The effects of sales message and suspicion of ulterior motives on salesperson evaluation

Academic Article


  • This research investigates the extent to which a salesperson's presentation and consumer suspicion of ulterior motive affect salesperson evaluations and purchase intentions. Study 1 indicates that a salesperson's presentation plays an essential role in confirming or disconfirming consumer suspicion and that this process has important implications in the formation of salesperson attitudes. Evidence from Study 2 demonstrates that these interaction effects are mediated by persuasion-motive attributions. The findings also support a direct link between attitude toward the salesperson and purchase intentions. Collectively, these results extend the persuasion literature by demonstrating that suspicion of motive is a dynamic state in which consumers entertain rival hypotheses about the salesperson (e.g., is the salesperson truly motivated to help me, or motivated to make his or her commission?) and that, depending on the degree of suspicion, the same salesperson's tactics will be processed very differently by consumers. Copyright © 2005, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • DeCarlo TE
  • Start Page

  • 238
  • End Page

  • 249
  • Volume

  • 15
  • Issue

  • 3