Personality and Competitive Antecedents of Sales Performance: Surprising Findings

Adam Webb, Spencer Petty, Jarrod Heiner, Jorge Marimontes


In this study, individual personality and competitiveness traits were assessed as predictors of personal sales performance. Need for Achievement, Need for Power, Need for Affiliation, Interpersonal Competitiveness, and Goal Competitiveness were measured in sales representatives from three different companies within the multi-level marketing industry. Participants were broken into high and low performance groups and scores were correlated to each group. Results indicated that: (a) Interpersonal Competitiveness correlates positively to sales performance within the multi-level marketing industry. (b) Certain personality and competitiveness constructs yield surprising correlations. Limitations to the study include sample size and uneven gender sampling. The research accomplishes three objectives: First, to study predictive performance traits in a fairly untested industry, multi-level marketing. Second, to establish whether or not traits predict performance differently in multi-level marketing than in other sales industries. And third, to create a simple and effective questionnaire to assist recruiters in predicting the performance of potential new hires within the multi-level marketing industry.


Competition; Performance; Sales

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