Salesperson Race and Gender and the Access and Legitimacy Paradigm: Does Difference Make a Difference?

Jones, Eli; Moore, Jesse N.; Stanaland, Andrea J. S.; Wyatt, Rosalind A. J.
September 1998
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall98, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p71
Academic Journal
Prominent articles in the popular press suggest that minorities and women are sometimes "shut out of sales" (cf. Lucas 1996; Marchetti 1996). One implication is that non-minority buyers do not perceive minority and female salespeople as credible salespeople. During the initial approach of a sales call, the salesperson's race and gender are two visual cues that buyers use to establish salesperson credibility. We examine how different aspects of salesperson credibility--perceived expertise, trustworthiness, likability, and attractiveness--affect consumers' purchase intentions. Then, we investigate the influence of race and gender matches and mismatches between buyers and sellers on each dimension of salesperson credibility.


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