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Relationship Quality in Services Selling: An Interpersonal Influence Perspective

Author(s): Lawrence A. Crosby, Kenneth R. Evans, Deborah Cowles


Source: The Journal of Marketing, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Jul., 1990), pp. 68-81
Published by: American Marketing Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1251817
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Lawrence A. Crosby, Kenneth R. Evans, & Deborah Cowles

Relationship Quality in Services


Selling: An Interpersonal
Influence Perspective
Salespeople involved in the marketing of complex services often perform the role of "relationship man-
ager." It is, in part, the quality of the relationship between the salesperson and the customer that de-
termines the probability of continued interchange between those parties in the future. A relationship
quality model is advanced and tested that examines the nature, consequences, and antecedents of re-
lationship quality, as perceived by the customer. The findings suggest that future sales opportunities
depend mostly on relationship quality (i.e., trust and satisfaction), whereas the ability to convert those
opportunities into sales hinges more on conventional source characteristics of similarity and expertise.
Relational selling behaviors such as cooperative intentions, mutual disclosure, and intensive followup
contact generally produce a strong buyer-seller bond.

THE principal focus of personal selling research has dustrial contexts involving relationship selling (e.g.,
been tangible goods exchange in single-transac- Jackson 1985).
tion settings. The role of salespeople in service con- The services literature recognizes the importance
texts, particularly those of a long-term relational na- of personal interaction in creating satisfied customers
ture, has received limited attention. Yet, exchange in (e.g., Crosby and Stephens 1987; Parasuraman,
many service contexts involves long-term commit- Zeithaml, and Berry 1985; Solomon et al. 1985). The
ments and a continual stream of interaction between lack of concreteness of many services increases the
buyer and seller (Lovelock 1983), which in part re- value of the persons responsible for delivering them.
flect the inherent risk and complexity of the services. A service encounter, or "moment of truth" (Normann
Much of the conventional wisdom about the relation- 1983), occurs whenever the customer interacts di-
ship selling of services seems to be based on an in- rectly with any contact person. Frequently, however,
dustrial marketing model for capital goods and equip- the service salesperson is the primary-if not sole-
ment (e.g., mainframe computers) (Gummesson 1987; contact point for the customer both before and after
Levitt 1983). This analogy may be appropriate, how- the purchase ("the salesperson is the company"). Un-
ever, as the ongoing services provided by the seller der these conditions, the salesperson controls the level
are often a major component of the exchange in in- of service quality delivered.
The concept of service quality has relevance to
service marketing of both a transactional nature (im-
LawrenceA.Crosby andKenneth R.EvansareAssociateProfessors
of
Marketing,
Collegeof Business,
ArizonaStateUniversity.
Professor
Crosby personal, discrete, episodic exchange) and relational
is alsoManaging Walker
Director, CSM Worldwide.DeborahCowlesis nature (close, enduring, interdependent associations).
Assistant
Professor,Department of Marketing,
VirginiaCommonwealth However, service quality can be considered a neces-
Thestudywas conducted
University. undergrantsfromthe National sary, but not sufficient, condition for relationship
Association
of LifeUnderwriters, DC,the LifeOfficeMan-
Washington,
agementAssociation, GA,andthe FirstInterstate
Atlanta, Centerfor quality (Crosby 1989). Successful exchange episodes
ServicesMarketing,
ASU. can eventually lead to an enduring buyer-seller rela-
tionship provided they are properly managed from both

Journal of Marketing
68 / Journalof Marketing,July 1990 Vol. 54 (July 1990), 68-81
a buyer and a seller perspective. By occupying a po- The Study
sition close to the customer, the service salesperson
The focal variable in our study is the quality of the
is often best suited to performthe role of "relationship
salesperson-customerrelationshipas perceived by the
manager."Our study examines key dimensions of re- customer. We formulatea model that depicts some of
lationshipquality in a service context. the key antecedentsand consequences of relationship
The literaturehas identified a need to expand the
focus of buyer-sellerinteractionto include relational quality.The model is testedin the contextof the agent-
properties(e.g., Dwyer, Schurr,and Oh 1987; Jackson policyholderrelationshipinvolving life insurance.By
1985; Johnston and Bonoma 1984; Wilson 1977). It selecting relationshipquality as the study's focal vari-
has been suggested that customers make long-term able, we are narrowingour concern to those service
commitmentsin orderto reducetransactioncosts and/ settings in which relationshipmarketingis appropriate
and the salesperson assumes the key implementation
or the uncertaintyof future benefits (cf. Schlenker,
role.
Helm, and Tedeschi 1973; Williamson 1979) and to
obtaincertainadvantages(e.g., counseling assistance)
not available in short-termexchange relationships(cf. The Model
Marshall, Palmer, and Weisbart 1979).
Figure 1 depicts the relationshipquality sales model
Collectively, these perspectives suggest that ef- that is advancedand tested. The model representsan
fective relationshipselling will be most critical when:
attemptto identify structuralcharacteristics(anteced-
* the service is complex, customized, and delivered over ents and consequences)of enduringsales relationships
a continuous stream of transactions (Berry 1983; Levitt in services selling. The model is consistent with pre-
1983; Lovelock 1983), vious conceptualizations(e.g., Dwyer, Schurr, and
* many buyers are relatively unsophisticated about the Oh 1987; Levitt 1981; Sheth 1975; Wilson 1977) and
service (Ghingold and Maier 1986), and
integratesrelationalvariablesadvancedin the services
* the environment is dynamic and uncertain in ways that
affect future needs (demand) and offerings (supply) marketing, sales, counseling, and social psychology
(Zeithaml 1981).
literatures.
The exogenous variablesin the model can be clas-
These characteristics
applyto professionalservicessuch sified as pertainingto eithersalespersonattributes(e.g.,
as accountingand to many financial (e.g., insurance, expertise and similarity) or relational selling behav-
private banking, estate/financial planning) and busi- iors (e.g., contact intensity, mutual disclosure, co-
ness (e.g., advertising, commercial real estate) ser- operativeintentions). The endogenous variableof re-
vices. lationship quality is conceived as a two-dimensional
constructconsisting of customersatisfactionand trust
in the salesperson. Finally, observe in Figure 1 that
Research Issues and Questions sales effectiveness (e.g., account penetration,cross-
Because of limited research, many questions remain selling) and anticipationof future interaction(an es-
aboutthe sales relationshipin services selling. For ex-
ample, does a strong customer-salespersonbond con- FIGURE1
tribute to sales effectiveness (e.g., account penetra- Relationship Quality Model
tion, cross-selling, retention)?If so, what are some of
the key dimensionsof relationshipqualitytowardwhich
services salespeople might direct their efforts? Do
communicatorcharacteristicssuch as similarity and
expertise, which have typified the short-termtrans-
action perspectiveof previous sales research, contrib-
ute to sustaining an enduring relationship?How im-
portant are relational behaviors such as cooperative
intentions, contact intensity, and mutualdisclosure in
buildingand maintaininglong-termrelations?To what
extent does the present level of sales commitmentby
a customerto a salespersondeterminefuturebusiness
opportunities?Answers to these questionsare relevant
to the design of sales strategies, tactics, and training
programs that would enable salespeople to function
effectively as relationship managers in service set-
tings.

Qualityin ServicesSelling/ 69
Relationship
sential determinantof relationship commitment) are texts can be defined as a confident belief that the
representedas outcome variates. salesperson can be relied upon to behave in such a
The relationshipqualitymodel reflects perceptions mannerthatthe long-terminterestof the customerwill
and outcomes recognized in the literatureas germane be served.
within stable relationships(Taylorand Altman 1987). The long or indefinite time horizon of service de-
More specifically, the model seeks to identify and re- livery and the potential for inconsistent performance
late personal characteristics(of the salesperson), re- in meeting expectations contributeto a high level of
lationalexchange characteristics,and outcomes of the uncertainty in relational contexts (Parasuraman,
exchange, all believed to be involved in social bond- Zeithaml, and Berry 1985). The customer's best as-
ing. Though many of the causal linkages depicted in suranceof futureperformanceis a continuoushistory
the model are likely to be reciprocal over time, the of personalized, error-freeinteraction.Satisfactionin
literatureto date is unclearabout the sequentialprop- a relationship is centered around the roles assumed
erties of relationshipdevelopment, a process that is and performed by the individual parties (Murstein
typically complex and subject to a variety of simul- 1977). The dynamic, often complex, role performed
taneous influences (Ford 1980). Hence, we deemed it by salespeople in long-term sales contexts increases
appropriateto model the dominantflow of influence the importanceof the customer'sperceptionand eval-
on and throughrelationshipquality ratherthanthe ac- uationof the salesperson'sefforts to managethe often
tual process of relationshipdevelopment. multifaceted relationship over time (Frazier 1983).
Satisfaction, then, is an "emotionalstate that occurs
Relationship Quality in response to an evaluation of these interactionex-
In some service contexts, buyers face considerable periences" (Westbrook 1981).
uncertaintystemming from such factors as intangibil-
ity, complexity, lack of service familiarity, and long Relationship Consequences
time horizon of delivery. Uncertaintyimplies the po- Of the two hypothesized consequences of relational
tential for service failure and negative outcomes. Re- quality depicted in the proposed model, sales effec-
lationship quality from the customer's perspective is tiveness is representedas a quantitativemeasure of
achieved through the salesperson's ability to reduce overall sales activity within the relationshipto date.
perceiveduncertainty(Roloff andMiller 1987;Zeithaml The services and sales literaturessuggest that both a
1981). High relationship quality, as represented in high overall sales volume on a per-accountbasis and
Figure 1, means that the customer is able to rely on a large number of different products owned through
the salesperson's integrity and has confidence in the the same serviceproviderare desirablegoals (Donnelly,
salesperson'sfutureperformancebecause the level of Berry, and Thompson 1985; Rosenberg and Czepiel
past performancehas been consistently satisfactory. 1984). In many personal sales contexts, the costs of
Relationshipquality, then, is viewed as a higher-order acquiringnew customersmay exceed investmentsmade
construct(Andersonand Gerbing 1988) composed of in retaining and/or building up currentones (Berry
at least two dimensions, (1) trust in the salesperson 1983).
(e.g., Swan, Trawick, and Silva 1985) and (2) sat- The linkage between relational quality and sales
isfaction with the salesperson (e.g., Crosby and effectiveness in the proposed model (321) is intended
Stephens 1987). to reflect sales outcomes of successful client relation-
Social psychology and related fields outside mar- shipsin serviceexchangesettings(Spekmanand Strauss
keting have addressed the importanceof trust in in- 1986; Weitz 1981). This path is also consistent with
terpersonal dyads (e.g., Pruitt 1981; Rotter 1967; social penetrationtheory, which states that partners
Schlenker,Helm, and Tedeschi 1973). More recently, will continue to deepen a relationshipas long as an-
however, the role of trust in marketing, particularly ticipatedbenefits exceed anticipatedcosts (Altmanand
its importance in long-term sales relationships, has Taylor 1973).
begun to receive attention(e.g., Dwyer, Schurr, and Anticipatedlevels of satisfaction/performanceare
Oh 1987; Swan, Trawick, and Silva 1985). Trust is likely to have an importanteffect on the stay-or-leave
particularlyimportantin relationalcontexts where in- decision(Jackson1985;Levitt 1981). Kellerman(1987)
dividuals seek predictableand obligatorybehavioron has identified "anticipationof future interaction"as
the partof theirrelationalpartnersuch thata relatively an outcome goal of dyadic encounters. Low expec-
high degree of certaintyis attachedto futurerewards tations of future exchange would be an outgrowthof
(MacNeil 1980; Millar and Rogers 1987). Cultivation current relational problems, whereas high expecta-
of the buyer's trustis particularlyimportantwhere un- tions of future interchangewould reflect a favorable
certaintyand risk are inherentand contractsand war- perceptionof the currentrelationship.Hence, the best
rantiesareoften absent(Schlenker,Helm, and Tedeschi predictorof a customer's likelihood of seeking future
1973). The customer's trust in relational sales con- contact with a salesperson is the quality of the rela-

70 / Journalof Marketing,
July1990
tionship to date. This predictoris reflected in the pro- gotiation contexts (Pruitt 1981). Further, empirical
posed model by the path between relational quality supportfrom work in game theory suggests that co-
and anticipation of future interaction (331) (Frazier 1983; operation precedes trust (Axelrod 1984). The extent
Weitz 1981). to which another party is expected to behave coop-
We also propose, as illustratedin Figure 1, that erativelyin partreflects the rules for problem/conflict
the customer's expectationof futureinteractionis de- resolution.In a negotiationsetting, cooperativeversus
termined in part by the salesperson's account pene- competitive intentions have been found to be linked
tration and cross-selling (332) effectiveness. Justifi- to satisfactoryproblemresolution(EvansandBeltramini
cation for this hypothesizedrelationshipcan be found 1987). Therefore, customer perception of the sales-
in the social exchangetheory(Kelley andThibaut1978) person's cooperative intentions is hypothesizedto be
and relationshipcommitmentliteratures(Rusbult1983; a dimension of relational selling behaviors of the
Sabatelli and Cecil-Pigo 1985). To the extent that the salesperson.
salesperson has been successful in a sales capacity, In a relationalselling context, contact intensity is
the customerhas a greatereconomic investmentin the the frequency with which the salesperson communi-
relationshipand faces higher costs of switching in re- cates (face-to-faceor indirectly)with the customereither
placing the multiservicerelationship. for personalor business purposes. As a dimension of
relational selling, contact intensity reflects an effort
Relational Selling Behaviors on the part of the salesperson to keep the communi-
Relational selling behaviorrefers to a behavioralten- cation channels open with the customerand exhibit a
dency exhibited by some sales representativesto hus- commitment to the relationship (Williamson 1983).
band/cultivate the buyer-sellerrelationshipand see to Effortsto "stayin touch"with the customerhave been
its maintenanceand growth. The extent to which such identified as a key determinantof relationshipmain-
behavior positively influences the buyer-seller rela- tenance in insurance(Crosby 1984), wholesale bank-
tionship depends on the expectationsof the customer ing (Greenwich Associates 1987), and many other
about the role(s) to be played by the salesperson selling fields. As Swinth (1967) noted, parties in a
(Solomon et al. 1985). Sheth (1975), noting the dis- relationalcontextcannotbe expectedto trusteach other
tinctionbetween content and style in communication, in critical moments if these constitute their only op-
suggested that the later recognizes the importanceof portunityto interact.
ritualistic behavior patternsin shaping the outcomes
of buyer/seller interactions. Similarly, Thibaut and Salesperson Attributes
Kelley (1959) indicatedthat in interpersonalrelation- Though a variety of salespersonattributeshave been
ships a major task for the interactingperson is the advanced as contributingto sales effectiveness, two
mutual coordination of appropriate behavior vis-a-vis that have received considerableattentionin the liter-
the other person. Hence, relational selling behavior atureare similarityand expertise. Researchresults on
appears as an exogenous construct in the proposed the effects of similarityhave been mixed (Wilson and
modelandis hypothesizedto influencerelationalquality Ghingold 1981), but the general presumptionis that
(Y13)- salespeople perceived as similar to the customer are
Among the behaviors often noted as importantin more likely to be successful, all other things being
establishing and maintaining interpersonalrelation- equal (Wienerand Mowen 1985). Hence, salesperson
ships is mutual disclosure (Derlega et al. 1987). It is similarity (appearance, lifestyle, and socioeconomic
importantto note thatthis dimensionof relationalsell- status)is hypothesizedto be relatedpositively (Y21) to
ing behavior is cast as a reciprocalconcept. That is, sales effectivenessin the proposedmodel (Evans 1963;
the perceptionthat anotherparty is engaging in dis- Gadel 1964).
closure behavior toward oneself that is not being re- Most research on the effect of similarity has ex-
ciprocated often is read as a weakness on the other amined short-term/single-transactioncontexts. Con-
party'spartand may lead to an unhealthyrelationship siderable empirical evidence drawn from outside the
(Derlega et al. 1987). Likewise, a party engaging in marketing literature(e.g., social psychology, coun-
unreciprocateddisclosure is likely to distrustthe other seling, communication)suggests that similarityamong
party.In a relationalsales setting, customerdisclosure individualsin a relationalcontext influences relation-
is criticalfor the salesperson,who often is called upon ship satisfaction(e.g., Byrne 1969;Tan 1981). In goal-
to solve complex and ill-structuredproblems. Reluct- interdependentsituations, this research suggests that
ance on the partof the customerto reveal critical per- similarity (particularlyattitude similarity) may be a
sonal and/or business-relatedinformationmay block cue for expecting the other party to facilitate one's
or severely delay satisfactoryproblem resolution. goals, therebyresultingin increasedattractionfor the
Cooperativeversus competitive behaviorhas been other party (Johnson and Johnson 1972). Accord-
linked to perceptions of trust and satisfaction in ne- ingly, customerperceptionof salespersonsimilarityis

RelationshipQualityin ServicesSelling/ 71
hypothesized to affect relationship quality (y11). to compare policies effectively even with the aid of
Expertise often has been noted as an attributeof computers and insurance experts; FTC 1985.) Be-
a communicator/salespersonthat is linked positively cause customers lack not only a concrete object but
to successful influence attemptstowarda given target also the informationand expertise necessary to assess
(audience/customer) (e.g., Busch and Wilson 1976; performance,they often are forced to make assump-
Taylor and Woodside 1981). A customer'sperception tions about the quality of service (Zeithaml 1981).
of a salesperson's expertise reflects the identification Second, one of the primaryfunctions performedby
of relevantcompetenciesassociatedwith the goods or life insuranceagents is service customization.Agents
service transaction(e.g., product/marketknowledge, are trained to conduct detailed "fact finding" (needs
logistics) most often exhibited in the form of infor- assessment), to provideexplanationsand advice about
mation provided by the salesperson. From a mana- policy features, and ultimately to present a personal-
gerial perspective, sales organizations clearly view ized proposalto the client. Third, there is usually re-
expertise as a vital determinantof sales effectiveness, curringinteractionbetween the customerand the same
as productknowledge is singularlythe most pervasive contact person. Whole life insuranceis almost always
investment in virtually all sales training programs sold by an agent who, in 80% of the cases, is the
(Stantonand Buskirk 1987). Expertise, as an attribute customer's only contact.1Interactionstend to be on-
of the salesperson, is hypothesizedto have a positive going ratherthan single encountersbecause insurance
influence on sales effectiveness (Y22). policies must be updatedperiodically and sometimes
The role of salesperson expertise in long-term replaced. Fourth,the customer'sunderstandingof and
transaction contexts has received limited attention familiaritywith the service are limited. Studies have
in the marketingliterature;however, some evidence shown consistentlythat the averageconsumeris naive
suggests that relationshipquality (satisfactionwith and about insurance and readily admits being confused
trust in a salesperson)is enhanced throughperceived and uncertain (Johnston-O'Connor,O'Connor, and
salesperson competency (Y12). Product/market Zultowski 1984). Finally, at the time of data collec-
knowledge often is noted among the most important tion (1984), the insurancemarketplacewas highly dy-
criteria in determining customer satisfaction with namic and several new types of policies had recently
salespeople (Purchasing 1984). Busch and Wilson been introduced (universal, variable, and adjustable
(1976) found that salespeople with higher levels of life). Environmentaluncertaintyabout the future rate
perceived expert and referent power were viewed as of inflation in the economy also was present.
more trustworthyby the customer, with expert power
being more influentialthanreferentpower. Similarly, Sample
Swan, Trawick, and Silva (1985) noted competence The populationwe intendedto representincludedheads
to be an importantdeterminantof the customer's per- of U.S. households between the ages of 25 and 44,
ceived trust in the salesperson. who owned one or more whole life policies, and who
were the household's primaryinsurancedecider. Con-
Method sumers in this age range have the greatest need for
life insuranceand are the main focus of industrymar-
We conducted survey research to determine the ten- keting efforts. The sample frame consisted of mem-
ability of the model (Figure 1) in a service context bers of a nationalpanel of qualifiedpolicyholderswho
where enduringsales relationshipsappearedimportant were participatingin a series of interviewsabouttheir
(a priori), namely whole life insurance.To obtain ad- insurance attitudes, experiences, and coverage. This
equate variability in responses, a cross-sectional ap- panel had been determinedpreviously to be slightly
proachto data collection was used, which allowed old "upscale"in relation to the 1981 U.S. populationof
and new dyads to be representedas well as dyads with
25-to-44-year-olds, but was thought to representac-
different degrees of relationship quality. This ap-
curatelyconsumersin this age range who own whole
proach was deemed appropriatebecause no specific life policies (Crosby and Stephens 1987). Question-
predictions were made about the influence of rela- naires that operationalizedthe variables in Figure 1
tionship length on key variables or linkages. were sent to 469 randomly selected panel members;
Context
'Policyholders who participated in this study were asked about their
Whole life insurancefulfills the conditions of a "per- interaction experiences involving direct contact with the company. By
sonal relationshipmarketingcontext" in all respects. combining the information from several questions, we determined that
only two in 10 had a service interaction with someone other than the
First, the service is both highly complex and highly agent (e.g., a customer service representative) over a three-year pe-
intangible. (Staff economists at the Federal Trade riod. One-way direct mail communications from the company were
Commissionbrandedthe service as having significant not considered to be interactions. These findings are consistent with
insurance industry research (Johnston-O'Connor, O'Connor, and
"credence"propertiesafter noting their own inability Zultowski 1984).

72 / Journalof Marketing,July 1990


the 296 returnedquestionnairesrepresenta 63% re- With the exception of mutual disclosure, all of
sponse rate. Among the returns,61 (21%) were elim- the indicators were intended to be unidimensional
inatedbecause there was no agent responsiblefor ser- (Anderson and Gerbing 1988; Howell 1987). Mutual
vicing the policy (i.e., the relationship had been disclosure (X6) was conceived as composed of two
terminatedat some point in the past).2In addition, 84 subdimensions, agent disclosure (X6A) and customer
(28%) were eliminatedfor randommissing data, leav- disclosure (X6B). Theoretically, mutual disclosure ap-
ing 151 complete data cases available for analysis.3 pears to be an appropriateindicatorof relationalsell-
The adequacyof this sample size for the analysis used ing behavior because it measures the salesperson's
is discussed subsequently. effectiveness in creating a dyadic atmosphere char-
acterizedby opennessand candor,which involves both
Measures leading and reciprocatingthe customer's disclosures.
No established measurementscales are available for We assessed the dimensionalityof the indicators
most of the constructsexamined in our study. Even by the following procedure. First, all 62 raw ques-
in the case of trust, for which some scaling work has tionnaireitems listed in the Appendixwere factorana-
been done (e.g., Rotter 1967), availablemeasurestap lyzed. This analysis produced12 factorsthat mirrored
the tendency to trust other people in general, as op- the predeterminedscales: appearancesimilarity (XI),
posed to measuringtrust in a particularindividualin lifestyle similarity (X2), status similarity (X3), finan-
a specific marketingcontext. However, for two vari- cial expertise (X4), interaction intensity (X5), agent
ables, satisfactionwith the salespersonand interaction disclosure (X6A), customer disclosure (X6B), cooper-
intensity, reliability and validity have been estab- ative intentions(X7), trust(YI), satisfaction(Y2), cross-
lished in previousresearch(Crosbyand Cowles 1986; sell (Y3), and anticipationof future interaction(Y5).
Crosby and Stephens 1987). The measure of antici- Not surprisingly, the one single-item measure (total
pation of future interactionhas been found in longi- insurance sales) loaded with the multiple cross-sell
tudinalresearchto be predictiveof relationshipcom- items, which collectively reflect the higher-ordercon-
mitment(Crosbyand Cowles 1985). In all othercases, structof sales effectiveness.We then constructedmulti-
measures were developed specifically for our analy- item scales by averaging item responses, correcting
sis. The procedurefor developing measureswith con- for reverse coding where appropriate.Reliability es-
vergent and discriminantvalidity involved the use of timates for the 12 multi-item scales were uniformly
multiple multi-itemindicatorswhere possible, assess- high with alpha coefficients ranging from .79 to .99.
ments of reliability and unidimensionality,and tests To help ensure unidimensionality,items in each
of correspondencebetween constructsand indicators. multi-itemscale were factor analyzed separatelyand,
With the exception of (service domain) expertise in all but one case, a single factor emerged. Two fac-
and anticipationof futureinteraction,all of the latent tors resultedfrom the 8-item interactionintensityscale,
constructshad multiple indicators. In addition, all of with eigenvalues of 4.42 and 1.17. The first factor
the indicatorswere themselves multi-itemscales with was a generalfactor(i.e., reflectiveof the whole scale)
one exception-total insurancesales (Y4) was simply whereasthe second emphasizedmore of the social as-
the respondent'sestimate of the dollar coverage pur- pects of interaction. Because the indicator was in-
chased throughthe agent (see Table 1). The Appendix tendedto representthe extentof followup contact, not
containsa list of the raw questionnaireitems thatmade the purpose of contact, it seemed appropriateto use
up each measure, as well as an assessment of the re- all eight items in computing interaction intensity.
liability of the multi-item scales. Likewise, mutual disclosure (X6) was measured by
combining the agent (X6A) and customer (X6B) sub-
2Screening was necessary because the survey sampled policyholders dimensions.
at all stages of relationship development, including those who were Finally, we conducteda confirmatoryfactor anal-
"orphaned" (i.e., no longer had an agent). The relationship quality
model is relevant only to existing (intact) dyads. It attempts to predict ysis for all six constructs and their indicators, using
relationships that will endure and prosper, as well as those that are the correlationmatrix.4An adequatedegree of model
in jeopardy of termination (leading to the policyholder becoming an fit was obtained (X2 = 53.82, d.f. = 43, p = .125,
orphan or replacing the agent). Both orphans and nonorphans were GFI = .946, RMS = .042). All indicators loaded sig-
found to be fairly heterogeneous groups. Forty percent of nonorphans
had already replaced the selling agent. Many orphans became so be-
cause the policyholder had moved or the agent had quit the business 4This procedure follows the recommended two-step approach of
(not because the relationship was of poor quality). Anderson and Gerbing (1988) that construct validity be assessed by
3Analysis of the missing data pattern revealed that no single item estimating the measurement model (of all the exogenous and endog-
was omitted by more than 15% of the respondents. That 28% were enous variables) prior to the simultaneous estimation of the measure-
eliminated listwise probably reflects the cumulative effects of random ment and structural submodels. This is done to ensure that the alter-
missing data across the 62 items of data collection. The demographic nate indicators of each construct are acceptably unidimensional.
characteristics of the final sample were compared with those of the Anderson and Gerbing make special note of situations, such as our
study population. No significant differences were detected on any of study, in which the indicators are composites and the constructs of
the variables (e.g., sex, age, education, income). interest are conceptualized as higher-order factors (p. 415).

RelationshipQualityin ServicesSelling/ 73
nificantly on the latent variables (factors) they were a marginallysignificantchi squarevalue (p = .06, x2
intended to represent, providing evidence of conver- = 60.60, d.f. = 45). Otherdiagnostics, includingthe
gent validity. As an assessmentof discriminantvalid- normalizedresidualsand residualq-plot, also suggest
ity, we determinedthat the confidence intervals (+ thatthe inputand implied covariancematricesare rea-
two standarderrors) aroundthe correlationestimates sonably equivalent. None of the normalizedresiduals
between any two factors (4ij) never included 1.0 exceed 2.00 and the residual q-plot is steeper than 45
(Anderson and Gerbing 1988, p. 416). Table 1 is a degrees, as recommended by Joreskog and Sorbom
complete correlationmatrixof the variablesanalyzed. (1984). Given the model is moderatelycomplex (i.e.,
six unobservedconstructsand 12 observedvariables),
these diagnostics combine to suggest that the overall
Results model is tenable given the data (see Table 3).
The relationshipsamong the variables were assessed
simultaneouslyvia analysis of covariance. Maximum Measurement Model Results
likelihood(ML)estimation(JoreskogandSorbom1984) Table 2 contains unstandardizedML parameteresti-
was used to estimate model parameterswith the co- mates for the measurement model,5 construct reli-
variance matrix as data input. The ML estimation ability values, and proportionsof varianceextracted.
methodhas been describedas being well suited to the- As previouslynoted, two constructs(expertiseand an-
ory testing and development (Anderson and Gerbing ticipationof futureinteraction)were measuredby sin-
1988), has the advantageof being scale free, and has gle indicators;however, in each case, the indicator
"desirablepropertiesfor statisticaltesting"(Long 1983, was a multiple-itemscale. As it is unlikely that a sin-
p. 59). Though it is generally accepted that-with a gle indicatorperfectly measures a construct, an esti-
large sample-ML estimators are unbiased, consis- mate of errorvariancewas needed. The literaturesug-
tent, and efficient (Kmenta 1971), the literaturedoes gests several approachesto error estimation in such
not provide a clear indication of how big a "large" cases (e.g., AndersonandGerbing1988;Howell 1987).
sample must be. A study reportedby Anderson and As describedin a footnoteto Table2, errorterms(theta
Gerbing (1984) and Gerbing and Anderson (1985) delta and thetaepsilon, respectively)for the indicators
concludedthat a sample size of 150 or more typically of the expertise and anticipationof future interaction
provides "parameterestimates that have standarder- constructswere fixed at (1 - a)o-2, with the lambdas
rors which are small enough to be of practical use- fixed at at1/2r.
fulness" (Anderson and Gerbing 1988, p. 415). Our Indicatorcoefficients for both the exogenous and
study therefore meets the minimum sample size re- endogenous constructs are generally large; likewise,
quirement. estimates of reliabilityfor the constructsare high. Fi-
The approachto model fit assessmentinvolved us- nally, the percent-of-variance-extractedindex exceeds
ing several diagnostics to judge the simultaneousfit .50 for each construct (Fornell and Larcker 1981),
of the measurementand structuralmodels to the data which is interpretedto mean that the variance ac-
collectedfor the study(e.g., Forell and Larcker1981;
Shimp and Karas 1984). The goodness-of-fit index
(GFI) for the overall model is a respectable .94, with 5Simultaneously estimated with the structural model.

TABLE1
Correlation Matrix of Variables'
Intercorrelations
X S.D. Y1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y5 X1 X2 X3 X, Xs X6 X7
Endogenous Variable Indicators
Y, Trust in salesperson 4.66 .78 1.00
Y2 Satisfaction with salesperson 5.66 1.32 .63 1.00
Y3 Cross-sell .25 .83 .28 .22 1.00
Y4Total insurance sales .54 1.01 .23 .24 .51 1.00
Y5Anticipation of future interaction 3.98 1.55 .29 .40 .20 .28 1.00
Exogenous Variable Indicators
X1 Appearance similarity 4.25 1.36 .38 .33 .29 .20 .17 1.00
X2 Lifestyle similarity 4.31 1.09 .42 .28 .36 .39 .21 .57 1.00
X3 Status similarity 4.54 1.28 .37 .30 .29 .29 .15 .48 .59 1.00
X4 Financial expertise 3.68 .70 .51 .52 .37 .34 .31 .30 .30 .32 1.00
X5 Interaction intensity 1.80 .73 .30 .36 .21 .18 .37 .15 .29 .30 .29 1.00
X6 Mutual disclosure 3.21 1.29 .45 .37 .31 .39 .29 .29 .41 .35 .42 .44 1.00
X7 Cooperative intentions 4.28 1.17 .56 .56 .24 .29 .40 .18 .33 .30 .49 .46 .63 1.00
aSee Appendix for definitions of variables.

74 / Journalof Marketing,
July1990
TABLE 2
Measurement Model Results
Unstandardized ML
Parameter Estimatesa Construct Percent Variance
X 6 or e Reliabilityb Extractedc
Exogenous Constructs
Similarity (,)
X1 Appearance similarity index 1.00 1.02 .77 .55
X2 Lifestyle similarity index 1.00d .35
X3 Status similarity index .99 .82
Service domain expertise (52)
X4 Financial expertise index .65e .06f .88 .88
Relational selling behavior (j3) .79 .53
X5 Interaction intensity index .43 .37
X6 Mutual disclosure index 1.00d .76
X7 Cooperative intentions index 1.06 .37
Endogenous Constructs
Relationship quality (r71) .76 .63
Y, Trust index 1.00d .22
Y2 Satisfaction index 1.68 .67
Sales effectiveness (72) .67 .51
Y3 Cross-sell index 1.00d .34
Y4 Total insurance sales 1.22 .50
Anticipated future interaction (73) .82 .82
Y5 AFI index 1.40e .43f
aAllestimatedparametersare statisticallysignificant,p < .05.
bp = (ZX)2(var)/(( X)2(var) + Y errors).
C-vc= (hX2)(var)/((yX2)(var) + E errors).
dFixed parameter to set metric of construct.
"Lambdafixed at a1/2u for single indicator.
fErrorfixed at (1 - a) U2 for single indicator.

counted for by each of the constructs is greater than come effects of relationship quality were limited to
the variance accounted for by measurement error. the customer's expectation of future interaction with
the salesperson (.43). Sales effectiveness does not ap-
Structural Model Evaluation
pear to have influenced anticipation of future inter-
All but one of the relationships predicted in the struc- action (nonsignificant path).
tural model are found to be in the hypothesized di-
rection (P21 is the exception; Table 3). Furthermore,
the model explains a substantial portion of the vari- Discussion
ance in all the endogenous variables: relationship quality
Most service marketers today recognize the impor-
72%, sales effectiveness 45%, and anticipation of fu-
tance of keeping customers and making them into bet-
ture interaction 27%. The total coefficient of deter-
ter customers (Berry 1983). In marketing whole life
mination for the structural equations is .81. However,
insurance (and, perhaps, similar services), the sales-
applying the rule that parameter estimates should be
two times their standard errors to be considered sig- person's ability to affect the customer's commitment
and dependency on the provider may be determined
nificant, we find that three paths appear not to be dif-
ferent from zero (yl, largely by the interpersonal relationship he or she es-
21, 332).
tablishes with the customer. Likewise, in service con-
The standardized solution estimated by the LISREL
texts characterized by continuous exchange activity
VI program was used for interpreting the structural
and considerable purchase uncertainty, the long-term
relations results. As implied by the path coefficients,
interests of the customer may be best served by ini-
relational selling behavior exerted a strong, direct in-
fluence on the quality of the customer-salesperson re- tiating and maintaining enduring relationships with
salespeople.
lationship (.53). Customer perceptions of a salesper-
son's expertise in the service domain had a moderately
strong effect (.30) on relationship quality whereas Relationship Quality
similarity had no demonstrable influence. Results Relationship quality, as measured in our study, had a
suggest that perceived similarity and expertise both significant influence on the customer's anticipation of
played an important role in determining sales effec- future interaction with the salesperson. Contrary to the
tiveness (.47 and .38, respectively), but that the out- initial hypothesis, relationship quality is not found to

RelationshipQualityin ServicesSelling/ 75
TABLE 3
Structural Model Results
Unstandardized ML Parameter
Estimates
Model Parameter Symbol Estimate S.E.
Similarity-relationship quality Yii .10 .06
Similarity-sales effectiveness Y21 .30 .09
Expertise-relationship quality Y12 .19 .06
Expertise-sales effectiveness Y22 .22 .09
Relational selling-relationship quality Y13 .35 .08
Relationship quality-sales effectiveness P21 -.06 .16
Relationship quality-AFI P31 .69 .19
Sales effectiveness-AFI P32 .26 .20
Similarity-expertise (12 .39 .10
Similarity-relational selling <(13 .46 .10
Expertise-relational selling (23 .58 .11
Relationship quality-relationship quality 611 .11 .03
Sales effectiveness-sales effectiveness C22 .19 .06
AFI-AFI 333 .74 .12
R2, relationship quality .72
R2,sales effectiveness .45
R2, anticipated future interaction .27
X2 60.60
d.f. 45.00
p .06
Goodness-of-fit index .94

affect sales effectiveness significantly. However, the tomers on a relatively frequent basis (contact inten-
customers' perceptions of salesperson similarity and sity) through simply staying in touch, periodic needs
expertise appear to have influenced sales success. An reassessment, purchase reinforcement, and personal
interpretation of these results is that relationship qual- touches such as cards and gifts. Further, they are more
ity serves as an indicator of the health and future likely to be successful at soliciting customer disclo-
wellbeing of long-term service sales relationships. sure of personal and needs-related information and to
Confronting the uncertainty often present in complex be perceived by the customer as reciprocating in kind.
service exchange settings, relationship quality con- Finally, relational sellers are prone to express to the
tributes to a lasting bond by offering assurance that customer their cooperative intentions. The nature of
the salesperson will continue to meet the customer's many long-term service exchange settings calls for the
expectations (satisfaction), and not knowingly distort mutual resolution of one or more complex problems.
information or otherwise subvert the customer's in- The customer's perception of the cooperative versus
terests (trust). The continuity of interaction that re- competitive intentions of the salesperson, who often
lationship quality provides then creates for the seller serves as the customer's principal diagnostician and
ongoing opportunities to identify the customer's un- counselor, is critical in communicating the salesper-
met needs and propose new business. Ultimately, son's intention to invest in, versus take from, the sales
though, the salesperson's ability to close on these sales relationship.
opportunities will depend on the salesperson's attrac-
tiveness and competence, factors that make him or her Salesperson Attributes
a persuasive source for the buyer. Our findings indicate that a short-term exchange per-
Relational Selling spective limited to salesperson attributes (i.e., simi-
larity and expertise) would be both inappropriate and
Another noteworthy finding is the effect of relational inadequate to explain the sales relationship in a long-
selling behaviors on relationship quality. Results sug- term exchange context such as insurance. Though
gest a tendency for some salespeople to engage in a similarity and expertise are found to influence sales
constellation of selling behaviors focused on the long- effectiveness directly, only expertise is found to in-
term relationship (high contact intensity, mutual dis- fluence the long-term sales relationship through its
closure, and cooperative intentions), which in turn have impact on relational quality. More revealing is the lack
a favorable effect on the customer's perception of re- of a direct effect by either of these salesperson attri-
lational quality. butes and/or sales effectiveness on the anticipation of
Relational sellers appear to seek out their cus- future interaction, indicating that continued sales op-

76 / Journalof Marketing,July 1990


portunitiesare a privilege earnedthroughattentionto ate. Development of disclosure-handlingskills is a
the perceived quality of the customer-salespersonre- normalpartof the trainingprogramfor counselorsand
lationship rather than through previous sales suc- therapists.Analogous modules might be incorporated
cesses. in the trainingof service marketers.
The findings on salespersonexpertise suggest that Though expertise may be necessary for the devel-
both short- and long-term effectiveness is influenced opment of long-term service sales relationships, this
by this salespersonattribute.This influence is not sur- characteristicalone does not appear sufficient. Fur-
prising because one of the main "performances"that ther, as the relationshipendures, expertise should re-
help to define complex services is salesperson prob- flect demonstratedcompetency in the broaderaspects
lem-solving assistance. As noted, perceived expertise of the customer's purchase/usage system-particu-
includes the basic productline (in this instance insur- larly when the customer makes multiple purchasesin
ance), but in long-term exchange relationshipstakes a service category and expects the salespersonto un-
on added meaning as the salesperson's consultative derstandthe interrelationshipamong those purchases.
role expandsand it becomes clear that solutions to the For example, some customers who seek to establish
client's problems must transcend traditionalservice long-term relationships with service providers are
boundaries. looking for an effective and efficient means of ob-
taining informationacross a range of complementary
Managerial and Research Implications services. Though sales training programs generally
A varietyof managerialand researchimplicationscan provide the tools necessary for the salespersonto rep-
be derived from our findings. When hiring sales per- resent his or her core service and immediateindustry,
sonnel, marketingand sales managerscan screen for these programsoften fail to offer initial and ongoing
the social abilities that facilitate establishing and trainingin related fields (e.g., cross trainingof resi-
maintaininglong-terminterpersonalrelationships.This dential real estate agents in the areas of mortgagefi-
screening can be done via relevant personal histories nancing and propertyinsurance). In instances where
and throughthe use of interpersonalrole-playing sit- the breadthof knowledge requiredis beyond any one
uations within the interview environment.In concert individual's capability, a firm may elect to use teams
with these efforts, trust-buildingactivities on the part of salespeople dedicatedto particularclients. This ap-
of all contact employees should be encouraged and proach also serves as a vehicle for protectingmarket
taught. Managerscan utilize the apparentconnection share in the event of salespersonturnover.
between relational selling behaviors (contact inten- Finally, and perhaps most important,salespeople
sity, mutualdisclosure,and cooperativeintentions)and representingcomplex servicesmust recognizetheirrole
relationshipquality (trustand satisfaction).Relational as relationshipmanagers.The cumulativeeffect of past
selling behaviors should be rewarded as they dem- sales does not appear to be a determinantof future
onstrate continued attention both to transaction-spe- sales opportunitiesas is the quality of the customer-
cific details and to the interpersonalqualities of the salesperson relationship developed through previous
relationship. Recent work by Anderson and Oliver sales interactions.Relationshipquality appearsto in-
(1987) suggeststhatan often overlookedaspectof sales crease the probabilityof sales opportunitieswhereas
management is identification and measurement of interpersonalinfluence variates (e.g., expertise and
qualitative outputs of the salesforce. This oversight similarity) determine individual sales outcomes. All
may be extremely poignant where customer-salesper- other things being equal, however, more sales oppor-
son relationshipsare long-term. In insuranceand sim- tunities should yield higher sales performance.
ilar contexts, many customers may seek to establish
long-terminterpersonalrelationshipsand are unlikely Study Limitations
to object to the seller's efforts to foster quality inter- Our study is subjectto several shortcomingsthat limit
action. interpretationof the results. Certainlyfutureresearch-
Contact people should be sensitized to the nature ers might consider additionalpredictorvariables, such
of the social process underlying interpersonalrela- as perceived switching uncertainty, switching bene-
tionship development. For example, efforts to elicit fits, switchingcosts, searchcosts, and investmentcosts
informationdisclosurefrom customers, which may be (ref. Thibaut and Kelley 1959). In addition, the do-
vital in appropriatelydiagnosing and fulfilling their main of some of the latent constructsmight be mod-
needs, must be met with reciprocaldisclosure by the ified. For instance, relational selling behavior could
seller. Training and account management programs be extended to include the salesperson'sfrequencyof
should emphasize that customers may use disclosure compromise behavior, willingness to meet at times
to "test" the seller's motives and trustworthiness. convenient for the customer, and sensitivity to cus-
Analysis can be made of the types of disclosures and tomers' personal problems. Likewise, relationship
the range of reciprocaldisclosures that are appropri- quality might be broadenedto include additionalin-

Qualityin ServicesSelling/ 77
Relationship
dicators such as role consensus, perceived coopera- vanced here and/or identify alternative paradigms
tion/competition/conflict, and equity. suitable for representing long-term buyer-seller rela-
The service-sales context and cross-sectional method tionships.
of our study also limit the interpretation of the find-
ings. Future research should seek to ascertain the va-
lidity of our relationship quality model in alternative Appendix
long-term sales contexts (e.g., business-to-business). Summary of Measures
Longitudinal methods would be particularly useful for
capturing the process dynamics and the cumulative ef- Indicators of Similarity (f,)
fects of individual exchange episodes in establishing a = .86 Appearance similarity index (very similar 6 . .. very
long-term sales relationships. dissimilar 1)
Rating of agent's appearance
Questions for Future Research Rating of agent's dress
Rating of agent's mannerisms
The following research questions relating directly to Rating of agent's speech
the relationship quality model might guide future re- Rating of agent's personality
t = .79 Lifestyle similarity index (very similar 6 ... very
search in the behavioral aspects of relationship mar-
dissimilar 1)
keting: Rating of agent's family situation
1. Are there structuraldeterminants of mutual self-disclo- Rating of agent's interests/hobbies
sure? For instance, at what time and with what fre- Rating of agent's political views
quency should personal versus transaction-specific dis- Rating of agent's values
a = .82 Status similarity index (very similar 6 . . . very
closure be advanced? From a salesperson perspective,
is it more advantageous to initiate self-disclosure so- dissimilar 1)
liciting reciprocity from the buyer or to delay disclo- Rating of agent's education level
sure until initiated by the buyer? Rating of agent's income level
2. To what extent does relationship quality restrain the Rating of agent's social class
customer from switching to another salesperson/sup-
Indicator of Service Domain Expertise (42)
plier due, in part, to the customer's recognition of the
personal investment necessary to identify and develop a = .89 Financial expertise index (way above average 5 .
a suitable alternative relationship? way below average 1)
3. How do disconfirmations of participant role expecta- Training/knowledge/experience in insurance
tions influence perceptions of relational quality early Training/knowledge/experience in IRAs
versus later in complex service exchange settings? For Training/knowledge/experience in investment funds
instance, how are violations of trust that occur early in Training/knowledge/experience in tax planning
a relationship received by dyadic participantsversus vi- Training/knowledge/experience in financial plan-
olations that occur later in a more mature relationship? ning
4. How does the seller's perception of relationship quality
with the customer influence the nature of the dyad and Indicators of Relational Selling Behavior ({3)
relationship development? Though it is natural to focus a = .88 Interaction intensity index (five times or more 5 .
on the customer's perception of the interpersonal re- never 1)
lationship with the seller, relational maturity requires * Was contacted by my agent who wanted to stay "in
both parties to engage in reciprocal behavior. Do cus- touch" and make sure I was still satisfied.
tomers engage in behaviors that attempt to encourage * Was contactedby my agent who wanted to keep abreast
relationshipdevelopment with the seller, and under what of changes in my family and insurance needs.
circumstances? * Was contacted by my agent who wanted to make
5. How is the domain of behavioral expectations pertain- changes in this policy to better serve my needs.
ing to relationship quality established by dyadic par- * Was contacted by my agent who wanted to restruc-
ticipants?The influencing attemptsand posturing moves ture my insurance program to better serve my needs.
described in the negotiation literature may prove help- * My agent explained why it is a good idea to keep this
ful in directing inquiry in this area. whole life policy in force.
* Received somethingof a personalnaturefrom my agent
The relationship quality model we have advanced (e.g., birthday card, holiday gift, etc.).
addresses many of the limitations of previous sales * Was contacted by my agent who wanted to sell me
more life insurance.
research, but considerable work needs to be done to * Was contacted by my agent who wanted to describe
enhance the marketer's understanding of factors that new types of policies that had become available.
influence long-term service sales interactions. Clearly, a = .95 Agent disclosure index (very accurate 6 . . . very
the preliminary evidence suggests that the perpetua- inaccurate 1)
tion of a long-term service exchange is influenced by * My agent has confided in me a lot of information
the customer's perception of the quality of the sales about his/her own financial situation and dealings.
* My agent has confided in me a lot of information
relationship. We hope future researchers will seek to about his/her own financial goals and objectives, even
modify and extend the relationship quality model ad- hopes and dreams for the future.

78 / Journalof Marketing,July 1990


* My agent has confided in me a lot of information * Favorable 7 . . . Unfavorable 1
about his/her background, personal life, and family a = .89 Trust in salesperson index (strongly agree 7 .
situation. strongly disagree 1)
* My agent has told me about financial mistakes he/ * My agent can be relied upon to keep his/her prom-
she made in the past. ises.
* My agent has told me a lot about his/her job (e.g., * There are times when I find my agent to be a bit in-
responsibilities, failures and accomplishments, likes sincere. [reverse coded]
and dislikes for occupation). * I find it necessary to be cautious in dealing with my
* My agent has confided in me a lot of information life insurance agent. [reverse coded]
about his/her values, religious beliefs, and political * My agent is trustworthy.
beliefs. * My agent and I are in competition-he/she is trying
a = .93 Customer disclosure index (very accurate 6 ... very to sell me a lot of insurance and I am trying to avoid
inaccurate 1) buying it. [reverse coded]
* I have confided in the agent a lot of information about * My agent puts the customer's interests before his/her
my current financial situation (e.g., income, assets, own.
investments, and obligations). * Some people, including my agent, are not above
* I have confided in the agent a lot of information about "bendingthe facts" to create the impressionthey want.
my financial goals and objectives, even my hopes and [reverse coded]
dreams for the future. * My agent is dishonest [reverse coded]
* I have confided in the agent a lot of information about * I suspect that my agent has sometimes withheld cer-
my background, personal life, and family situation. tain pieces of critical information that might have af-
* I have told the agent about financial mistakes I've fected my decision-making. [reverse coded]
made in the past.
* I have told the agent a lot about my job (e.g., re- Indicators of Sales Effectiveness (2rz)
sponsibilities, failures and accomplishments, likes and a = N/ATotal insurance sales ($00,000's)
dislikes of occupation). * What is the total amount of life insurance coverage
* I have expressed to my agent my liking and respect that has been purchased through the agent responsi-
for him/her as a person. ble for your whole life policy? Include only those
* I have confided in the agent a lot of information about policies that are still in force.
my values, religious beliefs, and political beliefs. a = .88 Cross-sell index (yes from agent 1 . . . otherwise 0)
* I have expressed to the agent my dissatisfaction with * Indicate whether you own or use each of the financial
other financial advisors I have such as my lawyer, products/services listed below and whether they are
accountant, banker, stockbroker, or other insurance obtained from the agent responsible for your whole
agents. life policy.
a = .80 Cooperative intentions index (very accurate 6 . . . Tax planning . . .
very inaccurate 1) Financial planning.
* My agent has expressed a willingness to help me make Money market/mutual funds . . .
my financial decisions even if there's nothing in it IRAs
for him/her.
* My agent takes the time to prepare formal proposals Indicator of Anticipation of Future Interaction
for me to evaluate. (J3)
* My agent treats me the same whether we're talking a = .82 Anticipationof futureinteractionindex (strongly agree
about $5,000 policy or a $50,000 policy. 7 . . . strongly disagree 1)
* My agent has expressed a desire to develop a long- * Please indicate the chances that you will engage in
term relationship. each of these actions some time in the next year.
Will discuss the value of this whole life policy with
Indicators of Relationship Quality ({7,) the agent responsible for servicing it.
Working with the agent responsible for this policy,
a = .99 Satisfaction with salesperson index will restructuremy life insurance program to better
* Satisfied 7 . . . Dissatisfied 1 serve my needs ("program" refers to all policies
* Pleased 7 . . . Displeased 1 owned).

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