What gives salespeople their competitive edge?

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published Version.

Hemphill, E., Dubelaar, C., Geursen, G. & Goodman, S. (2004). What gives salespeople their competitive edge? Paper presented at the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) 2004 conference, Wellington, New Zealand.

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© Copyright Elizabeth Hemphill, Chris Dubelaar, Gus Geursen & Steven Goodman, 2004.


Marketing literature asserts that many things influence buyers considering whether or not to commit to a purchase decision. This research paper reports results of a study that examined the interaction between real estate agents and customers at the point of sale of services to be delivered at a future time (engagement of a principal). This paper captures actual commitment to future business by whether or not a sale was made (an agency relationship was established). This paper makes an important contribution in two ways. Firstly, application to real estate agent exchange draws agency theory closer to more general marketing theory away from the more usual strict management, economics or legal contexts. Secondly, by examining the real estate context we provide new evidence to support the modeled relationship of interaction between the sales person and customer to increase our understanding of purchase decisions. Structural Equation Modelling is used to demonstrate that salespeople need to reach a certain level of ‘rapport’ in order to have a resulting phase transition to negotiation that may contribute to a sale.



This document has been peer reviewed.