Beyond Offers and Counteroffers: The Impact of Interaction Time and Negotiator Job Satisfaction on Subjective Outcomes in Negotiation

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Abstract

In this study, we examined real-world sales negotiations by collecting data in collaboration with a large Taiwanese eyeglasses company. We found, as has been established previously, that higher first offers predict higher company profits and that the impact of high opening offers can be muted by greater customer awareness of prices at other stores. When we investigated a more qualitative outcome, customers’ perceptions of service quality, a different set of predictors emerged. Our results indicate that salespeople who spent more time introducing the products and services were perceived by the customers as providing higher service quality, but this effect only occurred for those salespeople who reported high levels of job satisfaction. Also, price reduction by salespeople did not improve customer satisfaction. Our results indicate that customer satisfaction does not require negotiated price concessions, but rather depends on extensive interaction with salespeople who are happy in their work. This is the first study to show that negotiator job satisfaction can affect important negotiation outcomes.

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