The increasingly diversified composition of the sales force poses one of the most challenging organizational issues of our time. Employing similarity-attraction theory and social identity theory, this study provides theoretical foundations for: (1) investigating salesperson preferences for selling to similar others; and (2) exploring the dynamic nature of these preferences as they relate to sales performance. The results of an empirical study using a sample drawn from insurance sales indicated that salespeople are primarily attracted to prospects who are similar to themselves in terms of age and gender. However, contrary to predictions, buyer/seller age similarity was found to have no impact on sales performance, while gender mismatch in the sales dyad was found to actually enhance performance.
- Diversified competition,
- Sales force,
- Similarity-attraction theory,
- Social identity theory,
- Insurance sales,
- Sales performance
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/c_david_shepherd/32/