Demystifying Adaptive Selling – Exploring Salesperson Attributes and Service Behaviors
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Services organizations face ever-increasing customer demands and competition, especially in face-to-face retail sales encounters, hence it is extremely important to ‘recruit the right kind’ of salespeople and give them the ‘right kind of training’ to better serve and satisfy their customers. However, there is little research that combines these two perspectives in the adaptive selling context. We address this gap with a comprehensive model including four salesperson characteristics (attractiveness, communication ability, expertise and trustworthiness) as antecedents, three service performance behaviors (service manner, extra role and need identification) as mediators and three important outcome behaviors (willingness to disclose, customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions) as consequences. We also test this model using a field-survey with actual customers in a retail setting in Hong Kong. Our findings help demystify the adaptive selling by unraveling the customer evaluation and judgment processes.
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