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Indiana University Bloomington

Center for Global Sales Leadership


"The Center for Global Sales Leadership at IU makes a rare and important contribution to improving our knowledge of this vital business function."

Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling and consultant to the world's leading corporations

Research &Publications

Journal Articles

Communication Style in the Salesperson-Customer Dyad

1985, Journal of Marketing Research

Kaylene C Williams, Rosann L Spiro


The authors report a study designed to evaluate the use of communication style by salespeople and their customers. Using a paradigm suggested by Sheth in which the communication styles of customers and salespeople are categorized as task oriented, interaction oriented, or self oriented, they assess whether communication styles are related to sales. They first develop scales to measure these styles and then test whether the styles affect the sales outcome. The results suggest that communication styles are a determinant of the success of the sales interaction.


Williams, Kaylene C. and Rosann L. Spiro (1985), "Communication Style in the Salesperson-Customer Dyad," Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 434-442.