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Article
A Method for Investigating the Cognitive Processes and Knowledge Structures of Expert Salespeople
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management (1990)
  • C. David Shepherd, Georgia Southern University
  • Joseph O. Rentz
Abstract

Researchers are increasingly focusing on the mental processes and knowledge structures of salespeople. Of particular interest are expert (or highly skilled) salespeople. This article presents a method for investigating the cognitive processes and knowledge structures of expert salespeople. The method examines both declarative and procedural knowledge by combining several techniques traditionally seen in the cognitive sciences, namely the critical incident technique, vicarious role play using simulated problem situations, and content analysis of verbal protocols. Examples of an application of this procedure with a food broker sales force are used to illustrate certain aspects of the method.

Keywords
  • Mental processes,
  • Knowledge structures,
  • Salespeople,
  • Cognitive processes,
  • Declarative knowledge,
  • Procedural knowledge,
  • Critical incident technique
Publication Date
Fall 1990
Citation Information
C. David Shepherd and Joseph O. Rentz. "A Method for Investigating the Cognitive Processes and Knowledge Structures of Expert Salespeople" Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management 10.4 (1990): 55-70.
doi:10.1080/08853134.1990.10753849