Personal acquaintances and salespeople in financial services: Differences between customers and friends

Lars Backstrom, Leyland Pitt, Colin Campbell, Deon Nel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The existence, benefit and management of customera??salesperson relationships in the marketing of financial services are topics of increasing interest. Much of the sales and marketing literature implies that because of time spent together, salespeople and some of their customers develop close relationships that are akin to friendships. Evidence from social psychology confirms that strong relationships are founded in deep knowledge of others gained over long periods after sharing personal information. This paper reports on the results of a study of salespeople s assessments of their personal acquaintance with customers and friends in a financial services setting. The results indicate that salespeople do not classify customers as friends on all the dimensions of personal acquaintance. Furthermore, the nature of personal acquaintance differs between a??gooda?? customers (those salespeople enjoy serving), and a??bada?? (those they do not), with the exception of the personal acquaintance dimensions of interaction frequency and personal disclosure. We discuss the implications for practice and make recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26 - 39
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Services Marketing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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