can be moulded into a loyal one. Once a customer becomes comfortable with them, they will gradually become dedicated towards the store or business. So, the salespersons should make attempts and keep check on their behavior with consumers so as to delight them. In the present study, attempts have been made to detect the effectiveness of such relevant aspects of salesperson's behavior.

Literature Review and Hypotheses Development

In today's competitive business environment, salespersons are expected to attain sales targets and shape long-term, profitable business relationships with consumers. Previous studies like Morgan and Hunt (1994) and Doney and Cannon (1997) suggest that salespeople should enhance customer satisfaction and trust, or what some scholars call 'relationship quality' (term coined by Crosby et al., 1990). Several studies have examined the effect of a few specific interpersonal behavior, such as salesperson's listening (Ramsey and Sohi, 1997) as well as less specific salesperson's behavior, such as conveying cooperative intentions and practicing mutual disclosure behaviors. In addition to these, some other behaviors like following moral principles in action and catering to consumers sensitively and rationally also have their own implications.

Behavioral Aspects of Salesperson

Every profession has certain behavioral traits associated with it. That turns into a major soft skill required to perform a specific task of that respective role in the organization. Likewise, persons acquiring the role of salespersons should also possess specific behavioral aspects in the form of soft skills. Some of the chosen, yet important, aspects are ethical behavior, listening abilities, relational skills and emotional intelligence.

Ethical Behavior

In order to improve the competitive advantage, the most vital goal for marketers is to acquire, uphold and enrich their prevailing market share. This is conceivable if there exists competent customer-salesperson interaction, and thus, the salesperson is seen as a key channel to communicate with customers.

Such a relationship may be shattered by a salesperson's fraudulent and unreliable behaviors, as suggested by Kelly and Schine (1992). …

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