Trust Earning Perceptions of Sellers and Buyers

Hawes, Jon M.; Mast, Kenneth E.; Swan, John E.
March 1989
Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management;Spring89, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Trust is the binding force in most productive buyer and seller relationships. For any particular potential exchange, trust will be critical if two situational factors are present namely risk and incomplete buyer information. Trust is a reciprocal relationship. A seller and buyer must trust each other in order for effective exchange to occur. Usually, however, the burden of earning trust is placed on the salesperson. It is important to note that trust, as well as risk, is very much a concept of perceptions. The reality of how much risk is present in a potential exchange is not as critical as the potential buyer's perception of this risk. Likewise, the amount of trust, which a seller should earn, given his or her behavior and the particulars of the situation, is not, the main issue. What matters are the specific buyer's perception of the situation and the attendant attribution of trust to his salesperson. The article addresses two major themes including the importance and measurement of trust in the selling process and the extent to which salespeople correctly anticipate the customer's point of view concerning trust.


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