The impact of buyer/seller listening styles on mutual trust, satisfaction, and anticipation of future interactions

Megan Jefferson Verret

Abstract

This study explored the role of buyer/seller listening style similarity and its affect on the relationship variables of mutual trust, satisfaction, anticipation of a future interaction, and listening behavior. A multivariate analysis of variance revealed no significant relationship between listening style similarity and buyer/seller relationship quality. More specific hypotheses, which examined the combination of people and content-oriented listeners and relationship quality, revealed a significant positive relationship between people and content-oriented salespeople and customer levels of trust. Additional findings, which considered the individual effects of listening styles and facets of relationship quality, found a significant positive relationship between people-oriented salespeople and buyer trust, satisfaction, anticipation of a future interaction, and listening behavior. A significant, negative relationship was also found between time-oriented salespeople and buyer trust, satisfaction, and anticipation of a future interaction. While considering the impact of buyer listening style on salesperson's perceptions of relationship quality, a significant positive relationship was found between people-oriented listeners and salesperson listening behavior. And, a significant negative relationship was found between salesperson listening behavior and action and time-oriented buyer listening styles. An evaluation of these results, study limitations, as well as directions for future research are discussed.