The relationship between emotional intelligence and customer orientation for pharmaceutical salespeople

Charles E. Pettijohn (Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
Elizabeth J. Rozell (College of Business Administration, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, USA)
Andrew Newman (Department of Marketing, Salford Business School, University of Salford, Manchester, UK)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Publication date: 6 April 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between salesperson emotional intelligence, dispositional affectivity, and customer‐orientation levels in pharmaceutical marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 71 pharmaceutical salespeople working in the UK provided responses to scales designed to assess emotional intelligence, dispositional affectivity (positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) and customer orientation). The emotional intelligence and dispositional affectivity scores provided by the salespeople were then analyzed to determine the degree to which they related to customer‐orientation levels.

Findings

The findings indicate that salesperson emotional intelligence levels are positively correlated with their customer‐orientation scores. Positive dispositional affectivity levels are also significantly correlated with salesperson customer‐orientation levels. This result suggests that UK pharmaceutical salespeople who possessed more PA tended to also be more positively oriented to the customer. However, NA levels are not significantly correlated with salesperson customer‐orientation levels.

Research limitations/implications

From a theoretical perspective, these findings provide a venue for future research in professional sales which could focus on the relationships existing between salesperson behaviors/characteristics that relate to salesperson customer‐orientation, skills, social desirability, and performance.

Practical implications

From a practical basis, the findings suggest that pharmaceutical firms in the UK who are focused on increasing the customer‐orientation levels of their sales force would be well advised to assess the emotional intelligence and dispositional affectivity levels of both their potential and current salespeople and use this information in their selection and training activities.

Originality/value

The research reported provides an initial assessment of the relationship between these variables in a pharmaceutical sales situation in the UK.

Keywords

Citation

Pettijohn, C., Rozell, E. and Newman, A. (2010), "The relationship between emotional intelligence and customer orientation for pharmaceutical salespeople", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506121011036015

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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