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Antecedents and consequences of salesperson listening effectiveness in buyer-seller relationships


Antecedents and consequences of salesperson listening effectiveness in buyer-seller relationships

Bergeron, Jasmin (2004) Antecedents and consequences of salesperson listening effectiveness in buyer-seller relationships. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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To advance the claim that effective listening is a skill of paramount importance for sales representatives may appear prima-facie to belabour an obvious assumption. Yet, a consensus seems to exist in the literature that the average salesperson exhibits, at best, poor listening skills. This claim provides the impetus for the development of listening studies in the buyer-seller paradigm, which historically have been underpresented within the overall domain of sales research. The goals of the present dissertation were fourfold: (a) to define what it means to "listen" in the selling context, (b) to test the multidimensional structure of the listening construct, (c) to examine several key antecedents and (d) major consequences of salesperson listening effectiveness. First, a content analysis of key words in more than 50 conceptualizations of listening lead us to define listening as: "the selective act of physically sensing, mentally processing, and responding to verbal and/or nonverbal messages." To attain the three next objectives, a survey was distributed to more than 600 buyer-seller dyads in the banking industry. In order to collect relevant data, numerous strategies were employed, such as survey pre-notification, response incentives, sponsorship, and follow-ups. Nearly 1200 respondents, representing more than 10 financial institutions, completed our questionnaires. A battery of statistical tests indicated that listening in personal selling encompasses three dimensions: physical sensing, mental processing, and responding. Out of 12 variables hypothesized to influence effective listening, the following seven salesperson-related factors were identified as significant precursors: customer orientation, motivation to listen, customer knowledge, empathy, memory, past listening training, and internal buyer-seller similarity. Our empirical results also indicated that listening effectiveness is positively (and strongly) associated with service quality, trust, satisfaction, word-of-mouth propensity, purchase intentions, and sales performance (whether measured by perceptions or quantitative data). Several interesting conclusions were distilled from the findings and numerous theoretical and practical recommendations were suggested. It is our hope that this dissertation will (a) entice organizations to emphasize salespeople listening skills as a competitive advantage and (b) be used as a spring board by sales researchers to accrue research efforts and continued theory development in understanding the truly rich role of listening.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Bergeron, Jasmin
Pagination:xv, 322 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:John Molson School of Business
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laroche, Michel
Identification Number:HF 5439.5 B47 2004
ID Code:8117
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:15
Last Modified:13 Jul 2020 20:03
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