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Abstract

Professional salespeople are often placed in situations where role conflict and ambiguity are prevalent. They are generally expected to sell a firm's products and services to generate immediate profits, while simultaneously building customer satisfaction and promoting lifetime customers and the long-term economic viability of the firm. The concept of customer-oriented selling illustrates the conflict, as salespeople are required to forgo immediate benefits in lieu of long-term rewards. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships existing between customer-oriented selling, emotional intelligence, and organizational commitment. The results indicate that a salesperson's customer orientation level is significantly related to emotional intelligence. Implications of the findings indicate that managers should consider using emotional intelligence as a selection and human-resource development tool, as improvements in emotional intelligence are correlated with greater levels of customer orientation. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.