Gaining Customer Trust: A Conceptual Guide for the Salesperson

Swan, John E.; Nolan, Johannah Jones
November 1985
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Nov85, Vol. 5 Issue 2, p39
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the importance of gaining customer trust. Trust is not the only important factor in the customer-salesperson relationship, but it helps determine the ability of a salesperson to influence a prospect. The basic reason why trust should be an important element in industrial sales is that trust facilitates an exchange relationship while mistrust hinders it. An essential element of trust is that, by trusting the salesperson, the buyer places himself at risk. The buyer may be depending on goods arriving when promised and a late shipment could certainly reflect poorly on the purchasing manager. The trust belief reflects the buyer's subjective probability that the shipment will, in fact, arrive by the time specified by the salesperson. Belief differs from a feeling of trust in that the feeling is an emotional response while belief is a cognitive product of the buyer's thinking and analysis. A buyer may hold a belief based on his recall of the number of times the salesperson's promises were exactly realized.


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