A Framework for Classifying Concepts of and Research on the Personal Selling Process

Reeves, Robert A.; Barksdale, Hiram C.
November 1984
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Nov84, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p7
Academic Journal
This article focuses on personal selling process. Traditionally, personal selling has been viewed as an interpersonal interaction process, but only the most recent conceptualizations of selling have captured the real meaning of this definition. There are two interrelated aspects of the shift in focus that is taking place. One aspect is the shift from popular, intuitive approaches to those that are empirically, scientifically, and even theoretically based. The second aspect is a shift from attempts to identify characteristics of successful salespeople to attempts to develop comprehensive models of selling as an interpersonal interaction process recognizing the significance of organizational and environmental variables, as well as the need for the salesperson to adjust to customers and situations. The purpose of this article is to outline a classification system which will help to organize the research that has been reported and facilitate comparisons of the various approaches to the study of personal selling. Research is broadly defined here to include empirical studies as well as conceptual models of selling. After describing the classification system, several prototypical examples of each type of research approach are discussed to illustrate the utility of the proposed scheme.


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