Play-acting as a sales method

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Centre de recherche en gestion de l’École polytechnique

Seminar Business life | Friday November 7, 2003

Is a successful sale the result of good play-acting ? Jean-Yves Barbier studied this hypothesis with respect to sales of second hand cars sold by the company O'Plus. The setting, the organisation of the sales platform, visual and written communication, and the language used by sales people are all relevant and important elements. The client is not to be outdone because he, in turn, plays the part of an actor when he asks for a test drive, negotiates the price, or tries to do a part-exchange with his existing car. It is the organisational layout of the sales platform, as well as the multiple interactions between the actors and their setting that seems to be the important area of analysis, much more so than the individual performance of the sales person.

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This session was published in issue n°49 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled L'audace et la sagesse.

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