The Image of the Salesperson: Prestige and Other Dimensions

Swan, John B.; Adkins, Robert T.
September 1980
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Fall/Winter80/81, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p48
Academic Journal
The article discusses the similarities and differences in public perception of attributes of sales occupations and between sales work and other occupations. The data made it possible to empirically examine whether occupational attributes such as education, freedom on the job, and others were related to the prestige of sales occupations. The prestige of sales occupations is related to attributes of such occupations. It may be possible to influence the prestige of sales occupations in a positive manner if the relative standing of sales jobs could be raised on the following attributes, education, freedom on the job, interesting work, clean work, competence, altruism, supervisory responsibilities, truthfulness, and importance to society. Since the strength of relationships between prestige and occupational attributes varied by sales occupation, which attributes to emphasize should be varied for different sales jobs. The general public did perceive some differences between professional sales occupations in prestige and other attributes. All salespeople are not seen as being alike. This is important as it suggests that sales occupations are not subject to a single general stereotype.


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