The Importance of Starting Right: The Influence of Accurate Intuition on Performance in Salesperson-Customer Interactions
Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming
Posted: 28 Mar 2015
Date Written: May 26, 2015
Salespeople make two types of judgments about customers in face-to-face interactions: judgments that are more intuitive and those that are more deliberative. The authors evaluate the influence of accurate intuitive and deliberative judgments on the performance of salespeople. To evaluate this influence, the authors employ matched survey, observational, and objective field data obtained before, during, and after salesperson-customer interactions. The results reveal that accurate intuitive judgments improve selling performance by enabling more appropriate initial sales strategies. These judgments not only help increase the effectiveness of salespeople's selling efforts but also reduce the amount of selling time, resulting in improved selling efficiency. However, performance is compromised when inaccurate deliberative judgments follow accurate intuitive judgments. The findings also identify different antecedents to judgment accuracy. Intuitive accuracy is influenced by domain-specific experience, similarity to the customer, and empathy for the customer, while listening skills and customer orientation influence deliberative accuracy.
Keywords: customer needs, salesperson performance, intuition, thin-slice research, cognitive-experiential self-theory
JEL Classification: M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation