Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study says it's time to stop assuming buyers and salespeople are in 'relationships'

Date:
August 10, 2011
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Professional buyers don't really buy that they're in "relationships" with salespeople -- at least not the kind of relationship that people share with family, friends or a romantic partner, according to a new study.

Professional buyers don't really buy that they're in "relationships" with salespeople -- at least not the kind of relationship that people share with family, friends, or a romantic partner, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Scholars explore how companies can inspire customers to love their brands and emotionally bond in their business relationships," write authors Christopher Blocker (Baylor University), Mark Houston (Texas Christian University), and Dan Flint (University of Tennessee). "Are buyers' experiences with suppliers best conceived using a metaphor sourced from theory that explains family, friend, and romantic relationships?"

Modern marketing strategies tend to rely on "relationship marketing," which assumes that sellers can develop bonds with buyers. This school of thought often draws upon theories from sociology and social psychology that explain close personal ties, like marriage, friendship, and parent-child relationships.

"But in these theories of human relationships, an authentic relationship is an end unto itself, love is voluntary and given freely, whether or not it is returned," the authors write. "Are there limits to whether an authentic relationship can be used to explain business transactions where the buyer and seller are both employees of their respective firms, with profit-and-loss responsibilities and motives?"

The authors conducted in-depth interviews with 38 business buyers and found that their "relationships" with suppliers differed in important ways from personal relationships. "Buyers speak in-depth about going through the normal 'script' of trying to behave as if seller interactions are 'real' relationships, and sustaining this activity as a 'polite fiction' to help them accomplish personal and corporate goals," the authors explain.

The authors found that buyers prefer to connect (and disconnect) with suppliers as needs arise and hold low expectations for future interactions with salespeople outside of their business dealings. "This study suggests that business buyers are not actually seeking authentic relationships, and sellers' efforts to develop them may even create negative tension for buyers."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher Blocker, Mark Houston, and Dan Flint. Real Relationships between Business Buyers and Salespeople: Reality or Polite Fiction? Journal of Consumer Research, February 2012 (published online June 28, 2011) DOI: 10.1086/660916

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "New study says it's time to stop assuming buyers and salespeople are in 'relationships'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093741.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2011, August 10). New study says it's time to stop assuming buyers and salespeople are in 'relationships'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093741.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "New study says it's time to stop assuming buyers and salespeople are in 'relationships'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110810093741.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Understanding D.C.'s New Pot Laws

Newsy (July 17, 2014) Washington D.C.'s new laws decriminalizing small amount of marijuana went into effect Thursday. Here's how they work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins