The Importance of Starting Right: The Influence of Accurate Intuition on Performance in Salesperson-Customer Interactions

Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming

Posted: 28 Mar 2015

See all articles by Zachary Hall

Zachary Hall

Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business

Michael Ahearne

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business

Harish Sujan

Tulane University

Date Written: May 26, 2015

Abstract

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

Hall, Zachary and Ahearne, Michael and Sujan, Harish, The Importance of Starting Right: The Influence of Accurate Intuition on Performance in Salesperson-Customer Interactions (May 26, 2015). Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2585732

Zachary Hall (Contact Author)

Texas Christian University - M.J. Neeley School of Business ( email )

Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States

Michael Ahearne

University of Houston - C.T. Bauer College of Business ( email )

334 Melcher Hall
Houston, TX 77204-6021
United States
713-743-4155 (Phone)
713-743-4572 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bauer.uh.edu/Directory/profile.asp?firstname=Michael&lastname=Ahearne

Harish Sujan

Tulane University ( email )

6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118

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