Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Relationship marketing strategies have long been known to affect salespeople and the customers they serve. However, there is still much to learn about the mechanisms that drive such buyer-seller relationships. This research examines how a salesperson’s behavior, relational orientation, and individual disposition dynamically interact to influence customers in the business to business marketing environment. Data collected from the customers’ point of view reveal several unique salesperson competencies and strategies that affect the buyer-seller relationship. The final dataset (n = 206) included customers’ observations about their salesperson and perceptions of relationship quality. The key findings suggest that the perceived quality of buyer and seller relationships is highly dependent on selling strategies, behaviors, and relational factors enacted by salespeople. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling was used to uncover correlations between selling strategies and critical dimensions of the customer-seller relationship. Final results indicate that selling strategies enacted by salespeople affect critical dimensions of the buyer-seller relationship. Furthermore, the effects of customers’ perceptions of relationship quality were found to correlate strongly with salesperson performance outcomes. Managerial implications of this research are far-reaching as the results provide direction for sales organizations in the way of both training and management. The impact on overall selling performance is discussed and future research directions are examined.



Committee Chair

Wu, Jianan



Included in

Marketing Commons