The authors propose that the emotional intelligence–sales performance link can be better understood by considering a salesperson’s confidence in how they use emotions, known as emotional self-efficacy (ESE). Four multisource studies across diverse sales industries offer evidence of the interactive effect of a salesperson’s emotional intelligence and ESE—which the authors term “emotional calibration”—on salesperson performance. They find that sales performance suffers when salespeople are either overconfident or underconfident in their emotional skills and that salespeople perform best when they are calibrated. Further, the authors demonstrate that the performance gains associated with emotional calibration (1) are attenuated when salespeople are under stress and (2) occur because emotional calibration encourages positive avoidance emotions (calmness and relaxation) among salespeople that result in improved customer rapport, but only among salespeople with relatively longer job tenures. Overall, the research highlights the critical role of ESE as an essential but neglected aspect of a salesperson’s emotional competence.
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Journal of Marketing|
|State||Published - Nov 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge Michael K. Brady and Brian Murtha for their helpful feedback on earlier drafts of the paper and the Gatton College of Business and Economics for partial funding. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the feedback they received from participants in the 2015 Theory + Practice in Marketing Conference in Atlanta, GA. The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
© American Marketing Association 2021.
- customer rapport
- emotional intelligence
- emotional self-efficacy
- positive avoidance
- salesperson performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management