The Impact of Source and Item Characteristics on Consumer Responses to Flattery in Retail Sales Transactions

Sutapa Aditya, York University, Canada
Kelley Main, University of Manitoba, Canada
Darren Dahl, University of British Columbia, Canada
Flattery is a common method of interpersonal influence applied by agents in the marketplace. However, the literature on persuasion knowledge and related topics has primarily revealed a negative influence of flattery in a retail setting. The present research identifies two critical boundary conditions in the context of marketplace interactions which may result in a positive outcome of flattery. Results of a field study demonstrated that when a highly attractive (vs. less attractive) salesperson flatters a consumer on an item she/he already owns (vs. an item from the store), flattery can lead to higher satisfaction, trustworthiness and intentions to revisit the store.
[ to cite ]:
Sutapa Aditya, Kelley Main, and Darren Dahl (2009) ,"The Impact of Source and Item Characteristics on Consumer Responses to Flattery in Retail Sales Transactions", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 932-932.