Date of Award

1989

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jerry Cohen

Abstract

This research involves two studies which investigated the relationship of communication style variables with effective sales performance. Norton's (1978) communication style construct was used as a guiding framework.

Study 1, examined 74 real estate agents' self-reports of communication style, performance and general sales practices used. In addition, objective measures of respondent's performance were obtained from company records.

A stepwise regression analysis revealed the construct of precise as the only significant predictor of income. A step-wise discriminant analysis showed that the constructs of precise and impression-leaving were significant discriminators among groups of salespeople who were categorized based on income.

A cluster analysis was also performed. The three cluster solution was followed-up by a discriminant analysis. The discriminant analysis described two distinct sales types based on different combinations of the communicator style variables. The variables in the first discriminant function were labeled as "strong" while those in the second function were labeled as "casual".

The main finding from this study, however, was that precise was strongly associated with effective sales performance in a real estate organization.

Study II empirically tested whether or not different combinations of the precise and friendly subconstructs affect sales effectiveness.

It was hypothesized that the more Precise a salesperson was, the more effective the individual would be in selling the product. It was also hypothesized that the more Friendly the salesperson was the more effectives/he would be.

Four groups of students saw videotapes of a sales interaction. Each tape depicted one of four combinations of high and low levels of Preciseness and Friendliness. Subjects viewed the tape (n=ll2) after which they completed a 40-item questionnaire. Separate three-way ANOVAS for each measure were run with Friendly, Precise, and sex as independent variables for the communicator style measures and other selected items.

The results of this study point to precise not being positively associated with sales effectiveness. However, as in study I, the results do indicate that communication style variables which can be perceived as 'strong' are related and it is again suggested that by "blending" different combinations of variables together different pictures emerges.

Directions for future research are also discussed.

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