Conceptualization and Scale Development for Salesperson Swagger: An Abstract
This research explores the concept of swagger in a sales context. We purport that along with traditionally explored concepts of emotional intelligence, empathy, and adaptive selling skills, swagger is an unexplored concept that contributes to the totality of salespeople’s success.
From previous research, we characterize successful salespeople as being highly self-confident, driven by ego and status, persevering, and enterprising in their personalities. While these characteristics describe successful salespeople, what seems to be missing is how these characteristics manifest themselves in overt behavior. We propose that one type of individual that would be attracted to, and possibly excel in a sales position, would not only possess these characteristics but also flaunt them. We deem this simultaneous possession and flaunting of characteristics to be swagger, which we define as “an immense level of confidence in one’s self and abilities, which is displayed in a conspicuous manner.”
After this initial conceptualization of swagger, we set out to develop an instrument to measure swagger in salespeople. Following the prescriptions of Churchill (1979), Fornell and Larcker (1981), and Gerbing and Anderson (1988), a detailed scale development procedure resulted in a bidimensional, valid, and reliable swagger scale. The two dimensions, which consist of nine items total, are deemed to be “imbued confidence” and “conspicuous display.” The resulting scale items are shown below:
When speaking with others, I exude confidence.
I have an aura of confidence about myself.
I carry myself very confidently.
I always look like I am in charge.
Conspicuous Display Dimension
I act in a way that draws attention to myself.
I brag about my accomplishments.
I put on a show when dealing with others.
I wear high-end clothing.
I am braggadocious.