To Go or Not to Go for the Sell: Regulatory Focus and Personal Sales Performance

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Abstract

Selling products and services is a central function in organizations. Although explaining sales success has mainly been approached from broad trait perspectives, tactical decision-making potentially explains additional variance in this crucial outcome. We propose and find that promotion focus positively predicts sales agents’ success, while prevention focus negatively predicts sales success. These relations were significant while controlling for five-factor traits. Predictors were measured before participants started on the job; outcome was the total number of sales participants made. As such, results evidence incremental validity of regulatory focus in predicting objective sales performance.

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