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EMAC 2022 Annual

Sharing emotions: Empathy and its influence on Selling skills

Published: May 24, 2022


Ilona Pezenka, FHWien der WKW University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication; Christian Weismayer, Modul University; David Bourdin, FHWien der WKW


This research examines if there is an influence of a salesperson’s empathy on perceived selling skills and whether the emotions displayed by the salesperson during a sales conversation are related to buyers’ evaluations of the seller’s empathy. Using structural equation modelling, we analyse data generated from automated emotion tracking of 63 role-played sales conversations, as well as post-questionnaires. Our findings indicate that empathy is a significant predictor of selling skills. Furthermore, the model reveals that overall negative emotions are negatively related to perceived empathy. Specifically, long displays of sadness have a significant negative effect on perceived empathy. Our work has important implications for personal selling and training on emotional intelligence in particular.