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Examining The Effect Of Salesperson Service Behavior In A Competitive Context

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Michael Ahearne & Ronald Jelinek & Eli Jones

While few scholars debate the importance of doing things to improve the quality of the buyer–seller
relationship, little is known about what salespeople can do after the point of the initial sale to enhance customer
satisfaction and trust. On the basis of extensive exploratory interviews across professional selling domains, this research
develops a set of behaviors, referred to here as “salesperson service behaviors.” Using data gathered from
358 customers, the authors empirically demonstrate the effect of these behaviors on customer satisfaction and trust
and, ultimately, on an objective measure of customer share of market. The authors develop a competitive model that
uniquely features customer evaluations of competing sales representatives. The results indicate that these salesperson
service behaviors are important in building trust and customer satisfaction, which in turn lead to increases in
customer share of market.

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