Relationship development in selling: A cognitive analysis

Gerrard MacIntosh, Kenneth A. Anglin, David M. Szymanski, James W. Gentry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Recent research has suggested that trust and relationship-building contribute to the effectiveness of salespeople. This paper reviews the literature on the cognitive selling paradigm and the influence of knowledge structures on the relationship-building process. Next, two recent studies (Anglin 1990; Szymanski 1987) which investigated knowledge, relationship development, and sales performance are reviewed. The findings from these studies imply that a fundamental difference may exist in the manner in which higher and lower performing salespeople perceive the selling process. Higher performers placed greater emphasis on establishing “trust” and also preferred to find out information about the prospect before reciprocating with information about themselves. Lower performers, on the other hand, preferred to disclose information about themselves before obtaining personal information about the prospect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Personal Selling and Sales Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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