How Salespeople Build Quality Relationships: A Replication and Extension

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James S. Boles, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study replicates and extends Crosby, Evans, and Cowles (1990) relationship quality model. It examines the antecedents and consequences of relationship quality between a salesperson and his or her customer using business customers rather than the sample of retail consumers used by Crosby and colleagues. The original study is further extended by the inclusion of equity as a predictor of buyer–salesperson relationship quality. The setting for this replication is a sales environment where a continuous service is sold to business customers. Approximately 1,000 customers responded to the survey instrument. These respondents represent a wide range of organizations including manufacturers, government agencies, retailers, and service firms. Findings from the current study suggest that the Crosby and co-workers model of relationship quality is relatively generalizable to different sales settings. This is indicated by the fit indices for this replication in a business-to-business sales setting AGFI= 0.93; CFI= 0.96;RMR= 0.05. Although our research indicates several differences from those reported in Crosby et al., their results are generally supported. Of the eight possible common relationships tested in the replication, six were significant (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the extension proposed by our research is significant. Equity is shown to be a significant predictor of buyer-salesperson relationship quality. Fit for the extended model is good AGFI= 0.93; CFI= 0.96;RMR= 0.05. The two relationships that were different between our replication and the original study indicate that relationship quality is more important for the business-to-business customer in determining how highly they rate a salesperson than it is for consumers. Furthermore, these findings indicate that individual consumers place greater value on salesperson expertise in determining their evaluation of a salesperson's effectiveness. Overall, the Crosby et al. model exhibits some degree of generalizability in the sales environment investigated in this replication. Implications of the study for building buyer–salesperson relationship are discussed, and suggestions are made concerning for future research topics.

Additional Information

Journal of Business Research 48 (1, 2000), 75-82
Language: English
Date: 2000
buyer–salesperson relationships, replication, business-to-business sales

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