Happy consumers more likely to overlook suspicions of sales

April 11th, 2009 - 5:15 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 11 (ANI): Happy consumers are likely to overlook their suspicions or concerns related to sales people’s product pitches, if researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Business are to be believed.

Dr. Thomas DeCarlo, who led the study in collaboration with Dr. Michael Barone of the University of Louisville, points out that a previous study had shown that shoppers in a neutral mood, who are naturally suspicious of sales agents’ motives, reacted negatively to heavy-handed or one-sided product pitches and therefore were less likely to buy as compared to consumers that received a more balanced pitch.

He said that the new study went a step further by exposing consumers to humorous or happy situations before surveying their responses to persuasive sales offers.

“There is a significant catalog of prior research that suggests an even-minded consumer’s suspicion of a sales pitch does adversely affect the response to that pitch and the sales agent behind it,” DeCarlo said.

“What we wanted to know is what happens if the consumer considers a sales pitch when not in a neutral mood but a positive one,” he added.

DeCarlo used two separate experiments to demonstrate a positive mood’s ability to neutralize the effects of suspicion on persuasion.

He said that both experiments showed happy consumers to be more accepting of one-sided sales pitches, while seeming to suppress any negative or suspicious feelings toward sales agents.

“What is fascinating about this study is the crucial influence of mood on consumer action,” DeCarlo said.

“While more research in this area is needed to verify the trend, it is becoming clearer that a shopper’s level of happiness or positive feelings could be more important to selling than sales prices, sales people and the pitches they make,” he added.

The study has been published in Elsevier’s Journal of Consumer Psychology. (ANI)

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