Skip to main content
Article
An Exploratory Study of Gender and Age Matching in Salesperson-Prospective Customer Dyad: Testing Similarity-Performance Predictions
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management (1998)
  • Sean Dwyer, University of Alabama
  • Richard Orlando, University of Kentucky
  • C. David Shepherd, Georgia Southern University
Abstract

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.

Keywords
  • Diversified competition,
  • Sales force,
  • Similarity-attraction theory,
  • Social identity theory,
  • Insurance sales,
  • Sales performance
Publication Date
Fall 1998
Citation Information
Sean Dwyer, Richard Orlando and C. David Shepherd. "An Exploratory Study of Gender and Age Matching in Salesperson-Prospective Customer Dyad: Testing Similarity-Performance Predictions" Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management Vol. 18 Iss. 4 (1998)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/c_david_shepherd/32/