The Persuasive Role of Incidental Similarity on Attitudes and Purchase Intentions in a Sales Context

Lan Jiang, University of British Columbia, Canada
Darren Dahl, University of British Columbia, Canada
Amitava Chattopadhyay, INSEAD, Singapore
JoAndrea Hoegg, University of British Columbia, Canada
This paper examines the effects of incidental similarity shared between a salesperson and a potential consumer in a sales situation. We show that a shared birthday can result in a more favorable attitude and a higher intention to purchase and the need for social connectedness can underlie the effects. In addition, we identify two boundary conditions that qualify our findings. We show that the valence of the salesperson’s behavior towards an unknown other and the length of the interpersonal relationship moderate the process. When the need for social connectedness is mitigated, the positive effects of incidental similarity are lost.
[ to cite ]:
Lan Jiang, Darren Dahl, Amitava Chattopadhyay, and JoAndrea Hoegg (2009) ,"The Persuasive Role of Incidental Similarity on Attitudes and Purchase Intentions in a Sales Context", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 598-599.