Salesperson race and gender and the access and legitimacy paradigm: Does difference make a difference? Academic Article uri icon


  • Prominent articles in the popular press suggest that minorities and women are sometimes “shut out of sales” (cf. Lucas 1996; Marchetti 1996). One implication is that non-minority buyers do not perceive minority and female salespeople as credible salespeople. During the initial approach of a sales call, the salesperson’s race and gender are two visual cues that buyers use to establish salesperson credibility. We examine how different aspects of salesperson credibility—perceived expertise, trustworthiness, likability, and attractiveness—affect consumers' purchase intentions. Then, we investigate the influence of race and gender matches and mismatches between buyers and sellers on each dimension of salesperson credibility. © 1998 PSE National Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jones, E., Moore, J. N., Stanaland, A., & Wyatt, R.

publication date

  • January 1998