Sales Training and Impression Management

King, Ronald H.; Booze, Martha B.
August 1986
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Aug86, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p51
Academic Journal
Sales managers perform many crucial functions, such as, forecasting sales, recruiting and selecting proper salespeople. Sales training programs typically include sessions pertaining to company development and history, company policy and organization, brand and product line development and the steps in the sales process. The purpose of this article is to discuss impression management as a technique for training salespeople. Sociologist Erving Goffman utilized the term impression management as he discussed the need to convey by symbol and word the values, attitudes and motives that dramatically highlight and portray confirmatory facts that might otherwise remain unapparent or obscure. Goffman states that performers must prepare in advance for likely contingencies and exploit the opportunities that remain. Salespeople may benefit from an understanding of impression management ideas in two ways. First, as initiators they may design their communications behavior to impress prospects or clients. Alternatively, an understanding of impression management may permit the salesperson to be aware in those instances during which a prospect or client attempts to impress the salesperson in such a way as to exact a desired result.


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