Keywords : Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication barriers when dealing with Saudi sellers

Yosra Missaoui

International Journal of Organizational Leadership, 2015, Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 392-402
DOI: 10.33844/ijol.2015.60419

Communication has a major impact on how customers perceive sellers and their organizations. Especially, the non-verbal communication such as body language, appearance, facial expressions, gestures, proximity, posture, eye contact that can influence positively or negatively the first impression of customers and their experiences in stores. Salespeople in many countries, especially the developing ones, are just telling about their companies’ products because they are unaware of the real role of sellers and the importance of non-verbal communication. In Saudi Arabia, the seller profession has been exclusively for foreign labor until 2006. It is very recently that Saudi workforce enters to the retailing sector as sellers.  The non-verbal communication of those sellers has never been evaluated from consumer’s point of view. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the non-verbal communication barriers that customers are facing when dealing with Saudi sellers. After discussing the non-verbal communication skills that sellers must have in the light of the previous academic research and the depth interviews with seven focus groups of Saudi customers, this study found that the Saudi customers were not totally satisfied with the current non-verbal communication skills of Saudi sellers. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to develop the non-verbal communication skills of Saudi sellers by intensive trainings, to distinguish more the appearance of their sellers, especially the female ones, to focus on the time of intervention as well as the proximity to customers.