EFFECT OF SELECTED TRAINING METHODS
ON SELLING EFFICIENCY IN RETAIL STORES
RICHARD C. VREELAND
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The author wishes to express his sincere appreciation to those
who have assisted in the preparation of this dissertation. He is in-
debted to the members of his Supervisory Committee Dr. J. Donald
Butterworth, Chairman; Dr. Frank Coodwin; Dr. Willard Ash; Dr. John
Webb; and Dr. William Wilmot. The professional advice of these men
was invaluable in the preparation of this manuscript while their
personal encouragement always seemed to be forthcoming when most
To his wife, Judy, the author is especially grateful. Her
willingness to subordinate personal objectives to the demands of this
research was an intangible contribution of considerable magnitude.
On the other hand, her many hours of editorial assistance tangibly
facilitated the completion of the study.
The St. Petersburg Chapter of the National Sales Executives
Club, which generously assisted in the financing of the research,
earned the author's appreciation. Also, the author wishes to thank
the Chamber of Commerce and the merchants of Gainesville, Florida,
for their cooperation and Miss Eugenia Townsend for her professional
typing of the final manuscript. To others, not specifically named,
but personally remembered--many thanks.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I INTRODUCTION 1
Research Design 1
Limitations of Methodology 12
II HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF SELLING EFFICIENCY 13
Convenience Goods 15
Automatic vending 19
Shopping Goods 22
The training of retail salespeople 25
Service shopping 28
Specialty Goods 81
III DESCRIPTION OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ENVIRONMENT 34
Gainesville Retail Trade Area 34
Retail Stores 86
Description of the store operation 88
Efforts to teach the salespeople how to sell 89
Attitude of management 39
Sales training 42
Shopping service 44
Efforts to motivate the salespeople to sell 44
Opportunities for advancement 46
Number of salespeople 47
- iii -
- iv -
IV EXPERIMENTAL TREATMENTS AND MEASURING TECHNIQUES 50
Experimental Treatments 50
Treatment IV 51
Treatment III 52
Treatment II 56
Treatment I 59
Quantitative Indicators 60
Service shopping 61
Consumer attitude survey 64
Employ'- -erals survey 68
Sales volume 78
V ANALYSIS OF THE EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY 76
Comparison of Before-and After-Treatment Results 77
Treatment I 78
Treatment II 84
Treatment III 85
Treatment IV 92
Chi-Square Analysis of Treatment Results 95
Effect of the Treatments on Department Stores 103
The Treatment I department store 105
The Treatment II department store 105
The Treatment III department store 110
The Treatment IV department store 11
Evaluation of Methodology 113
VI ANALYSIS OF THE CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY 119
Treatment Analysis 120
Effect of the treatments on the respondent's
frequency of purchase 125
Analysis of individual stores 129
Evaluation of Methodology 131
VII ANALYSIS OF SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS 138
Treatment Analysis 139
Analysis of Selected Selling Techniques 142
Appropriateness of the approach 148
Overcoming objections 145
Trading up 147
Suggestion selling 150
Closing the sale 152
Effect of the Treatments on Department Stores 155
Evaluation of Methodology 161
VIII SALES VOLUME 166
IX SMfARY AND CONCLUSIONS 169
The Effect of the Treatments 169
A Program to Increase Retail Selling Efficiency 177
Outlook for the Future 180
APPENDIX A 182
APPENDIX B 198
APPENDIX C 207
APPENDIX D 220
LIST OF TABLES
1 THE AVERAGE PERCENTAGE OF NET SALES SPENT FOR TOTAL
EXPENSES AND EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION IN SELECTED
TYPES OF RETAIL STORES ..*........................ 2
2 CHARACTERISTICS OF RETAIL STORES IN THE EXPERIMENTAL
DESIGN ........... ...*........................... 40
8 TOTAL AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY RESPONSES ....,..... 96
4 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE TOTAL AFTER-TREATHENT MORALE
SURVEY RESPONSES .9s......................... ...... 97
5 AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY RESPONSES TO JOB AND
CONDITIONS OF WORK 99
6 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY
RESPONSES TO JOB AND CONDITIONS OF WORK ............. 100
7 PERCENTAGE CHANGE OF FAVORABLE CUSTOMER RESPONSES TO
QUESTIONS DN THE CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY CLASSIFIED
BY TREATMENT ..................... ............ .... 121
8 THE PERCENTAGE CHANGE, CLASSIFIED BY TREATMENT, IN THE
CUSTOMERS' FREQUENCY OF PURCHASE AFTER FIVE MONTHS
OF TREATMENT APPLICATION ............................ 130
9 PERCENTAGE CHANGE, CLASSIFIED BY STORE, IN THE CUSTOMERS'
FREQUENCY OF PURCHASE AFTER FIVE MONTHS OF TREATMENT
APPLICATION ......................................... 132
10 COMPARISON OF THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORT MEAN SCOS
BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT (IN PERCENTAGES) ......... 140
11 ANALYSIS OF THE VARIANCE IN SERVICE SHOPPING REPORT
TOTAL SCORES ................................... 141
- vii -
12 COMPARISON OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT SERVICE
CCPPING REPORTS, ON THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE
SALESPERSON'S APPROACH (IN PERCENTAGES) ............ 148
18 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT RESULTS OF
THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS ON THE UTILIZATION OF
THE CORRECT SALES APPROACH ................ ......... 144
14 COMPARISON OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT SERVICE
SHOPPING REPORTS ON THE ABILITY OF THE SALESPERSON
TO COMPLETELY OVERCOME OBJECTIONS (IN PERCENTAGES) 145
15 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT RESULTS OF
THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS ON THE ABILITY OF THE
SALESPEOPLE TO COMPLETELY OVERCOME OBJECTIONS....... 146
16 COMPARISON OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT SERVICE
SHOPPING REPORTS ON THE ABILITY OF THE SALESPEOPLE
TO TRADE UP CUSTOMERS (IN PERCENTAGES) ............. 147
17 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT RESULTS OF
THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS ON TRADING UP ......... 149
18 COMPARISON OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT SERVICE
SHOPPING REPORTS ON SUGGESTION SELLING (IN PER-
CENTAGES) ......................... 150
19 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT RESULTS OF THE
SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS ON THE UTILIZATION OF SUGGES-
TION SELLING TECHNIQUES .......................... 152
0 COMPARISON OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT SERVICE
SHOPPING REPORTS, ON THE UTILIZATION OF CLOSING
TECHNIQUES (IN PERCENTAES) ........................ 153
21 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT RESULTS OF
THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS ON CLOSING ABILITY .... 154
22 PERCENTAGE OF FAVORABLE OBSERVARIONS ON THE SERVICE
SHOPPING REPORTS CLASSIFIED BY GROUP AND DEPARTMENT
STORE .............................................. 157
23 SUMMARY OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHI-SQUARE COMPARISONS
FOR FIVE SELECTED SELLING ATTRIBUTES CLASSIFIED BY
TREATMENT AND DEPARTMENT STORE ..................... 160
24 PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN EXPERIMENTAL RETAIL STORES' SALES
FOR APRIL 1961 AS COMPARED TO APRIL 1960 ........... 166
25 ANALYSIS OF VARIANCE IN THE APRIL 1960 SALES OF THE
EXPERIMENTAL RETAIL STORES ......................... 167
- viii -
26 AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY RESPONSES OT FINANCIAL
REWARDS FROM EMPLOYMENT .............. ............. 199
27 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY
RESPONSES TO FINANCIAL REWARDS FROM EMPLOY~ ENT ..... 199
28 AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY RESPONSES TO PERSONAL
RELATIONS ............................... ... ..... 200
29 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF AFTEI-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY
RESPONSES TO PERSONAL RELATIONS .................... 200
30 AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY RESPONSE TO OPERATING
EFFICIENCY ......................................... 201
81 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY
RESPONSES TO OPERATING EFFICIENCY ............... 201
82 AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY RESPONSES TO INDIVIDUAL
SATISFACTION .............. ....... 202
33 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF AFTER-TREATMENT MORALE SURVEY
RESPONSES TO INDIVIDUAL SATISFACTION ............... 202
34 INDIVIDUAL STORE RESULTS OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR TREATMENT I
CLASSIFIED BY CATEGORY ............... ............* 203
85 INDIVIDUAL STORE RESULTS OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR TREATMENT II
CLASSIFIED BY CATEGORY ............................... 204
86 INDIVIDUAL STORE RESULTS OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR TREATMENT III
CLASSIFIED BY CATEGORY ............................. 205
37 INDIVIDUAL STORE RESULTS OF THE BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR TREATMENT IV
CLASSIFIED BY CATEGORY .............................. 206
88 BEFORE-TREATMENT CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT I ............... ........**........ *.... 208
89 BEFORE-TREATMENT CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT II ....................................... 209
40 BEFORE-TREATMEN CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT III ............................. ....... 210
- ix -
41 BEFORE-TREATMENT CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT IV ........***....**..............*....... 211
42 AFTER-TREATMENT CUSINER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT I ..*.....................,,............. 212
43 AFTER-TREATMENT CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT II ,...,,............................... 213
44 AFTER-TREATMENT CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT III ...........,... ...................... 214
45 AFTER-TREATMENT CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS FOR
TREATMENT IV ..................................... 215
46 PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN FAVORABLE CUSTOMER RESPONSE TO
QUESTIONS ON THE CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR THE
STORES IN TREATMENT I .............................. 216
47 PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN FAVORABLE CUSTOMER RESPONSE TO
QUESTIONS ON THE CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR THE
STORES IN TREATMENT II ..., ....................... 217
48 PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN FAVORABLE CUSTOMER RESPONSE TO
QUESTIONS ON THE CUSTOmER ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR THE
STORES IN TREATMENT III ........................... 218
49 PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN FAVORABLE CUSTOMER RESPONSE TO
QUESTIONS ON THE CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY FOR THE
STORES IN TREATMENT IV.............................. 219
50 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT DEPARTMENT STORE
RESULTS ON THE UTILIZATION OF THE CORRECT APPROACH .. 221
51 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT DEPARTMENT
STORE RESULTS ON THE ABILITY OF THE SALESPEOPLE TO
COMPLETELY OVERCOME OBJECTIONS .................... 221
52 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT DEPARTMENT
STORE RESULTS ON THE ABILITY OF THE SALESPEOPLE TO
TRADE UP CUSTOMERS ................................. 222
53 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT DEPARTMENT
STORE RESULTS IN THE UTILIZATION OF SUGGET:-'.N SELLING
TECHNIQUES ..................................... 222
54 CHI-SQUARE ANALYSIS OF THE AFTER-TREATMENT DEPARTMENT
STORE RESULTS ON THE UTILIZATION OF CLOSING
TECHNIQUES ...............*..... .... ............. 223
55 RESULTS 'OF TH SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS FOR TREATMENT X 224
56 RESULTS OF THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS FOR TREATIMENT II 228
57 RESULTS OF THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS FOR TREATMENT III 282
58 RESULTS OF THE SERVICE SHOPPING REPORTS FOR TREATMENT IV 236
LIST OF FIGURES
I EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT I .................................... 82
II EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT II F.......... 87
III EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURE RESULTS BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT III ...................................... 89
IV EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS BEFORE-AND AFTER-
TREATMENT IV........................... ......... 94
V GROUP AND DEPARTMENT STORE AFTER-TREATMENT I EMPLOYEE
ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS ...................... ..... 107
VI GROUP AND DEPARTMENT STORE AFTER-TREATMENT II EMPLOYEE
ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS ............................. 109
VII GROUP AND DEPARTMENT STORE AFTER-TREATMENT III EMPLOYEE
ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS ............................ 112
VIII GROUP AND DEPARTMENT STORE AFTER-TREATMENT V EMPLOYEE
ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS ...................,...... 115
IX AVERAGE SCORES ON THE CUSTOMER ATTITUDE SURVEY ........ 127
X SERVICE SHOPPING REPORT ......................... ..... 197
- xi -
Production of farm utility takes about one-half of
the money we spend for goods, and marketing (the creation
of place, tim and possession utilities) take the other
half. Speaking broadly, the creation of possession util-
ity taers about one-fourth, and the creation of plae and
time tilt takes about one-fourth of the asm spent
This stay, however, t concerned primarily with the creation of
possession utility which its uu ally a plishd by som type of
retail organization-ecept in the case of industrial goods.
In meat retail stoa e which do not utille self-service,
the largest single operating pese item is usually employee
owaupenation. Table 1 shows the importance of this item in
selected retail stores.
Although these figures re not broken doam into the specific
percentage paid to salespeople, an idea of the prominence of ales-
people coupensation cn be deduced. Par example, another source
discloses that the manegmant of department stores, with the sales
volume shown in the table, spend 8.5% of net sales for copeneation
1P. D. Converse, I. V. Huegy amd R .itehll, lament
of r I BSting;(6th ed.l Englewood ClifM, New Jeray: Preniid -
Bl, U Inc., 1958)t p. 7.
. 1 -
of sales personnel;2 this is approximately 25% of total expenses.
The owner of the average appliance store pays 6.7% of net sales or
also about 25X of total expenses as wages for salespeople.
THE AVERAGE PERCENTAGE OF NET SALES SPENT FOR
TOTAL EXPENSES AND EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION
IN SELECTED TYPES OF RETAIL STORES
Store Total exp
Men's wear ?1.2
Women's wear 84.7
Department stores 34.6
Management Other employees Total
5.7 10.5 16.2
5.3 13.2 18.5
2.7 8.9 11.6
8.1 12.1 20.2
Source: Expnses in Retail Businesses, National Cash Register Co.,
Dayton, Ohio (n.d.).
It can be reasonably assumed, therefore, that many merchants
who employ salespeople and spend approximately 25% of total expenses
to compensate them should be interested in increasing the selling
efficiency of retail salespeople. If salespeople could be induced
Saa Flanel, Departmental Merchandising and Operating Results
of 1958 (New York: Controllers Congress, National Retail Merchants
Association, 1959), p. 57.
II Ipll I
0 3 -
to increase their productivity, not sales would icreae at little
additional est because Imn other expases would not be proportion-
ately increased. As result, the bulk of the store's margin O
this additional volume would be reflected on the profit and l
statement as profit before taxe.
hee appears to be little evidence in amrksti~ litwtu
to support aqn contention that personal salsanship at the retail
level cannot--In fact, mut not--be proved and ade more efficient.
On the other hand, the are strong indications fra several sources
that t ca and should be ade more effective.
In 1949, the edit of F or a ilnea undertook an in-
tanaive investigation of the quality of retail salm anship in the
united States. heir general conclusion at that time m that
esalemoship was at an eatrmely law level. out, in 1952, when
the investigation wa repeated thy summaried, with a fe nota-
ble oaceptions, that te situation we even worse than in 1949.8
Salespeople in asy instances were still ignorant of the benefits
wich their merchandise offered the onsumer. Furthezme, the
nlrks mde little effort to deteaine the customer's needs and
reomend goods which would satisfy them. ta salespeople, in-
stead of offering service, exhibited a "here to the merchadise-
take it or leave it' attitude.
Academic investigation pears to concur in thnes findings.
Doctor Robert R. mrers, writing in the scholarly Joural of iRtailtig,
"What's Wrong with Retail Sal sihtp" ortu, ]O ,
No. 4 (July, 1952), 77.
reports "hne of the majar problem in marketing today is the
efficiency and ineptness of retail saleemnahip.' i con-
elusion is the result of an eairical study of retail salesan-
ship in the metropolitan New York City area.
hay retailers recognize this problem and attempt to solve
it In one of two basic ways or by utilizing a cmbinatioa of both
procedures. oe method is to eliminate the salaperson by using
som degree of self-service; the other is to increase the produa-
tivity of the salesperson. Retail grocers, for nan0le, have
almost completely adapted the first approach, while smaler
specialty stores, especially in the apparel trade, haw utilized
a ccbinatton of two methods.
Before the advent of self-service, grocers typically offered
their customers what is cuamonly teamed fll service, i.e., assist-
ance in the selection of merchandise, free delivery, and credit.
Yet today most grocers no longer offer these services; conoe-
quently, they have been able to decrease selling oosts as a
percentage of sales volume, increase selling efficiency, and
louer selling prices to induce ore trade into their stores.
Both the public and the merchant have benefited frm this lii-
tation of service which the cocnmer has been willing to accept.
Still self-service Is not able to increase selling efficiency for
all retailers. For eaaple, uhst about a department store fta
which the public still expects full service?
%aobrt H. Cbrers, 'wtil Slling Ca and Should Ie proved
Journal of Retailing, XIIIt, No. 1 (Spring, 1957), 89
he typical department store customer continues to patro-
ise this type of institution rather than a discount house or a self-
service outlet because she wants the services which a department
store characteristically offers. The customer expects to receive
courteous service, a full range of credit facilities, speedy
delivery and gift wrapping. The merchant, therefore, canot
resort to complete self-service to increase selling efficient.
Instead, he must utilize an option combination of self-selection
and opetent salespeople and of these two elseents, oeetent
salespeople ae the hardest to secure.
Even the more ardent advocates of self-service would also
admit that in many types of retail operations, other than the
department store, the retailer mut still basically rely o sales-
people to serve the patrons. In these stares, all of the efforts
of the manufacturers and distributor, as well as the retailers,
to create customer interest in and desire for the goods a
dependent pon the salesperson's effectiveness in moving the
merchandise over the "last two feet" of selling space.
When one of the most vocal advocates of self-service stated,
"the only road is the road that leads to robot retailing and at the
end of it 'factories of distribution' in which the ssy human
element could be practically eliminated,'1 he tacitly made two
assiuptions (1) retail salespeople ae so poor at their jobs that
S B Weisas, "Salespeople Can't De Trained andSholdn't
Ie," Fortune, EmmIV, No. 4 (Novmber, 1952), 181.
casuiners prefer to shop without tham, and (2) nothing an be done
to improve the level of retail salemaanship. While a case ca be
developed, in asm instances for the first assuption, epirical
evidence indicates that the second assumption to ctrary to the
Fotu, in 1952, mde a special effort to locate stores
Whoae sales were running counter to the general retail slimp in
that year. It wa discovered that the stores that wer most
conspicuously ahead of their competition in such important
euree as turnover rate, ross sales increases, and traos-
action per salesperson were precisely the ae stores which ad
the most enlightened compensation and training policies. Of
course, this assumption does not necessarily indicate causation
but the relationship is notable.
Jan Engels, a women's specialty shop in New York, wse
reportedly able to pay its 85 salesman $70 to $100 per week in
commissions because of an enlightened training and compensation
plan. But operating ratios did not suffer-in fact, they benefited.
he store's ratio of payroll to gross sales in 1951, wa Jony 5.0%,
Adle the national average for similar stores was appran tely
'Sa peoe v s Robote," Sr e x IV, o. 4 (November,
7'hat's Wrong with Retail Saleemnship?", Fortune, p. 84.
Neman-Marcus, the well-knon Dalla d apartment store, starts
its sales employees career with a aix-week indoctrination progm,
and the training never ceases. Eve the 'oldtmaers" smut partici-
pate periodically in "role playing." President Stanley Marcus
feels that the aleperson can never be replaced by autation
if she know how to sell and wants to sell.8
the results of an extensive retail sales training program
which were disclosed by a New Yaok City department stare provides
additional evidence. his retail organisation gave an extensive
training program to certain of its selling employees. The sales
volume of personnel who received the training as compared to a
control group n the same store who did not receive any training.
The results indicated that the sales of the trained group showed
an average Increase of $25 to $30 per week per salesperson during
the months that the program mas in progress. the cost of the pro-
grm was *20,000 but the total gain in sales me 500,000.
It seems evident that retailers who are king a positive
effort to increase the productivity of their salespeople are
achieving desirable results, while others who assume a negative
attitude are doing very little but beman their low selling
efficiency. There are, however, enough merchants doing something
positive to warrant the conclusion that "it can be done."
Ibid., p. 85.
Dart Ellsorth 'Does Training Pay Dividends," Journal of
Reta ling, xI, No. (Spring, 1959), 109.
It appears axidatic to this writer that efforts to sub-
stantially increase selling efficiency in non-self-service store
should be centered around an investigation of the selection,
training, and motivation of the retail salespeople. Despite
isolated examples to the contrary, it sees that few people have
bee taught how to sell or have even been given a good reason A
they should. As a result, they do not effectively perform the
duties for which they are paid and eventually the consumer must
pay for this inefficiency in the form of higher prices.
COy by combing a multiplicity of such factors a sales
training, incentives, and effective supervision can the ability nd
the desire to sell be instilled in the typical salesperson. There
is no question that the area is complicated because people themselve
are complex. however, there are indications of progress and more
advances can be made.
Now the problem can be specifically stated for the nn-self-
service retailer who wants to improve his selling efficiency. It
consists of two parts first, how to teach salespeople to sell, and
second, how to motivate them so that they want to sell. A possible
solution to the problem is offered by this study.
This research has two objectives
1. To determine quantitatively the effect of three
different typee of retail sales training progress
on the selling efficiency of retail salespeople.
2. To develop a program which can increase the selling
efficiency of sales personnel in retail store not
economically large enough to maintain specialized
personnel qualified to conduct this activity. Ihis
program could also be utilized by executives in
larger retail establishments who wish to conduct
the activity themselves.
This study amines the existing sales training techniques and
copensation plan utilized by the manager of twenty retail stores,
located In the downtown shopping aes of Gainesville, Florida, to
maintain and increase the selling efficiency of their alespeople.1
This research, however, does more than just describe the cooperating
the stores are organized into a randomized block design.
Four treatments, three of these representing different methods of
increasing retail selling efficiency and a control group, are rp.
licated five times. Treatment I to a combination of sales training,
service shopping, incentive awards, and supervisory participation.
Treatment I consists of sales training augmented by limited super
visory participation. Regular service shopping is Treatmsnt III.
Treatment 1E is continued normal operation or in other words a
control factor. The effects of the four treatments are measured
lNone of the stores in the study employed an executive who
devoted at least 5 of his time to sales training.
by four different quantitative indicators. These data are
then tested in order to determine if the treatments cause sta-
tistioally significant results.
Statistically, the results of this eaeriment are not sub-
ject to universal inference because the e perimental units and
treatmnta are not randomly chosen frm their respective universes.
Nevertheless, any careil researcher has a sufficiently detailed
description of the subject stores so that be can eapare thoe to
other stores in different shopping areas and determine subjective
if the results of this study are applicable.
Throughout this study the term "selling efficiency" it used.
Depending upon the orientation of the reader, this term eight be
subject to various meanings. Therefore, it is deemed advisable to
acquaint the reader with the definition of this writer.
"Selling efficiency," or the efficiency with which an
Individual or a store performs the selling function, is the ratio
of sales output to sales input or selling expense. Since both of
the factors in the ratio are subject to various quantitative
interpretations, each is further examined.
There are may ways of measuring sales output. Sme retailers
utilize a traffic productivity ratio; others are satisfied with sales
volume, and still others measure the number of transactions coveted.
Nevertheless, in this study output to measured by changes in sales
volume, employee morale, customs' attitude toenrd the store and
application of sales techniques by the salespeople.
To compute the sales impute figure, most retailers consider
only actual direct selling costs. A few go further and attempt to
estimate the impute cost of lost customers and ill will which a
poor salesperson can engender. For the purposes of this study,
however, selling expenses are assumed to be constant in the subject
stores. Therefore, if output increases and expenses are assumed
constant, except for the cost of the experimental treatments if
offered on a commercial basis, selling efficiency would increase.
The efforts of the experimental units (retail stores) to
increase their selling efficiency were determined by personal inter-
views with the owners) or managers) of each establishment. Also
ascertained during these interviews was the method which the store
used to compensate its salespeople and the attitude of the manage-
ment toward programs which attempt to increase selling efficiency
by increasing the productivity of the sales personnel. These
factors were considered germane to the formation of hypotheses
which explain the experimental interaction between the stores and
Four quantitative indicators were used to secure datadbout
the subject stores; (I) a customer attitude survey, (2) a survey of
the salespeople's morale, (3) shopping reports which indicated the
application of salesmanship principles by the retail clerks, and
(4) changes in the sales, in percentage, as compared to the same
month of the previous year. All four quantitative measurements
were taken before the treatments were applied and after the treat-
ments were completed. Results of the after-treatment indicators
were tested for significance by appropriate statistical methodology.
Before-and after-treatment findings were compared for meaningful
It must be emphasized that the experimental unit in this
study is the retail store--not the salesperson. Data gathered on
the individual sales clerks, from the shopping reports, were
averaged and are presented on a store basis. No effort is made
to analyze specific salespeople.
Limitations of Methodology
Whenever experiments are conducted with people instead of things,
there is an intangible human factor which cannot be controlled. People
communicate; they feel; they think. These circumstances cannot be
While the research design can collect data on the experi-
mental stores, it is beyond the range of this study to determine
'"hy" individual salespeople respond to certain treatments and others
do not. When investigation delves into this area it must explore a
myriad of psychological factors which determine individual person-
ality and the selection of personnel. These factors are considered
to be given in the present study and, therefore, not subject to
HISTOICAL DEVEfLOENT O SELLING EFFICIEM C
In order to evaluate the contribution of this resserch to
aretAing literature, it is necessary to consider it as a part
of a continuing effort to increase selling efficieny. This of-
fort has been inspired by the desire of the individual merchant
to anridse his wn profit well as by the realization that
failure to anticipate or at least eep abreast of new develop-
meats usually results iM a deteriorating competitive position.
Since retailing is conducted in every areas o the United
States, it is difficult to determine "who" inaugurated "'at"
iprovent in retail selling efficiency exactly hen' during
the past oe-hundred years of retailing. However, precise
chranolgical identification is not the objective of this
chapter. Rather this di ter lahe to goals a (1) to demerlbe
methods to increase selling efficiency which have developed in
this country during the last one-hudred years, and (2) to emmine
enviroam ntal factors whidh hav contributed to these developemnts.
One of the sajor trends in retailing, self-selectian, can
be traced back to ancient oriental traders who openly displayed
merhandise before their customers. However, the oriental merchant,
tle his counterpart today, Ua usually nearby to help persuade
the customer of the value of his warea. he custier nevertheless
did have a opportunity to eamine goods without an assistance fro
In our own country, this idea wa effective in he general
store and the frontier trading post, where some goods were con-
veniently stacked around the praiees so that the customer would
have an opportunity to examine the while hopping. Of course,
jargon auh as "Mipulse sales" was not used, but the merchants
quickly realized that the principles inazporated in this type
of display yielded uch additional business.
while open display technique were utilized in rural areas
after the Civil War, the big city, high volue store as still
basically tied to closed display, with moet of the merchandise out
of the grasp of the custmer--unles the clerk displayed the item
at the counter. Mdle the better organied department stores
gained advantages of mnagerial efficiency over the general store,
they did not adopt the idea of open displays which was partially
used by the general store. The development of open displays and
self-selection In urban stores awsited the advent of the "S1 and
100," or variety, store.
Frank Woolworth was one of the few pioneers who did go
against the conventional city trend. In the 1880's, he estab.
lished his first open display variety store with girls behind
the counter to assist the buyer and to complete th selling
transaction. From this start he eventually developed the national
variety store chain which still bears his nae.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, oolwarth's
application of open display wa being partially adopted by other
types f stores. The reason for this was simple: People seemed
to btn more of sam types of merchandise when it was directly
available to tho, without the assistance of a salesperson than
they did wen teh goods were out of reach. It ws also noted that
with self-selection fewer salespeople were required to complete a
given volume of business; this was another way of saying that sales
efficient increased with open display.A
As a result of selling economies and managerial efficienies
associated with open display, the mercantile establishments that
utilized it we able to secre a more attractive return o their
investment. Naturally, the success of Woolworth and the other
self-selection devotees as not unnoticed by other retailers. The
open display technique slowly gained considerable acceptance until
today it has become a standard merchandising procedure in almost
every line of trade. The following sections consider this develop-
ent in each of the three major classIficationa of cisumer goods.
After the early 1900's, the trend toward open display appeared
ololrt'hs rt Sveny-Five ear, 1870-1984 (New York:
r W.Wh 154), provides a tional on
the development of this organisation.
to split and travel in two different directions. ane trend led
toward self-service and was followed by merchants who sold goods
that had all or at least many of the characteristics of con-
venience goods. The other trend led toward an optimum utili-
zation of open display and personal salesmanship rather than self-
service. Retailers who sold shopping goods moved along this
While it is difficult to categorize all merchandise into
either convenience or shopping goods, most goods tend more toward
one classification than the other. Consumers prefer to purchase
conveneince goods with a minimum of inconvenience; low prices and
large assortments are also important factors in their selection
of these items. Shopping goods, on the other hand, are articles
of greater value or goods that are bought infrequently; shoppers
want to compare quality, price and appearance before buying these
items--a a result, they are usually willing to expend more time
and effort in their selection.2 Of course, convenience is also
a factor in the purchase of shopping goods but it is not of para-
mount importance as in the case of convenience goods.
Basic trends, such as self-service, did not usually start
at a certain time in history, instead of at another time, by chance.
2. Converse, H. W. Huegy and R. V. Mitchell, Elements of
Marketing (6th ed.; Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall,
Inc., 1958), pp. 28-29.
Usuall there were environmental factors which encourage their
spontaneous creation. In the case of self-service, the avail-
ability of branded, prepackaged items as well as the extensive
and intensive advertising of brand names seemed to have been the
m; or contributing factors.
Branded merchandise necessarily represented a consistent
level of quality. Consumers realized that Brand X uw the eame
whenever and wherever it a purchased. Therefore, there ms no
need to inspect each itan and be resold on its worth. With brand-
ing, prepackaging also merged to encourage self-service.
Before 1900, the grocer bought moat of his goods In bulk
and packaged small mounts himself. But by 1910, the anufeturer
as perfoaing this function in many instances. As a result, the
services of the retailer, which .ere necessary only for packaging,
no longer stood between the consumer and the goods; nw the con-
suer could directly select the merchandise in a package size consis-
tent with his needs.
The branding and packaging of consumer goods ade it possible
to pre-sell merchandise to the public, and widespread advertising
did the selling. Consumers were sold the ite by advertising and
were willing to buy it without further persuasion by a salesperson.
Furthermore. it wa ascertained that the preselling of merchandise
by advertising was le expensive than a saleperson's persuasion
if in fact the items were actually pre-sold.
In 1916, Clarence Saunders opened a self-service food stor
under the trade am Piggly iggly which utilized the concept of
open display but included a completely new innovation-no sales
clerks. The custmars selected their own merchandise without the
assistance of san store personnel and carried it to a check-out center
where they paid for it. his arrangement further reduced selling
costs by eliminating the salesperson entirely. With reduced coet
and increased sales, selling efficiency naturally increaed.
Nevertheless, in 1928, self-service was not recognized as
a major trend in retail distribution. In that year, when Professor
Paul Nfystram of olbia university erumarated six majar trends in
retail distribution, self-service u as not even mentioned.3
While certain factor such as advertising and branded items
rade self-service feasible in the 1920's, two environmental fetr
made conesers reluctant to acept it: (1) our econoq wa relatively
prosperous and many people were not willing to perform the sales
alerk's functions in return for a price reduction, and (2) maxy
people were reluctant to give up their traditional shopping habits
of buying produce in one store, neat in another establish ent ad
groceries n still another location for this new idea of one-stop
The econoawe depreeaon of the 1980's, however, forced
significant changes in these traditional comma habits. People
who previously could afford to purchase goods the price of which
reflected personal service no longer could afford this luxury
8ea1 H. tystrom, '"ix Major Truds of Retaili and their
Sipifiucanuce" La rea DleWbuto4 ad. l loofietld
(New York: N. I L.wLm b.9 9I 3 )9 pp. l.
Nawr other customers became awammre of the absolute necessity of maddg
each penny produce the maamdum utility. Retailers, intuitively
realizing thia change in conmmer cicmtanoes, capitalised on it
by rapidly expanding self-service in the food industry,
In 1980, Wg t0slln started to build a chain of self-
aervice food stores and, in 1932, the first Big Bear stare Va
opened in an abandoned Durant automobile factory In New Jersey.
Both of these businesses were characterized by low prices which
reflected a limitation of service and a rapid turnover of stock.
ry 1958, nery all of the food industry as omitted to the
principle of self-eervioe and it as reliably estate that o.y
about 16% of total food sales we mde In non-self-service store
If, todqy we examined the te of retail stores whih
have most tharoughy adopted the principle of self-service, we could
not help but notice that the merchandise the sell has one o both
of ta following characteristics (1) it is branded a presold
by advertisag, or (2) it is a standard ite whtih as a relatively
low unit value. Itaes wh these characteristics, however, are
alsosoold by imesn of another retail innovation--autmatic vedling.
te of the earliest coin operated devices used to dispense
srchandise as reportedly located in nbglah pubs during t 1820's.
4Lette &re Daris Boea, Librarian of Prxr ive Oer ,
ew Tork, Ny 11, 1961.
The eatmer Isertad a copper coin into this staple .whans and
the lid of a tobdaco bao would open. Sh patron ould then fill
Fst this sale beginning other adaptatie s wre sloely
danlopa Ar~o 1888a, an auto ti coin-operated post card
vodtr is developed n the Unied States. twent years 1tar
pyar vesndo for cwhing g l ad tches wre Installed in rail-
road stations within New York City. lwever, it was not until
the 1920's that bulineeamn realized that aahines could be used
to sell moe aipensive itass.
During the 190O's, the use of automatic vending w mates
to sell omneniane good, -e mwad possible by tshmnlo"lol
advances. Fo mmaaple, mginers developed mchuidma whtiA
would accept colns of after value than a pe r and also reject
fase oine with a mintnum of jlamng. Thee mechanial advance
wre mwouraged by the marketing pinion of that ea.
in 1929, kWias PF. 1errill, President, esLngtondaend
Bunness Service d terd the high cot of distribution and stg-
geated that in certain lines hare sale zeestance had been
completely ealsinated auntati selag should rep la e sale-
person6 Merchants who old cigaettes, hiach had stdilty gained
ora tfrther details concerning the histortal dev-lop*ent
of autoatic vending see; Martan V. Marshall, A M
A In 4f the DlMOHMd ogt
6Wlam ,. NHrrlIl, "MqA Sell Goods Already Sold," M Ud in
aft a Blsglb~o.~ ed. Daniel Bloomfelld (Newe Ybrk a C.
in popularity l e World ar I, arpeed; th e placed orders fr
over 100,000 cigarette mrameim .
Also, during the 1920's a embryo motion picture industry
developed and, in the 1930'8, wa new motion picture theater
opened throughout th country. The oers of these eaters soon
realized that asg of their partons ate cardy, cheing gau and
ints in the wmvies, and as a added source of profit mchanical
candy vendors soon beaoe a necessary adjunct in motion picture
theaters. It also became apparenttat movie patrol could be
sa&d a vuriely of refreshing drinks during the uhowugz and, in the
190's., vendors started appearing to fil the public's desire for
reIfre ents at places and ties wthn onaventi-ol retailers were
unable to serve them. This development was concdental with
tedanalogical advances in refrigeration uhich made the machine.,
ecocneically feasible. his type of vending machin was -
these three temas, cigarettes, candy and soft drinks, ore
still the buluark of the automatic vending industry. Prognoeti-
cator who envisioned the expansion of vending to all types of
retailing appear to have been in errar. Admittedly, macbins now
vend aay other items, but thee three convanee goods StUll
acsont for most of the nail sales coyletad by automatic vealawe.
After World War II, two ase, radically different types of
aerehandie, gasoline and a full line of groceries, were offered
to the public by automatic vending machines but both failed.
Coin-operated gasoline puVs were usually declared a fire hazard
by local fire department inspector. and a coin-operated, fully
atomatic, grocery closed because the public failed to support
Vending mahines, however, wer more saeoSeetul Ahn they
were introduced tito lines more closely allied with canventioml
vending goods. Malti-Ittm unite serving both hot and eld drinit,
espially coffee, gaied general acceptance. Other itm, suh
as isuran e policies, which were nehanicamy sold at airports,
ganed a foothold foot or autaatic erchand ng it the service
Leaders of the automatic marksetig industry generally
age that vending ha a secure position n the convenience goods
field and would like to see it eaqpnd to other types of goods.
However, they tend to consider vending s a fuwatim designed to
oaalment convention retail operation-not as a replaceanet
for it. No meehine, as yet developed, an fully duplicate the
service offered by a coapetant salesperson.
While self-service and autoasti mrcbandiingl, sadittedly
have been sveassf l in tnreasing selling efficiency, they were
generally applicable only to a portion of total retail selling,
nmely, pre-sold convenience goods. On he other hand what about
shopping goods where these methods are not oaletely appropriate?
Shopping goods are usually not completely pre-sald although
ae stores, such as Atlantic Mills, Inc., nsucessfually aerchandis
stadardized, loe.prieed fashion goods in self-servie stores.
Most bhpping goods merihants, however, appear convinced that a
salesprn to still necessary to eat interest in the merchandb e
and induce the customer to bu. For these establilshant, self-
saevice offers little ape of increasing selling efficiency.
Stores in this category generally use a combination of
tw baic igredients to increase selling efficiency (1) self-
selection of marchandlte, and (2) the training of salespeople,
Tre ratio of thee two factors fans a eontzinum with a abasdlute
mindlma of trained sales personnel and a maxra of self-selection
at oe end, in other words, a stare which approsabe self-service
in philosophy but still retains a certain amount of personal
aseitaaine. At the other and i the store wdich relies primarily
an aell trained salespeople to sell merchandise which to located In
closed displays e.g. and elusive Jewelry store.
Dioussed in the following sections I the use of self-
selection, sales training, shopping services, ad saleperson
motivation techniques to increase the selling effieiaey of
retailers of shopping goods.
The concept of self-selection to as aod retailing itself.
However, the application of open display disdpl not really receive a
strong push until Woolworth began utilizing it in his ?"S and lo1u
or variety stores. he success of this Innovation encouraged other
retailers of convenience goods to further develop the principle
into self-service, while the shopping goods mrchant was content
to continue moving frm closed to open display, the reading for
uch actions is readily eTplained.
bqernence had Indicated that selling efficient would be
increased if ust ers would purchase the ae amount of merchandise
with a lesser degree of assistance from a salesperson, During the
depression of the 1980's, thi s m particularly aWgnifcaat because
a reduced level of cancer damnd and predatory prices c petition
necessitated the reduction of al variable epenses. However, the
advantages of self-selection were somewhat atigated by the abundance
of cheap labor which was available to the retailer, Therefore, the
reduction of selling costs usually realized by merchant who switched
from closed to pen display was not as great as it would have been
during a period of higher labor osats.
During rar War II, the shortage of labor forced retailer
to reduce their personnel requirments. Because of defense demands,
people wee not available or selling positions at wages which r-
tailers felt they could offer. Furthermore, there a less need
for silld salemsanshi at the retail level because nustmma had
purchasing power in ecess of the United supply of conas r mr-
ahandise. the problem of the retailer wa to find goods to sell-
not hw to sell tha once he had bought thea. As a result, the
need for personal selling was lessened and the switch to open display
which approached self-service was accelerated.
In the years after World ar when business rivalry
a ineifAted, the coat of labor also increased. Shopping
goods retailers, therefore, found it advisable to continue to
yepand the use of self-selection as a means of ioneasng seal-
ng efficiency Some merchants, auh as discount houses whtic
banled relatively pre-aod iets, almost entirely adtted
conventional function to the salenn,
Nevertheless the trend toward self-service c prrss only
to a certain point. Most retailers of shopping goods realize that
th salSaperon s still esential to twhr operatan. Even with
the optiau utilization of self-eelmation, thes merchants still
need to develop the efficiency of their salespeople.
tI training of retail salespeople
John mme wasr n8e of the first retailers to expose
the dea that ealepeople could do a more efficient job of selling
if properly trained. In his first department store n 70, he
nastad that his salespeople be well infotmmd, courteous, patient,
and service-Luded. To reach this goalie he held classes I selling
for his clerks and, nt addition, as ~lling to pay for their oen-
tioned education to night schools or through correspandena owures.
m argued that wll-treined, loyal, and enthsastic lerks wre
woe af the greatest assets a store could have.
Frank A. Russell and Prak H. Beh, tbook of DTOWNlo
(New York: NOCraw-HC l Go., 1955), p. 26. .
tis concept gradually as accepted by most of the larger
retailers who became convinced that it was vorthuile to train their
selling personal. To generate such a conviction as not a parties
ularly difficult theoretical problem since methods of persuasion
are well Imom at the time; it as only a matter of application.
Benjamin Pranklin, in relating the law of persuaion,
disclosed that t7ey wer not original with him. Adittedly, be
gained thm fra earlier writers. For example, the Golden Rle
of the Bible, "All tings whatsoever ye would that an should do
to you, do ye even so to than," is as applicable to retail selling
and huan conduct today as it wa in Biblical tes.
O(e criterion fr judging the interest of merchants in appy-
ing rules of persuasion to retail selling Is the naber of books I
this field which are published during any given period of time.
while this is not conclusive evidence of interest, it ts nevertheless,
a good indicator, In 1924, ODr Brisco's definitive book on retail
saleainship listed more than one-hundred references n the field-
moet of them published before 1920? w YoNrw Un diversity bo of
ft llingX Selected Publiagtiou for Retailers liats twenaty-one
reieemanded books in retail aleaahp published in he period
from 1920 t 1929; an additional twenat books were suggested during
the period frm 1930 to 1989. But, between 1940 a 1949, this sam
bibliography listed only eight books. Unfortunately the data covering
a & Brisco, Retail Sa n h (New York: the toald
Press, 1924), pp. 16-26.-
'eTM York tlu uLrty school of ePalMia. SelQcted Publiostimus
1950 to date, are not available.
If the number of publications in an area is accepted as a
criterion of interest, it is clear that interest in the training
of retail salespeople declined during the 1940's. This was un-
doubtedly due to the relatively low demand for retail salesmanship
during World War XI and the postwar seller's market. However,
during the 1950's, things changed; the seller's market as gone.
Many retailers and manufacturers decried the poor per-
formance of retail salespeople which hindered the flow of goods
through trade channels. The public, in various articles, such as
Fortune's "What's Wrong with Retail S lesmanship," published in 1952,
also echoed these sentiments. But while retailers and the public
seemed to agree that retail salesmanship was poor, little was being
done to ameliorate the situation.
This writer hypothesizes that you can write only a limited
number of books on the principles of effective selling which them-
selves have been known, d scussed, studied, and observed for over
fifty years. This is not the need. The need is for methods of
motivating the salesperson to practice them; this area has been
subject to only cursory examination by scientific research. But
at least one relatively new technique has been developed--the pro-
fessional shopping service.
for Retailers, A Report Compiled by the Research and Publications
Division (Hew York: New York University Press, 1953), pp. 78-86.
- 28 -
In 1914, Will Berstein of New York theorized that the use of
professional shoppers could improve the performance of salespeople.
He reasoned, if the clerks knew that they would be approached by ap-
parently regular customers, who would write a report on their selling
performance, the salespeople would be more attentive to their duties.
The first experiments with this new idea of "service shopping" were
conducted among the salespeople of the United Drug Company, a large
To the satisfaction of all concerned, except a few employees
who considered the shoppers as spies, the shopping service had a salu-
tary effect on retail sales work. Encouraged by this success, Willmark,
Inc., a professional service shopping organization, was formed in 1917.
Its success is indicated by the number of imitators offering similar
services which have entered the field over the years, and by the number
of large stores which areusing their own service shopping employees.
Shopping services are not only providing a quantitative
measuring device for retail salesmanship with reports but are also
helping to develop a standard of performance. Retailers can now
determine the extent to which their salespeople apply generally
accepted and efficient selling techniques over a period of time and
can use this performance as an indicator of the effectiveness of their
10Herbert Brean, "They Shop to Make Your Shopping Pleasanter,"
Readers Digest (September, 1951), pp. 131-134.
trhoughout history, .eployers have realized that it ws
necmseeay to offer free Na ses foam of inducIent in arder to
acmu the t to work. I other words, the had to have a motive or
eason to work. t not only must ther be a motive, the motive mut
be sufficiently strong In order to averome th. waRrer's Inertia. In
most Instances the inMucaoent took the fra of amoey.
Ie m erhant, therefore, has always offered the saldo an
sam f of praMdary copenation. this amsy ms in the fo r
of either a salary or a oe lssion-ar a combination of he teM.
Usually the employer a convinced of the efficacy of at given
type of coapensti to the a.lual on other alteuativee.
coupled vwth monetary motivation w us ually a negative
concept of lader.hip which elected the wrker to work diligently
and effectively because he feared what awold happen to h f he
failed to produce up to an accepted standard. The cos~q ce of
law productivity could have bee some faor of mental dlastisIt,
or loe at employment, or boa. This wu especially true t larger
However, scae relished that there ore other factors
besides fear and financial gain which could nduce morea effort frm
the worker. It Mas observed that in a given work situation a higer
eutt could be secured if the eiloya wanted to produce more. e
problem was how to secure a willing worker.
Although this concept of an intangible humn factor had been
tplisitly realeted for muW years, it was not until Elton Mayo
experi tally detained its effectivenew s n the late 1920' that
"mn relations"' became a part of business Jargon. Myo's research
at the Hlathorne plant f General Electrio indicated that the
amouotof te thol ddetezmintt of labor's out-
put. Ihe ware also faster involving the intemation between
the waor r and hij job ,elrormnt whtih influenced his productivity.
Partially as a result of fMyo's research, marhants bega to
place greater phasis on the hum aspects of paloyee motivation.
haile fawmlrl oompoation mws till am iaportt factor, nay
agreed tht a sound hUma relations propem, e.pm ally hnm ooupld
with a realistic eaouuR tlon plan, e uld increase sallg effiie y.
It a nomination of thes two factors, compensation and hmn
relations, whioh sened to determine the e ployae willingnme to
With the bcoeptanoe of Kayo's xearch, the permaive
school of leadership also erged. Aoreding to this conopt, the
leader ibould me positive motivation instmd of fear as an tint-
mrat of muhority. trough positive induemaets, s wN al a good
base mon tay olespnsation plan, the wjaloye could be tzmfomed
into a willing worker.
ader the pemmiasive leader, the negative idea of lmedership
as not entirely disuzded-only aubordinated to the positive a pects.
Farther diaussilon of this topic is presented by Eiton
MWyo in he Prbl of an Industrial Civilisatlom (Nw York
ES i dllon ., ).
thile the alqyr still had basic rights there to his amehip
of property, he s not to use thea to motivate the wme th
wrm utltUed oly as a last resort.
STe aqplr ain a demora could not be uidootrinated with
a Idea of perona i north within tia seaocl at legal mewrk ofat
ths ation m at Stl1 ept a opletaly subserviunt attitude to his
wrt situation. lthi tnloogrulty aenmou sgd unontim as w al aa
O ready aeqptme ato poeltive lUaeshbp by ainge-1me pe il
after i k y shad that ea a acme o of action profitab.
bdq net rellm r utilise both positive Ia ngativ
motiation st a far whi h Ne might suspect Ins s Instmaes
alumuod byt the presence of labor unsas. the ademqup of the
basic capensatioo plan for alspeopole its till a mut question
is retaltng, hile e nffetiveaes of vaioaw esbiations oa
activation at coqiMasetion to seldom quantified by caentific
peialtl goods are those that have om particular
attraction for the soamw r other prio ulhIb in
dues him to put forth etal effort to visit the staes
hadlinm the. l attr etion Mie to specl d" oalitis
htih differentiate the goods ftw similar randi
with he result that the ommor does not ear to nab
owpsriams before purchasing, or it ma raside i to e
distinctive chamcteristinc of lhi store handlieg the
rPohnbdiae, special goods ontrast with cmnvenia e
"ooda t that ptti r b eaa to eftflcdntly IOpartant
ad tntrequent to odue tahe C me to visit rather
tacessibi source s of upply, if neessmay, a to
postpone action until the store can be visited.
A certain style or brand of women's clothing would be an
example of a specialty good if a customer feels that this parti-
cular garment has distinctive and favored characteristics. Under
these circumstances, she would be willing to travel a considerable
distance to purchase the desired good because in her eyes this
merchandise is sufficiently differentiated from other garments so
that a substitute is not readily obtainable elsewhere. Because
most specialty goods cost relatively substantial sums of money,
usually she is willing to expend this additional effort to purchase
his writer considers the characteristics of specialty
goods to be more closely associated with shopping goods than with
convenience goods, and selling efficiency trends in specialty goods
stores to be closely associated with trends in shopping goods stores.
Therefore, no effort is made to distinguish between selling efficiency
trends for these two types of goods because it would contribute little
to the overall objectives of this study.
This chapter has shown the development of various methods
utilized to increase retail selling efficiency. The convenience good
merchant was shown to rely primarily on self-service and automatic
vending while the shopping good retailer tended to emphasize self-
selection, training of the salespeople, service shopping and motivation.
12Harold Maynard and Theodore Beckman, Principles of Marketing
(5th ed.; New York: Ronald Press, 198~), p. 34.
With the background of this research historically recounted,
Chapter II specifically describes the environment of the experiment.
In Chapter III, the stores which are subject to the experimental
treatments are portrayed as well as the town of Gainesville, Florida,
where they are located.
DESCRIPnnTI F I Xf PERIEENhAL EWIfRMMIT
ihe purpoe of thsl dhbpter I to describe the Gai-villa,
Florida, trade ars as all as the retail storse t the mertmt.
there a three rem for presenting this Infombtioi
1. SI restan of this resear are not subject to
ivra--sa statistic l infrause Se rMders,
thew oe, mat desfde uethwr the f indlm am
ppltoable to other trte arws. t do this, m
a~crate description of the impermftal nits *I
their envirmenm t s nucesmnay.
I. A description of the mdia prode a bests for
Iypotbes_ b u pouible icaues of wpesim tal armr.
8. In acder to provide backgromd for this stu*, it st
ueossary to portray tie .thods utllsed by the ub-
ject stome to increase sealing effaienwy.
omineavilI rtba ll de e sAr
Thia dty of GalneevllUe, AIlua County, Florida, ti located
at the lpproain center of the state in a rural are of fams,
villages and secondary trading-center towns. Jacksonville, the
nearest metropolitan area with a population of 201,080 is 72
miles northeast; Tampa and St. Petersburg, adjoining cities, 184
miles southwest, have a combined population of 456,268; Tallahassee,
the state capital, has a population of 48,174, and is located 148
miles northwest of Gainesville.
The Gainesville retail trade area has been circumscribed
in a study which utilized Professor William Reilly's mathematical
law of retail gravitation and a field survey. This research con-
eluded that the area circumscribed by mechanical formula loosely
corresponded with the region defined by the field survey. Further,
it is noted that the trade area which included all of Alachua County
as well as all or part of eight surrounding counties, had a population
of 186,000 in 1959.2
The city of Gainesville had a population of 29,499 and an
average per capital income of $1830 in 1959. The largest single
employer in the town was the University of Florida which had 8750
academic and non-academic employees with an annual payroll of over
Population data wre secured from: Advance Report of the
1960 Census of Population (Washington, D. C. U. Depart of
CEaerce, November 25, 1960), pp. 8-12.
2Dean J. Maitlen, presents a comprehensive description of
Gainesville, Florida, Retail Trade Area in A Delineation of the
Gainesville, Florida, Retail Trade Area (Unpublished Master's
Thesis, School of Business Administration, University of Florida,
21,000,000-about one-third of the cammmity's total Inucme of
Sa influence of t Utenivrslty's staff and over 1,000
studritsa M ha ppulatim chll aract roat of the dtby cannot be
on exlo d. Sa disatrL b tion of eduOata n l amohivrlt, aseiolarl
pahme.ias, and alse must be conaidemed aplical sdmn ao sru to
othwr tlee atof sull alse. fhe el ffeat of twho fetee on
the fiiag aof thils study, however, ir indreminstf.
mh damtomn dhoppai MIga of GaiMaNvll. comlet of four
blask facing the A3laus County owthiouse square eod wa ti
str s wtIah lad into it. A ahopping center, located eonemhlf
afle fro downt~a alneavill, un st iSnu u d Ia thio tu
this "m not a ienentional structurd part of the eeeserdh. 1fw
OsluMsvll.e u* bwr of domerae, hilah aoliated tes com artim of
the subject taom, simply felled to submit my stonws from the shopping
Sa tub.ty etonre hat partcipated ia tus tudy mur divided
Into five olasfe attions (1) dqpartant, (2) ladles redy-to-wsr,
(3) an's reedy-to-vmr, (4) drug, and (5Mappliance. sZah rtail
esotblaiW- int we described on the basis of Infaamttan aseured fo
3StatiLtifal data about m inevul e, larda we secured
from beovl e, Formda--acts and Mqoams (catnevilla nloarida
twagemille (hmbear of Comeree, 1O). Note -a-prhnmive isfaatim
can be asermd froa this source.
- 87 .
the oemr(s) =ad anager(s) during a personal interview a mal -
fre tinfom coawerset to at varimos Camber of Commerca fntions
durtig an eigdrt-mmth period. So. of thSl isnfomtiuo, espenal1y
canmaentzg their "iunoffial" attitodt tumed efforts to i anei
otoll seaeL eff aqcy, wa not quantified and t, thirfore,
subject to peonal blaj hojsurer, every effort Uas uado to report
objectively thia Ismpatant draicttristlea.
In n rdr to disguise the numm of the st~ rs Io tih ilprl-
mat, coded deigrtors wre used toidortity tham. thi eode we
s two parts (1) the type of star wan adlorted by -e or t
lIttere, rad (8) t* treamsst talh the rtore ceived was sho
by a 'T, d"notatta tbre ~t, and a nmc er free to hlr
d1sigatigg the type of tretamat. Aooeiding to this odes, s dert-
mnt store mu deignated (Dp), adla'..rnayto-wmr specaltty Asp
(L), -mn's-r*y-to-mr special ahop (K), drug str (D), d
qpplirac store (A). A 1dpertant store, or emqpas, tBia
received t.eam, I ws owed (Dpm), eatrment U (DpI),
treatment In (D0pS), as 2etmontt IV (DpU4).
A description of tUntoy stores in taie study is
esmertd under the folloin seub-headig:
Description oa the store operation.
U. Eorts to teo h slaseoplem how to sell.
A. Attitude atof manugm
3. Sales tranitg
C. ahoppain service
IX. zfflrts to motalvft the salaspe on to sell.
I. appartunite io advanoinst
IV. l mbu r of alespaeple.
A ummry cart, Tabe 1, presents ths charsctrrlatiam by Itene
in oncmse reftPoefi ftom.
msrdtedt of te stao eopation
Al of the stoes in tin study dapUrl thelr m hrdwmdia
qoply with the saceptin of the limih ooxntmr alad peorlption
daparteta in the drug stores-thse dqrtmats offer full se-
vi o. to the oth stores thi cuators can elter selet the marE
abrdat ftas opem display d seek a salassmran to oaeqlets the
ale or a t fo a sal -apea to approase the ad offw aristiom .
Uee an o self.earrvir e stores I the stOy.
Th mn er of the fr r d tos diensed that they
pprs ah sflt.ervic as neau y as posib3a without ctalsly in-
stalll eI aek-out ountel. In tihes store ti re m umlly
as tIaut Oll t ni er of salespeople to aseSt all atoers ade-
quately, theeftors, fthey otHmed istatnce only to thawse autmer
who obvaly sought aid. the other seva teen ftoes, blavmer,
espectd their al ople to ofei r asulatrne actively to al of
their -onam r.
Sxtese of the subject staOre are locally oamSd ad anmr-.
mnaged. *hree a units of lare multi- t ioati stlom; a&h
aplc sa m agr who rendves a salary plus pera etag, of the
profit as coqMPuNtio. n O store i a locally amed and o r-
manaed ftu bi-d unit of large national hbain the we of Wdoh
b used an beth a mahlmd d an .pl e ymled ftlable-utae .
arfe ts to teamb t-he ma nepple how to flo
Bemme a mulepmrsoa on inmc s e her ellant effmilao,
oshe mat ouew time tudmu's of prsuaiMon ad bw twYc be
aid to baher apeidftc sOling rttuation. It she d6eM ot hbe
thfdi uaSedge, sy amotivatio to inreame hr deael to sam win,
be relatively ineffective because the Mlemperson don nt have the
ablUmy to perfam the ae ftmtion, regdles of her des t o
do o. Wis section describes te t utllsta by the udjet stoas,
of two re og ed methods of teaching saleeot how to we-ae1ie
trafltng and service dropping. Also described to the toe manager's
or Omnr's opinion the efficacy o these tdeuniues.
Attitude of aagmat. It appears evident tat retail
sten 8 nagcn would lie to in as to he selling efftlency of
their sales pesomnel. May agree that methods, sauh self.
election are not only theoreticlly sound but also effective be.
caue the- eirabe tcre function of te salqepmro.. a
differ, however, in their attitude concerning the posabllity of
iawresing selling efficiency by Iaproving the sellIng skills of
x N M
~i ,j lul iii
- 40 -
An M CO 'oft0 A v4
I-I F-I F-I
SH M o
X X H
- 41 -
Most of the s~e ag seem to agree that the majority e
their alepeople do not have a thovrouh urnstading of selling
tmwaiqum and mev the few uho do have this knowledge aldam
utilise it fltly. Frthermoare, with three aoqUsn to, thby e
to acrd that it is rather futle to txy to coarret this ltuatiC
for ameor both of te follotaig rewoan: (1) te aleapeople
ar not latreated to Ularming Mnd/or applygi prciple.B oAf sales-
inehip, ad (8) their retail tere dos not hve the ap talisu d
pearonal or the mecourem to undertake a sales tratifng prognrm
NevetMeless, Sfourftes of tOa tm rews have rather neutml
attitude, melyj "I would like to sae Bu saleepeople became more
effteant but I a not able to do it. If saoens aelse do it,
I'l work with him." On the other hand, three mnmers bad a
definite y negative attitude-"lothing can be dae to imrove
retail .slmanlaebip." i Bt thee mumagerm we wlltng to partiai-
pete Ei this study to mubstamtlat their viepoint.
Te best tangwob refletion of the manager's attitude
toward effort to increase selling efficiency Is disclosed in the
method which they eS pla to increase the effectiveness of their
salepeople. thee methods include training aeastam, baern tiw
aleapersar is taUen how to sell, and service shqppng reports,
hich report the clerk's appliatian of the sealng prian ples.
Both methods are used by a of tie retail seore an this taudy.
Sales ai g ,e at widely accepted place far teaMng
leepeopaeq hbw to sell ts sales training meetings. At thee
sessimo 4r iLstnzutor who can utilize am ma or a ombi.mtion
at a multitlde of teainques t"ahes the sal-eepaan how to se1
aerehandise it an affective ommer. 'the Meting cmn alao be ued
s a media for arousing the eatitheusa of the slespeople for
Only two of the subject store have a sales trainia
sesLon as often as one a month; nt one, the nmagr mete with
the seplyes every week. Doth stores are u its of large matiw al
dhains and in both tehtbliaslhats the manager usually hmndls
the ale meeting, but the horm office supplies the trainfug
Mone of the other eighteen states in tah rstuy hav
regularly scheduled foame l sales tra(inig sessions. Two 2 o the
larger staema have an occasional metin g ammo or tuoe a year with
their usalipeople to discuss matters of general intwe t whIh
usually does not include retail salesmansh. Ip, e raining
aixteeBn 1 s tbllents we very sll tor, with fram o n to
six sal-popl e, and the close seploearwaeplfyee ralatimnahip, the
mnaagers cla, makes fcml sales training uiameeaxy.
uhen the a#e ge of the starme with o faml. sales train-
ag were asked, '"Ha do you expect you salespeople to learn the
principle of retail selling" no tiJtfactary amw s wa given.
The angers suggest hat they leam by "keeping their yes open"
or "asklnt questions.' Other manager felt that the sellg
eplyee were not interested in learning; therefore, d should
the bother to try to teaheb them? Yet, all these managers agreed
that their salespeople lost Ia opportunities to sell smechand
because of poor su2le hp.
Shopp g service. A shopping service provide the retail
store manage with a cuator-oriented observation of a salespareon
at work iwh h e is usually otherwise unable to securen. Wten
manage ti preent, a salesperson ay act in an ypial umu r
therefore, the manager'a perception of the salesperon My be dis-
torted. By utliSing profeaional shoppers, the manager has a
relatively objective report a the salsperson's upervied actions.
Two professonal shopping services a available to Calsse.
ville md ns, and bet have groups of shoppers who usually se
vice subserbers ti this area every three or four months, mever,
they are also available me frequently upon rqueot. Nevertheless
onl two of the independent stores to this study avai thmselvee
of this service.
Efforts do mtivte the ealeapeole to sell
Asamiw that the salesperson h been traght hw to sll,
uby should she bother to apply these techniques to iascrese her
retail selling the manager does not usually kerw to tat
extent a salesperson to using principles of persuasion to sell
msrchadise less he receives service hopping reports. Because
of this fact, the manager ust primarily ely a the motivation
of the individual salesperson to cause her to perfozn at peak
efficiency. If the salesperson is not self-motivated, it is diffi-
cult to ascertain this situation through the exclusive use of
While quantitative indices, such as sales volume, can
determine relative productivity for members of a sales force, they
cannot ascertain the mixture of selling techniques and motivation
which any individual applies to secure a given sales volume. Even
if a salesperson wants to perform effectively, she will sell only
as well as she has been trained. However, if she is not motivated
to sell, regardless of her knowledge of selling techniques, she
will not produce her potential sales volume.
Ideally, the salesperson should be thoroughly trained and
personally committed to apply her skill to the best of her ability.
Compensation and opportunity for advancement are two methods used
by the subject stores to motivate their salespeople. These topics
are discussed in subsequent sections.
Compensation. There are two basic methods of compensation,
salary and commission. Each of these methods is used by some of
the stores in the study while other establishments utilize a
combination of the two. A salary, with no commission, is the
most frequently utilized way of compensating the salespeople.
Sixteen of the retail stores pay their sales personnel a straight
salary which varies from $40 to $60 per week; this is the range of
average salary for the stores--not the starting salary. New employees
earn as little as $27.50 for a forty-hour week. The highest salaries
of over $100 per week, are earned by two key salespeople in small
specialty shops. the unweighted average for all stores in this
group Is $45 per week if the two salaries over $100 per week are
omitted. The larger stores have thelowest wage scale while the
specialty shops have the highest rate of compensation. Fringe
benefits are not included as a part of the employee' compensation.
In two stores, the employees earn 5% to 6%X omission on
their net sales earning of individuals in these retail establish-
ments vary from $60 to $150 a week under this plan. In both stores
the salesperson receives a fixed weekly advance which is charged
against earned commission and the balance is paid quarterly.
Three retailers utilize a combination of salary and com-
mission. One compensates its salespeople with an average salary
of $45 per week plus 2% commission; another pays an average salary
of $40 per week for a monthly sales quota plus 3.5% to 5X commission
on all additional sales; and a third store pays a salary plus .5%
commission on net sales.
Opportunities for advancement
he opportunity to earn and receive promotions within a
given work situation is one of the traditional opportunities offered
to most employees by the firms which employ them. Conceptually, the
worker who diligently applies herself is rewarded in this manner.
The stores in this study, however, offer only limited, if ay,
opportunities for advancement to their employees.
Of the twenty stores examined, only four retailers offer
any opportunity for the salesperson to advance to a higher position.
In three of these establishments the firm has an executive training
program open only to college graduates, which supplies management
personnel--but a salesperson without a degree could become head of
a department. In another store, locally owned and managed by the
owner's family, a salesperson is occasionally promoted to the
equivalent of a head of a department or assistant buyer.
In the other fifteen stores, there is little, if any,
opportunity for advancement. The salespeople in these stores no
doubt realize the fact that the most they can aspire to is a small
periodic salary increase. The effect that this situation has on
their motivation is not quantitatively known. It can be assumed
that it is not conducive to a high personal desire to sell.
Number of salespeople
If owners and managers are not considered as salespeople,
the retailers being described have from on to thirty-two full-
time salespeople. Four stores have only one salesperson who works
forty hours or more each week; twelve retailers have from four to
six full-time salespeople; four stores have in excess of eight
salespeople who work over forty hours.
Part-time salespeople were not included in this study for
the following reasons (1) in most cases they are considered by
the manager as temporary workers; therefore, they usually have
less interest in their employment than the full-tim worker; (2)
the store managers were reluctant to ask part-time workers to
attend the training sessions which were a part of this program;
(3) many part-time salespeople were unable to attend the sales
training sessions because of other demands on their time.
The store managers participating in this research realize
that the selling efficiency of their salespeople is poor, but most
of them seem to feel that little can be done to improve the
situation; consequently, they make little effort to train their
salespeople. Only two chain stores have a regular sales training
program while the other eighteen stores basically leave the acquiring
of selling skills up to the individual employee. The efficacy of
placing the burden of sales training upon the salesperson instead
of upon the store manager is questionable.
A shopping service is utilized by only five stores. Two
retailers are shopped once every four months; the other three stores
are shopped only once or twice a year on an irregular basis; two of
thec four retailers, who are service-shopped, also have sales
There is little motivation offered to the salespeople to
encourage them to sell. Two stores pay 5% to 6% of net sales to
their salespeople as compensation while sixteen others pay their
salespeople a straight salary. Two stores utilize a combination
of salary and commission.
Little opportunity for advancement exists for salespeople
in fifteen .of the subject stores. In the five stores which do
offer the salesperson a chance to advance to a higher position,
three of these stores also offer a commission on nt sales as an
incentive to sell, In the two other stores, where only a limited
opportunity for advancement exists, the salesperson is paid a
EXuPERIENTAL REATE=TS A) EASURI TEMIODQQUES
In this chapter, the four emperlental tretants a well
Sthe four quantitative indicators which n used to seaur data
on the fftivenes of t the trnatmets present. This inf ~ tion
to neosary for the follolg reason:
1. Retailers ho desire to tlyrce the selltng efit.
clancy of their retail stares need an scourats
description of say treatmat the results of which
justify its application to their business.
8. Othde engaged in reseearh need this infot ation
in order to evaluate the effiacy of this research
and to faiulate additional bypotheses which this
etudy may suggest.
8, It provides a ba rouno which is nmeessay to
evaluate properly the results of this study,
Eah of the four e perrntal t eatuts replicated O
fve retail stret i the Gainesville shopping areas Two of these
ftreammto apprpaitte teahniues currently utilized by am retail
stores to Inrease their selling efficiency; o is a unique prora
and aone I a control or no treatment group. Admittudly, ta practice
the appliuttan of the two retaler-utll sed tachdque var i in
different stow, but basically they use singly or In combiatia
the fAmdamental elements eafred in this study.
In the follou~ig sections the treatmt used In this study
are described. Also discussed is the theoretical justifit tion
bicth sAuport the assmptimo that these techaques ehauld increase
selling effiels es analyeee of quantitative aperi ntal
results a presented to subsequent chapters.
Treatmot V we a control group in this study. After the
organizational meeting of the ator managers at which the tresatmat
wers radomly assigned to the various stores, these store did not
have sa epel contat- ept in the collection of quantitative
data. he eloyees of t five stores in this grsop as wll as
their moage were studiously exm t from s~ type of atlalus
icah aight affect their selling efficiec.
he inclusion of a control group of store nsabled amre
anrringful orthgonal comparisons to be made betmen treau ents to
the analysis of eperiaental data. In this mmer the effectiveness
of techniques to increase selling efficiency could be oup=red
directly with that of a group of stores iubch received no positive
program. Of course, the presence of a control factor als pemts
S toroug analysis of th experimental findiaga.
Since 1917, uhsn thle WLmark Service System, Ine., me
famed, retail store have been cognizant of service shoppBi g.
According to Wllark, subs riptlons to their shoppg service
should have a salutary effect upon retail saleapeople; not saly
should the WiUaark Service taprove selling efficient y but also
it should be advantages to detecting dishonest eqoiaes -a wall
s being a deterrent to dishonest acts by saleapeople
thi study, bowver, is not concerned with the potential
of service shopping to uncover or prevent dishonest conduct by
ualspeople. Instead, this research considers service aoppang
only as at thod of increasing selling efficiency while aconutledging
that increase in selling efficiency and ainlsizin the dishonesty of
salespeople ase mutually exclusive objectives which cm be jointly
aoeuplished without either function of service shopping becoming
the efficacy of service hopping as a method of I proving
retail selling performance uwa unanimously proclaimed by the training
directors of five nationally knoa department atones to were
r SaL Pr nt Lo.Me with J! M.L.Mk
(Hew York W a rvc., 54), p.
questioned. The superintendent of selling of the J. L. Hudson Co.,
Detroit, Michigan, reported, "We believe that service shopping can
be utilized as a method of sales employee recognition with resulting
improved retail performance, at least in the field of customer
service." The representative for Macy's wrote, "The fact that
such shopping are conducted has, we believe, a salutary effect on
the action of all our employees. The other retailers reporting
were just as definite in their endorsement of shopping service as
a method to increase retail selling efficiency.
In theory, the evaluation of a clerk's retail salesmanship
by a professional shopper should help to increase selling efficiency
if it becomes part of a simple overall procedure. This process is
started by a shopping report on a salesperson which is sent to a
store manager. Upon receipt of this report the manager personally
consults the employee who is the subject of the report and either
commends her selling attributes or instructs her in ways to correct
her undesirable characteristics or combines both these approaches.4
2Letter from E. Luas, superintendent of selling, The J. L.
Hudson Co., Detroit, Michigan, May 24, 1960.
8Letter from L. Bradley Haight, general assistant for
selling service, Macy's, New York, May 17, 1960.
This supervisory method of handling shopping reports
is recommended by Willmark Service Systems Inc., as well as
by the five leading department stores who cooperated in this
To aisertain quantitatively the effePtivns of service
shopping asa means O increasing selling efficiency, service
shopping m applied to five retail stores in this study. ts
personnel in heae stores uere "shopped' at the begizmig, nem the
*idle, and at the end of a five-mth period. floe alspeole, e
%hm the reports wre wiatta, mre interview by their manager
Awo rviewed th reports with them and either pzataed or retrained
them aorwding to standards presented in the Swej or MI eans
located in Appedix A.
la manual s especially prepared to provide th masm
with the standards of perSfomna which the shoppers used to
evaluate the saleepeople a wll as to give the manage sta dard
instruetioal guide to be used hile discuss ing the report with te
retail clerk. With the aid of the Super visor'e Ml 1, Atmdard
zaedial inatruction could be given am eployee whose shopping
report indicated a defifoency in any aspect of retail salea.ee hip.
Ihe guide itself ws cOplsd froa an analysis of retail uleiin-
ship prinaples spased in generally accepted books on the .ubject.5
he ahopping report foxe used in this stu* (ae Appendix A)
*e a synthesis of eif shopping reports, current atillsed by various
oanntatimO.6 While the foCmat of these reference report varied,
te reader is referred to the bibliUgrapy for a lilting of
Five department etores-Mfqce, Abrahab and Straua, *ad
MulonmagdIa New York; John Wnmsker, Philadelphia- J. L. n&deo,
Detroit-and lUmaxrk Service Syrtm, Inc., eubadtta form.
their coSa t m sM ast ar. Th fo rs enmainmd indicated a simlar
It let In detaormntag the folom ng about the .l-pa o's ure-
tail luligf tachingemu (1) approach, (1) dlplqp of MrdUbdise,
(s) tredinS p, (4) aggaeton .llxing, (5) overom ig objections,
(6) los, (7) alesperaos attitude toward e eustomr, ai (8)
sulMpersnm's ppQ ance. therefore, al ts.h factors wre an
opOraend ntoa the ~peramta;l shopping fem.
e actual service hopping as perafoamed by six part-tim
proftumetoniam l bP --tive am d me man. se- bopperz
Ado varied in age from twenty-tw to sixty-four, wre givma a m-
hour traii g mour whltb inclneld I theoretical i atructions l m
role playing. In the field, thy worked uader a servisor *ho
henked their reports ad retrained thmr hea nmee-s Tam
ibhppe reselwed wgea of $1.50 per hour and th sRuprvlisr w
pai $.oo0 per our.
In order to maintie any bius mog the ervies shopper.,
tly wer, not spedflally infamed about th methodology or ob-
jactive of this study. Furtheuoe, this reearher mnaianised ay
field cntaet itth t .a tI fact, even the retrn of mraondiMse,
bout during shopping trip to the storl, m handed by an
to summrie, 'retmaent ZII conslsta of three equl-speaed
shopping report applied ovr a five-month period. hese reports
Sdisacussed with the observed ualeparson by the mager and
either prelse or corrective sal training or both "oe given. The
leapeople received no spesoal motivation o or a l sales training.
Treatment II was a sound training program similar to the
ones given in retail stores throughout the country. A one-hour
sales training session was given to the salespeople in this group
of five stores every three weeks over a five-month period--a total
of six sessions. At these meetings, held from 7:45 to 8:45 A. M.
in the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce meeting rPomn.atandard
methods were used to instruct the salespeople, at the rate of one
topic a session. The following subjects were emphasized at these
1. The approach
2. Suggestion selling
3. Trading up
4. Steps in the sale
5. Overcoming objections
6. The close
The mimeographed summary notes of these training sessions, which were
distributed to the salespeople, are reproduced in Appendix A.
Illustrative examples of the use of the subject matter to
increase retail selling efficiency were secured from the Personnel
Bulletins of the National Retail Merchants Association.7 However,
no inducement was given to the salespeople to apply this knowledge
Personnel Service (New York: National Retail Merchants
Association, January, 1957, June, 1960).
except the obvious possibilities of promotions and raises in salary
which might be forthcoming from their respective store managers as
recognition for good 'ob performance.
Furthermore, this group was not tested as part of the train-
ing program to determine if they ever applied the information which
they received during the training sessions. Of course, indirectly
this information was secured by quantitative indicators which were
applied to all treatments. Still so far as the retail clerks in
this program were concerned, they merely attended classes and re-
turned to work--that was the extent of the program.
According to educational theory, man learns by one, two or
a combination of three basic methods: (1) trial and error, (2)
conditioned response, and (8) insight.8 Becauoe the insight method
requires perception, conception and imagination and places reliance
upon the individual to secure understanding, most retail executives,
whose sales force has only a limited educational background, know-
ingly or unknowingly utilize the trial and error and the conditioned
response method of training their employees.
Whether or not the store provides formal sales training, its
salespeople still learn by the same techniques. Lacking formal
instruction, they flounder by trial and error through many selling
situations until they develop certain selling techniques which they
believe sell merchandise. Then they continue to repeat these newly
8William J. Stanton and Richard H. Buskirk, management of
the Sales Force (Homewood, Ill.: Richard D. Irwin, 1959), p. 283.
discovered technique until they become comitioned reflP e. Vn-
fortunatsy, the salesnahip techniques discovered in this smaer
are not necessarily the beet methods of selling merchandie.
he prevalet use of "My I haep you?" sa a retail sales
approach is an exale of an undesirable selling techniques developed
primarily by retail salespeople through trial and error. Dr. Briaeo
In his definitive book on retail salesmnaship condemned thi technique
a Ineffective in 1926.9 Nevertheless, ay retail salespeople etill
utilize it beease formal sales training has not eoammcated a more
effective substitute to the individual clerk.
There are uay retail store me eutives Awo ae convinced
that training of their saleapeople increases melli efficiency.
Also, there are aenutives who agree that sale. training is eeona-
tcally justified for other stores but not for their establsAment;
they offer a plethora of reasas to justify this concluslio-sea
reasonable but eus emotional. One of the moot c o reasons ti
that they tried to train their salespeople but dd not obtain any
tangible gais in seeing efficien~y-only esnaees.
Results of thi treatment will give some quantitative data
which can deteaine the effectiveness of sales training. Their
findings can also be evaluated according to the compensation plan
N. A. brisco, Retail Sale- ship (New YorkC The Ronald
Press, 1924), p. 72.
See above, pp. 6-7.
offered by the various stores. Furthermore, results also can be
compared with other programs.
Treatment I was a combination of Treatments II and III plus
a small pecuniary motivation unique to this treatment. The sales-
people in this group of retail stores received the same sales
training as the salespeople in Treatment II. In other words, they
were taught how to sell. But besides being taught how to sell,
service shopping reports were used to test the salespeople after
each of the six training sessions, to determine whether or not
they were in fact applying the principles which they had been
If they utilized the germane principles of salesmanship,
they received incentive awards amounting to one dollar per sales-
person per meeting. On the other hand, if their shopping reports
indicated that they were not using correct selling techniques, they
wre retrained by the manager according to the service shopping
procedure. They were also subject to a review of the salient points
of the earlier classes at the nexttraining session.
Theoretically, this treatment combines teaching the sales-
person how to sell plus providing two reasons why they should sell:
(1) in order to secure praise from the manager or avoid the obvious sign
of failure to comply with instructior- retraining by the manager,
and (2) to secure group recognition and monetary awards given at
the next training session.
1hile the sale training progrpme a the ame for rwatments
I and Ii and tie meeting were held at the sme place and tim, the
ds wee different; treatamt I mt an Teady-Treatent It met on
Thurday. hids me done to avoid s~ possible feeling of emity
betwma th t group because net group received shopping reports
and pcuniazy incentive Whih the other did not remove*
While either or both methods of increasing sales effioien
in retail stoa rqepresnted by Treatments II ad III in this study,
are mxteive.ly applied by most larger aersanti ietablishamts mad
sme smaller retailers, treatment I is unique. thi corbinatio of
training, service shopping, and mail pecuniary incentive It offered
as possibly the most effective wa for retail te to increase
their selling effil ecy. Larger retail stores could inaugurate
their em progprme le mailer retailers could join cooperative
county ventures to utilize this technique.
In order to sure nmerial data appropriate for statiata luy
testing the effectiveness of the various pertmentu tebai quest on
retail sealing effiiency, four quantitative indiotors, (1) austmaer
attitude survey, (2) hopping reports, (8) plqr ee inorale survey,
and (4) sale volume, were utilized. Each of thee measurin device
m obeo because it had certain unique haracteriati L which eabled
it to examine precisely ae facet of the overall efft of the treat
ment o selling efficiency. he summation of these four indicators
gives a ooCprdenalve picture of the efficacy of te treatments.
%ab of the four mamuring devices is premeted In tais
chapter for the fountIag purpoesaI
(1) to justify its selection as tae ogptium m asurlg
iastrumbnt to secure infoametion abeut a given aur
of treatmot effset.
(2) bo dsertbe tUhe irthodalogy ued in applying the
Indicators to gather the results of the various
the progima toe inre., retail "l ling i fflelcmy anr
predlcated o1 the existme aot a causal relatlouhip beatwe tin
applloatiai of rtail selling sddllas t ualespale ad selling
fttlciLocy. If the ualeaspeop2 u.till effective wling procedures,
their output should aorieas whll their Mlling exiUns s raein
relatively coatant a- a conoequencs, their selling efftcInmoy
iassc assW h coaoept Is a baic aasazptlao of th ti at*.
It appears ewMtial, therefore, that the applic tion
gally aoceptr principles of salemanship b rsetanl sales
people should be observed directly as well a indirectly. Obliqe
aa astations of ite 3allsation of good selling techiaiques be
observed in cuatoer aatafaction and possibly better eplqose
morale. But dirct observation can best be reported only by perceiving
the asiaaperson at her task of selling her porosctlvity.
Service shopping il the anstrnurt for observng e salesperson at
Most large retail organizations and many small retailers
have used service shopping for many years as a technique for
measuring retail selling efficiency. Dr. Donald K. Beckley, in
his definitive monograph on service shopping,considers service
shopping as one of the four basic indicators of selling efficiency.11
While the assistant selling director of Macy's, New York, warns,
"We do not feel that a shopping report is conclusive evidence of
an individual's performance. At best it is only an isolated
incident. However, a series of such "isolated incidents" might
be conclusive of a pattern of performance.12
Admittedly, there can be little statistical significance
to shopping reports on individuals according to sampling theory.
If a clerk participates in only fifty sales situations a day, over
a period of five months there is a universe of over 5000 selling
contacts. The significance of a sample of one or two shopping re-
ports over this period yields estimates of universal parameters
with such a large reliability variance that the findings have
little statistical value-but on a store wide basis a more com-
prehensive evaluation can be made.
If twenty different salespeople are observed in a given
store on a specific day, a pattern emerges. While the results are
3Donald K. Beckley, Service Shopping (Boston: Prince School
of Retailing, Simaons College 1953), p. 13. The four indicators
suggested by Beckley are: (1) service shopping, (2) rating by
supervisor, (8) customer interviews, and (4) sales production data.
2Haicht letter, May 17, 1960.
still statistically inconclusive for estimating parameter, nevertheo
less thy fema more reliable description of the level of the stare's
personal -esammship than oe observation of an individual would
give. refoare, In this stu, service shopping is coerned only
with the store's perfomace--not the individual's. there ft
attarpt to evaluate the effect of the various programs on an
individual salesperson basis.
Wile the shopping reports are not a valid basis for eeti-
ating parmeters, thqi are useful for statistical copmariacso
within the eaperisent. Differences between treatmts and between
before-and-after quantitative easumraents n treatment an
be statistically reduced to a probability of occurrence. this l
in beeping with the objectives of this study which are basically
to daetBmine the effectiveness of various techniques to increase
selltag efficiency. Estates of study paramters are not n
objective of this work.
She sam shoppers who performed the service shopping applied
as Treatment II, provided the service shopping reports twhiab we
used as quantitative indicators. he shoppers and their supervisor
were ot informed concerning the identity of the stores receiving
various treatments or of the eperimental significance of their
reports. Bq were merely instructed to shop eartait stores and
in the ose of the stores' receiving the first treatment, certain
Shopping reports, hile not conclusive evidence of retail
selling perfmance by salespeople, are still a valuable Indicator
of the selling techniques actually utilized by the clerk in the sales
situation. Snce these techniques are the causal factor which deter-
uines to a larger extent the level of retail selUlng efficiency, their
quantitative examination by means of a shopping service app'ers
eeesntial. In the next section, however, a more indirect indicator,
a onsuer survey, is examined.
ConsuEer attitude survey
An essential ingredient of a ucessful retail astr is
customer satisfaction with the store's erhandise ad personal
ervie Regardless of the efficiency of a store's overall operation,
if a retail merchant fails to satisfy his patron and thereby dis-
courges thm fr n returning to his store an subsequent ocasions,
he usually fails. There are not any sto res which an enmially
subsist on transient customer only; those few wAhii do so are not
considered in this study
Since Oustmer satisfaction is so necessary for the muoess
of a retail stare, it seems eesential that the effect of efforts to
increase retail selling efficiency on a store's austemer should be
exarned. If the effect is desirable, it should be reqgniseda a
long-run benefit of the program. On the other hand, if the tested
techniques amuse the customer to react negatively, the lomg-rum
results will be undesirable regardless of possible lmediate gains
recorded by other indicators.
The customer attitude survey, therefore, tends to be a
longer rn check on other quantitative indicators dhlih report
,* 66 o
Immediate results. Suppose, for sample, that a given treatment
causes the salespeople to '"high pressure" customer. tis might
cause a short-run rise in sales volume but a long-run decrease in
patronage--asubin enstoatra reacted negatively to the 'high pressure"
tehdnique. Data secured fra the customer attitude survey analysed
within the overall context of the entire experimental fildinga would
give indicating of this situation.
Although a probability sample would have been th most
desirable method of selecting the customer attitude survey rsspoadents,
it wa not utilized because funds were not available to coapenate
field workers who would have been needed to interview the retail
store's customers. A non-probability sample, such a a covenMieno
anple which was actually utilized in this study, had advants es of
eeaonc and convenience but its findings were subject only to no-
statistical inference. "One should keep clearly in mind that the
use of non-randam ampling obtains results ose reliability anm-
not be measured by established theaoy.U
By utilisLag a quota ample, even with its ack na ldged
limitations, a good indication of the effect of the treas ts an
the retail store's outosers can be secured. his infomstion is
useful in this study as well as in providing a guide for xore
adetuataly finenced future research.
siris H. H. Heua Villa N. nUrvits, Wilall 6. dow,
sale Methods and Teary, Vol. I Methods of alaton
(New Toii Jo W ia T and Son, I=., y1958), p. 7.,
Even though the survey results cannot provide reliable
estimates of parumters, it can secure data Whch am be emuined
to provide benm rful evaluation of the various treatment results.
Admittedl, it would be also desirable to have a sample subject to
statistical inference. Nevertheless, the customr attitude data are
usefl in meeting the objectives of this study--even with its
A tie period, between 10 r00 A. M. d 100 .O M. ea n
Saturday morning, as arbitrarily selected as the optirm tim to
select respondents for two reasons (1) Slae this period ws on a
Saturday, uarketig students were available to do the field work; and
(2) Saturday w a busy shopping day and the hours between 10:00 A. .
and 100 P. N. were the heaviest traffic hours during that day; there-
fore, the interviQs per hour rate werehigh.
A quota of fifty respondents wae arbitrarily assigned to
each of the stores in the study. Ve field workers wo instructed
to interview every oter patron leaving a given store during the
interview bours until they completed their qots. Field workers
assigned to low traffic stores were told to interview all customers
leaving their stores during the three-hour period.
e interviews we re not specifically told the treatment
which the various stores received although the knew the scope of
the study. In this way, nocn-espling bias as reduced.
Feld workers were Instructed to interview all designated
customers extet children under sixteen years of age. Ite or
obvious soelal standing ~s specifically eliminated as a basis fr
the selection of respondents. Furthermore, whether or not a person
leaving a store had made a purchase was not relevant; as long as a
person was observed leaving a given retail store-she or he was a
The six questions which were presented to the respondents
were designed to determine the customer's attitude on the following
subjects: (1) appearance of the salespeople; (2) the salesperson's
knowledge of the merchandise which she sold; (8) friendliness of the
salespeople; (4) interest of the salespeople in helping the customer
received; and (6) an opportunity to make any relevant comments. The
questionnaire is reproduced in Appendix A.
After the interviewer read to a respondent a question which
was designed to evoke information to meet one of the survey objectives,
an answer card (see Appendix A) was shown by the field worker. The
customer indicated her feelings by selecting a number from one to
four on a scale which basically represented a possible attitude be -
tween good and bad. For tabulation purposes, answers one and two
were considered favorable and three and four unfavorable.
A four-part scale was selected after a trial survey with a
three-step scale. With a three-step scale there was a tendency for
customers to choose continually the middle feeling without much
intellectual participation. A four-nrrt scale necessitated more of
a reflection of the respondent's feeling since there was no obviously
noncoamittal middle opinion. On the other hand, a six-step gradation
was felt to be too finely graduated for the subject matter.
Since the objective of the customer attitude survey was not
to describe and correlate various attitudes with general population
characteristics such as age, sex and income but to indicate the
effectiveness of various treatments, only one classification was
used--the customer's own classification of herself as a regular,
occasional or seldom customer of a given store. This classification
was included because it was felt to be a more significant factor in
determining the respondent's feelings than other possible classifications.14
Employee morale survey
Definitions of morale are many. A review of them all would
show that they define it in terms of what it is, what it does,
whereit resides, whom it affects and *hat it affects. Thus
to use the foregoing classification, morale is composed as
1. What it Is-an attitude of mind, an espirt de corps, a
state of well (or unwell) being, and an emotional force.
2. What it does-affects output, quality, costs, co-operation,
discipline, enthusiasm, initiative, and other aspects of
8. Where it resides-in the minds, attitudes, and emotions of
individuals by themselves, and in their group reactions.
4. Whom it affects-imaediately, employees and executives
in their interactions; ultimately, the customer and the
5. What it affects--willingness to work and to co-operate
in the best interest of the enterprise and in turn of
the individuals themselves.
14or critical evaluation of the efficacy of conventional
consumer classifications in market research see, Ernest DAchter,
"Seven Tenets of Creative Research," Journal of Marketing, XXV,
No. 4 (April, 1961), 2.
A simple definition is used here merely to provide a quick
clue to the foregog details. oratle then is a state of
mind of motions, affecting willingness to work, which, i
turn affects individual ea oganizational objectives.15
Although there t little agreement on a fao l definition of
mole, there is a untionally recognised method of quatitatively
measuritg it-the Science aseareh AssooWtai s (RA) bnloyee In-
veni tr 6 *S invent ory wa developed by the Indutrial lsntion
Custer of the University of ahiago, and ha been given to over
25,000 a1ployees to estaibliah natiunl m 11. With i inventory,
the attitudes of employee in fifteie area ca be quantified sat
S heM bployee Invetry has four advantage over n
original morale inventory wheh could have been developed for this
Study (I) it to nationlly recogni ed ad accepted, (2) retailen
ao other eeearchers a readily purabhae it for their am use, (8)
national m are available as standard for evaluating results
obtained it th study, (4) beeaune of yeam of zmeuoeh, the in-
ventory is undoubtedly tedhnically uperiar to any survey iich
this remarom r could have developed.
tile the attitudes of employee an be measured, there is
no authoritative agrment that there eists acausal relationasi
idhuMl T. Jueia, Pe l ee (Homeood, Illinos
Richard 0. Iruwa, Inc., 1959), p. Ie -
16O 8IRA Biployee Inventory and all gearune form and in.
struction are ailble Science Iesearch A soclates, lma., 259
I. Erie St., Chiaago 11, mIinos.
between employee morale and productivity. If there were agremrnt a
this relationship, this research would have been greatly simplified.
It would oly have been necessary to apply the various treatumeta to
the periental stores take a quantitative measure of employee
attitudes; ad draw oanlusions. If morale showed statistically
significant ilmrovement so would productivity* Unfortunately,
valuation of this research is not that simple.
It has long been assumed that there is a high correlation
between the morale of a wor group and ts productivity. lHowver,
research on this subject leads to the conclusion that little i
knom about sucb a relationship.17 the present state of lnmh edge
is srmarised by a social science group:
One of the most important hypotheses which has been
largely aubstantited by the Michigan group holds that
high productivity is not necessarily a fuention of job
atisfaction or morale. If we distinguish between
ergan-iational goals and personal goals, then those peo-
ple wo find satisfaction of their own personal needs by
meting the goals of the organization for which thy work
are mre likely to be highly productive. It Is, however,
possible for people to be satisfied wth their jobs al-
though they contribute little toward meeting the goals
of their organisation It is also possible for a group
of .%lqyeae to have high morale because ti ar a ble to
acarplish group goals, yjthough these are not necessarily
related to productivity
Mtlte the direct relation between morale sad productivity
it subject to dispute the desirability of a good level of oarale
17Harold Kooa and Qril O'Donell, Prantlpe of Man nt
(New aork: MtBraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1959), p. 0l.
1I. R. Wedaler, N, ahane, and R. Tounno baU "Job Satie-
fction, Productivity and worale: A Case Study", Oupational
psycholog.r XXV, No. 1 (January, 1952), 92.
st not. Aoerding to one writer: "A favorable state of mind man
the individuals and goups cooing an organisation s reflected
in a favorable attitude toward the organiation, its work and its
lederhip. It it reflected directly n the econc and effective-
ness with which the oMranisation eoa llshme its missio.'19 ll
other things being equal, there is little reason wh nag ot
would not desire a good level of employee aorals.
he justification for the use of an ploYee attitude survy
as a quntitative indicator is rather indirect and of necessity
theoretically inc oelive since there to no established causal
relation between employee morale and productivity. But "epleee
morale indirectly contributes toward the reaching of oganisation
goals and, therefore, the effect dich the progaas under consideration
have on morale is iqortant in this research. If a rogram which
theretically asould increase selling effiiteeny fails, the itigating
factor ay be Indirectly found nt a lower level of eqlayee naamle
hibb the program itself produced, even though direct causatiU
would not be logically inferred.
For eawple, suppose a shopping service Is introduced Into
a retail store without proper employee indotrznatlon. As a result,
the slespeople feel that anagnt is sying m theam and onsequently
they inforlly unite to fight the system. Under these airor tanes,
eve though selin efioiency light prove, the mnagr ent abould be
IgRalph kav, Te OnlowP of ftp t (New York
harper ad Brothers 1951), pi 55. ----
maem of a potentially troublesome situation and take nasourms to
correct it. hs aarrmese cold ae from a lower level of
employee mrals indicated by the SRA qplaoyese Inventory
oversely, if a prora to Incease selitq effioiOncy also
iqprovees uplayee attitudes, the program plus improved ma.le ightt
havw reinforcing effect upon ach other. Again, service shopplg is
an appropriate aaple. Assume that a store's Mnmag nt b ef-
featively convinced its 0sployess that service shopping Is a positive
motivating factor-- ot a say asyte. Now Instead of the en yees'
native attitude working sganst the proi, it wova for the
whether ornot this orale factor Luproves selli erfficit y,
the methodolog of this study to not able to conclude, but It an
indicate the effect of the treatments on qployWee mrle. If a progrn
tangibly increase productivity and morale, t*e program to doubly
desirable. On the other hbnd, if it increases produtivity but de-
oreas m orale, th~ re idcatimns that further research druld be
caaldered bef o final camolusLons are reasu ed.
lbe BSA bployee Invntory W" admiatmred to the employees
in the Iperimnntal retail store according to the Itetr ation
aggetged by the publishers eiept in one instance. While the
mmrager of stores with more than four a plyees were given th
results to evaluate and cmmicate to their salespeople, stoe with
fewer than four Geploees wer not given the results sine the splayees
of these stores wre undestandably reluctant to be so closely identifed
with the survey results. Bailoyees in both categories were given
ssurmncesw of the afdrmntioned procedure.
fI the following section a mre direct and generally aaoepted
mathad of measuring sales productivity ito presented.
he most universally accepted method of meauming ellng
productivity is son type of sales statistic, auh as nuber of
trParactio.s, net sales and the amount of the averag salad. I
statistics have the following advantages ( (1) the te arx rM dy
understood by the businessmen, (2) the data ane na-ly collected by
larger retailers, and () the sales ndicato are more directly e-
lated to profits than the other three indicators Ia this estud
However, because of the prepondermnoe of unllr retail
stores in thin study, only one of the sales volame indicators, not
sales volum, ms available fr all stores in this ~ mperint.
Uhile the larger stores had all types of statistics available, sale
volme w the only indicator camon to all stores; therefore, this
statistic was chosen as an indicator of sales production. Also,
there wee other practical considerations.
While the experimental tores were willing to submit sales
volume t tiens of the percentage change in sales during a period in
1961 as compared to a corresponding period in 1960, they wer reluctant
to disclose absolute figures. casequently, lacking ganal agMt
to submit absolute figures, it was necesMsa either to aspt parentage
changes or entirely mt a sales volume indicator. Under these
cieroanmoes percentae changes wre areed upon.
erountage hange as a quantitative indicator have the
follo Ung disadantaeM s ampared to absolute sales figures r (1)
they are les precise; dollar sales volte can be exact while per-
oentage cages, especially han rounded to whole number, are lass
rigorous; and (2) pern tages, as relative numbers, are not subject
to lcalulations possible with absolute numbers, e.g., dividing the
rmIber of clerte into dollar valme to detmnine average volume, par
clrk. Nevertheless, eve with these .drambeol, ame indication
of the effect of the techniques cc a ls prUod ution us demed
advisable because of the afoeentioned advantage of this type of
In this chapter the three techniques far iqprovig retail
selling efflaenc, a oobinatiaon of sales training, service
shopping and motivation, sales training, and service aippig, as
well a a c rol group, wre described. The theorsetical jtifus cati on
for the efficacy of the positive treatments ad the need for a control
grop ere also presented. PFrthed ore, the manner In duth each one
of the trestMnts ws applied to the epermental retail stores was
the four quantitative indicators which wre used to secure
data p the results of the treatment ware uamneda Ihe lIlmtatilns
and the advantages of each of the two direct indicators, service
shopping and sales volume, were evaluated as were th two more in-
direct measuring techniques, the employee morale and customer attitude
survey. Arguments were advanced to defend the selection of these
indicators as optimum under the given circumstances of this research.
ANALYSIS WO TE M PLVTEE ATTITUDE S UR
Uwe Selnoo a search Assooi tes aqlpee Ibnmot ar g ive
to the alanpeople to the perantal retail star in Srder to
detained the effect of the various treatomt ao the attitude of tw
alerbs. Atle a causal rltiunhea ip between aployaee mranl ad
praotivity ham not been definitely etablishd d by a~nagm teoritss,
In mau instance it has bee obsrved that e plgey mora e and
productivity very directly. his association, however, should aot be
Mrsued to ndicate nmau lty.
b the other hand, since the attitudes af splroye logally
abuld affect produntivity nto me mner w ia thou g this relatiaohi
i at to be onelusively oartaiad, it apprs aeesuary to s in
flutuatiMon in mOralN a an intereting mridfetati of tu e t tam~ t.
If the tmtmants caue an Iam raseI sal ln s ffiletec ad a increase
In morale, the rise in awrale is a salutary by-podct. th the Oter
band, if the treatment eane inr es in Ilseng efficimxe sa a
loweaIng of mOrle, tMen is eamse for further onuderntieo of the
progim. Of course, if the tre tamnt s tnaffsctive, te morale
feitor to irrelevant.
* 76 -
- 77 -
Comparison of Before-and After-Treatment Results
The employee attitude survey was adminirt-ered to the subject
salespeople before the programs to increase selling efficiency or
treatments were applied, and after the programs were completed. Five
months separated the survey applications. The results of the before-
and after-surveys were plotted on report forms and profiles drawn for
clear graphic comparison.
For the following reasons the before-and after-survey results
could not have been statistically compared for significant changes:
(1) the normal turnover of employees over a five-month period, as
well as the necessity of assuring the anonymity of the salespeople
taking the test, precluded the use of paired samples; and (2) since
both surveys had a common group of salespeople, the two groups were
not independent; therefore, conventional statistical procedures were
As a result of these limitations, the after-treatment data
can only be compared to before-treatment results and changes noted.
These variations, however, are amenable to objective evaluation as
possible indicators of treatment effect; they cannot be evaluated
in terms of probability. Furthermore, without the benefit of valid
statistical tests, there is no quantitative way of accounting for
the effect of the multiplicity of extraneous factors, besides the
treatments, which also affect morale. Nevertheless, a comparison of
before-and after-treatment findings does provide an insight into
possible treatment effects which can be further analyzed when the after-
treatment findings are statistically tested later in the chapter.
The total inventory score for Treatment I, the assumed optimum
combination of salestraining, shopping service and motivation, does not
vary sufficiently between before-and after-surveys results to indicate
any meaningful difference. As a result, it is unlikely that there
are very large changes among any of the component classifications
whose summation equals the total.
Howsve.., there is a mitigating factor. Whea this program was
half completed, the clerks in Treatment I disclosed, during a training
session, that they were not being compensated by their employers for
attending the meetings. They resented the fact. Since they had to
devote an additional one hour every three weeks to this program, aside
from the regular working hours, they reasoned that they should have
been paid for their time. However, their objections wre not too
vehement since they received incentive awards at the meetings;
consequently, they continued to attend the sessns with the assist-
ance of continued pressure from their store managers. It can be
hypothesized that this irritation resulted in a general lowering of
the after scores.
Credulity is given this explanation when the 85-25-percentile
decrease on the after-treatment inventory score for Treatment II is
noted. The clerks in this group objected so strenuously to attending
their training sessions without pay that only the strongest managerial
pressure could secure their attendance. In one store, the manager
even had to reverse his position and pay the salespeople in order to
secure their participation.
Generally, the salesperson' reaction to Treatment I wam
satisfactory but to Treatment II it as rather poor because of the
compensation problems. The response of the salespeople to the programs
wa very noticeable because at the time this study was being conducted
in Gainesville, Florida, a program identical to Treatment I was being
offered on a commercial basis in Ocala, Florida, a town thirty miles
away; in Ocala, however, the merchants paid for the program and the
salespeople were compensated for their time.
The response of the salespeople to the commercial program was
very good. Some of the clerks voluntarily expressed the opinion that
they looked forward to attending the training sessions. After the
program was concluded, the managers reported that the clerks had
asked about continuing the program during the following year. Un-
fortunately, since this was not an academic project, no quantitative
measurements of morale were secured at the completion of the program.
However, it provided a standard for subjective evaluation of the
salespeople's reaction to Treatments I and II in this study.
Perhaps it is reasonable to assume that the positive influence
of Treatment I on employee attitudes was reduced by the negative
response engendered by their store manager's reluctance to compensate
them for their participation in this study. If compensation were given,
scores in certain categories may have been higher, nevertheless, the
results of the before-and after-scores are analyzed by categories to
indicate any significant changes.
Figure I, a comparison of the profiles on the before-and after-
treatmeiit scores indicates at least a 10-percentile change in three
categories of employer attitudes. There are no areas where a variation
in excess of 15-percentiles occurred except in reactions to the
inventory which is not germane to this study. In the remaining
eleven categories, no notable variations are indicated.
In two of the three categories, job demands and supervisor-
employee interpersonal relations, the change could be reasonably
attributed to the treatment. The reason for a change In the third,
identification with the company, is probably due to a non-treatment
Category one, job demands, includes the reaction of the sales-
people to work pressure, fatigue, monetary, work load and hours of
It covers the major things having to do with physical and
mental pressures on the job. Reactions to job pressures are
not only a function of actual pressure that exists but the
employee's attitude toward it. If an employee feels he is
getting something out of his work and that he is gaining
personally from it, he is much more likely to react favor-
ably to job demands. However, if he feels that the work is
of no personal advantage to him, he may regard it as dull,
monotonous, and fatiguing.
general Manual for the SRA Employee Inventory (3d ed.;
Chicago: Science Research Associates, 1952), p. 19.
--. .---- After
SOURCE: Profile Sheet reprinted by permission of Science Research
Associates, Inc. from REPORT OF SURVEY RESULTS ON THE SRA
MLOYEE INVENTORY. (Copyright 1953 by Industrial Relations
Center, University of Chicago.)
EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS
BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT I
- 82 -
| 92 2157 |8 3 1 | I.. |3 I8 3I/ \ 4 0 4., 2 5.3 4 .
14 8 22 3.22 735 423 2849 53 53 1 55S
II Working 34 9
III Pay o
24 I '.4 I .7 7- 3| 1W377 I *
V -Friendliness & 's 22 2 .1s i2 53 3
Cooperation of *.2 Io i I
Fellow Employees, ,T8 24 7
VI Supervisor- 2.1 32 43 5 53 .
Employee rI | s I
VlI-Confidence in so s
VIll-Technical 2.55 33 2 5 3 3 2 43 5 3 55
Competence .4 2.3 3. .0 1 73 .
of Supervision 2.9 3 33_ *4.4 i 4 5.
IX Effectiveness 3.4 2.4 42 3 3 4 4 85 42 4 .
of 2 .5 ,3.4 2 49 i8 2 e9 4.4 .64
Administration o 3.9 3I .2 7
X-Adequacy of '2.2 ."6 0 53
Communication 3 4 3 4 24 24.8 5 29 8
I ." z 57 : I I I T' 7*.L I I 5, S.,
XI -Security of Job 11 1. .% .s
and Work Relations *
__ a_ i..s o l 3 *S. 7 s
XII -Status and I 1 --
Recognition u 43. 1
x .. 13 .6 I .3.
Xill -Identification I / \
with the Company Ii
X IV Opportunity 3 .. 2.12 2.2 2. .0 1 4 3
for Growth & 4 2 9 25 5 33 35 3
Advancement 20 2 2.I 2 .i 9 o
Total- inventory I
as a Whole ..* .4 2 8 4 20 0 5 3 a s 5
1. | 30.50 1 M ^J I '^T 72 '* ~l I to s 9 o7
XV Reactions' 3 3 2 3
to the Inventory3 8
8.( 2.9 3 8D .39 2.841 3(.4 3.3 3 54 3.88
Since this program concentrated on upgrading the salesperson
from an order-taker to a merchandise adviser, it should have created
a ore dynamic work environment. The salespeople were taught selling
techniques, tested by means of the service shopping reports on their
application of these techniques and generally expected to render a
higher level of service. This new definition of work expectancy
should have placed greater demands on them and they probably reacted
positively to the circumstances.
Category six, supervisor-employee interpersonal relations,
includes a number of items ordinarily associated by em-
ployees with good supervision, such as friendliness, fair-
ness, praise, and encouragement. Favorable attitudes toward
immediate supervision are, of course, essential to employee
morale. Teamwork and productivity in the work are probably
more closely related to supervision than to any other single
factor. What a man does on his job depends on the personal
leadership he gets from his immediate superior. It is far
more important to his productivity than his attitudes toward
management or company policy.2
The participation of the managers in the program evidently
created a favorable employee-manager relationship. In moat stores,
the managers attended the meetings with the employees, creating a
team spirit. Also, all of the managers were involved in the shopping
reports and incentive awards given to their employees on the basis of
the shopping reports.
Category thirteen, identification with the company,
measures the employee's feeling of participation and belong-
ing in the company as well as their pride and interest in
the company. If the company is well-known and important in
g2bid., p. 18.
its industry, employees may show a high degree of identi-
fication even though the.r attitudes are poor in other
While the program may have contributed to the salesperson's
feeling of participation in the affair of the store, there is another
influence. The department store in this group completed a new store
front during the experimental treatment. The scores of their employees,
who are over 5Q0 of the total for the category, showed exceptional
improvement. Unfortunately, quantitative effect of this factor cannot
be separated from experimental influence--only acknowledged.
The difference between the total scores on the employee inventory
before and after sales training was applied tr, the experimental stores,
indicated a decrease of 25-percentiles. Under normal cir-
cumstance, this would have been an indication of a drastic general
change in employee attitudes.
A strong negative factor, such as failure to compensate the
salespeople for their participation in this study, probably caused
this change. In Treatment II, the salespeople were "pressured" into
attending the programs; they were not paid for their time; they
strongly resented the imposition. As a consequence, their entire
morale level dropped.
Ibid., p. 19.
the situation s analogous to a shopper who has had an u-
pleasant experience with the credit department of a store. Prior to
this contact the shopper =ay have considered the store's merchandise
ay attractive, the salespeople efficient, and the store a good place
to purchase goods. ut after the unpleasant credit xerienee, she
tended to think poorly of the entire store-not just the credit
Because of the presence of thia strong negative factor, an
analysis of the various survy categories would be in error. Any
analysis would be attributing reactions to the treatment which are
probably not the result of this cau atiun. Although such an analysts
would be invalid results are shom in Figure II.
A co perison of the total scares on the enLp eI inventory
secured before Treatment III, shopping service, was applied, and after
the program was completed, indicated a 5- percentile decrease; this is
show In L Figure lI. Discussionm with the managers of retail stores
in this group failed to disclose aqy ,extaneous factors which aight
have influenced the survey results. they further onfuirad that they
ad followed the recamended shopping service procedure during the
study; however, the validity of these statements could nt be ob.
An analysis of the fourteen categories whose sumation equals
the total, disclosed that four categories showed a decrease in eases
SOURCE: Profile Sheet reprinted by permission of Science Research
Associates, Inc. from REPORT OF SURVEY RESULTS ON THE SRA
EMPLOYEE INVENTORY. (Copyright 1953 by Industrial Relations
Center, University of Chicago.)
EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS
BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREAITENT II
- 87 -
I -Job Demands
I ll I 4I i. II I j
I 4144 '' I~ ~ I 6 '~I ~ l
I | 44; '11 4 4 4 I SS |
II-Working, 41 1 i
Conditions I .
IV-E Employee a
V- Friendliness & '" '
Cooperation of .6 0 I
Fellow Employees : I .'. I .
VI-Super.isor. ~ il l I sL I -
Relations I '.
VII Confidence in I ''I 1. 0 34
Manaigcment -' 2 64" I 1
a nd ____ iWIr' R elaio^ 1 '( 1 I1 4 I i I I
Vi I-Technical l I
Coompetencc 4 I 4.o. i 1" r l 4 4 ..
of Super sion 2... 4 44 l
IX LtTectiveness 4 ", 4 '5
of I.s 8 3 4 44 44 5 4 44 44
Administration 4. 5 00 ||
X -Adequacy of 0 o 2 1 4 G4
Communication j I
vo I o, 3., _. |..3 ..."
XI-Security of Job 2
and Work Relations
XI -Status and 2L 2 3 o 2 s 02 s ]so
Recognition 2.1 4 1 j
X Ill- identification 1 3' 1 F .
with the Company 6 s a 2 | "* | 1*|
XIV-Opportunity 2 1 a 2 o or a. 3l, T
for Growth & 96 a ..
Advancement .. o 2 | a ,
2? 00 34.05 4t0 4 45 4 4 54 05 44.8 40 66 |4
Total Inventory l
as a Whole X .5 '4 4 4220 41 5 5
460 345 4 I s_ __asI ._o 6460 r |. 6s .64o
to the Inventory 7
4.4450 .4 4 4 6 44 I 68 60 4.46
SOURCE: Profile Sheet reprinted by permission of Science Research
Associates, Inc. from REPORT OF SURVEY RESULTS ON THE SRA
EMPLOYEE INVENTORY. (Copyright 1953 by Industrial Relations
Center, University of Chicago.)
EMPLOYEE ATTITUDE SURVEY RESULTS
BEFORE-AND AFTER-TREATMENT III
- 89 -
1 I I.' 3.22 l 4,0l 4 ; 4 I 4 5I 4 "55t
II-Working Z. ,. .0... s 4 8 ,
-------- -- -( --,.---- I, L-f -- Yi --,- --- J- --
.92 83 8 1 1 4 1 I1.69 0 I-" 2 4 4 4
Conditions .. ... .
III-Pa'y .I O43 I 3 2
I 1 I 4C 81 .10 ... A .. 4 .
IV Employee I
V- Friendliness r& 2.." .3A. 3 ,0 .0' .l'
Cooperation of *.I I I II s1 .
VI -Supervisor- 2.64- I 5.0 s 5"1 Il J |
Relations o ,-_._ I I I 1 | I
VII-Confidence in "
Management I 4.22 4 5 S, 4 .
VIII-Technical 3 .." 35' I 5 0 0
Competence 2. 2. 550 .59
of Supervision 1 ... ., 33 1 !
IX Effectiveness 1.o 2. 2 4'2 3.1 4 '4 4.6
O f i I, .1 4 5 I I
Administration 1.. 2 ,43 I 37 4 | I 3
So ,-o.. .a 1 .. 7. 3, 2 ... )l,/l ".55 .03 S
X -Adequacy of 32 3.9 55 03
Communication 22 3'0 3 44 4 4 4 9 54 |
XI- Security of Job
2"- 28 4 4 4 4 A A 9. 9 3 6 0a
andW1 WkRelation1 5 .5 Y
Recognition 14 2 '1 .1 4 a 4.2 1.
1 74 3 12 3 6e .02 4 3
XIII-Identification I I 2>s 4 3 3
with the CompanyI
________2 1 Ie I11 I13 t.M __ _U *I" ________ 3-" 3"
XIV-Opportunity 8.6" .6 8' a 21 i 2 50 33 O2 34. 31
for Growth & 20 4 45 I 8 32 3'5
Advancement s 2 I i 2 .. 1.2.
.0 3.os9 40.15s a. 0 1 .0 s 54 25 9 a0 9?
Total- Inventory M 5 3-.
as a Whole 4.4 4 0 27 so 10 50o S
314.n 42.70 .2. I 544 599 9 '0 6 "I I 081
XV-Reactions 1 .
to the Inventory A, I
X4,e 1n 1[.1 o j 41 I
1. I 4.. ".6
| I M | Z.S | 3 7 | j l4 .i\^ ^ .0 | | 4S '