International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online)

Importance of Cross-Cultural Empathy in Selling – Perspective from Asian Indians living in the U.S.
Duleep Delpechitre

Abstract
This qualitative study examined the importance of cross-cultural awareness in a customer – salesperson relationship by studying how Asian Indians living in the U.S interact with American salespeople. The study adapted a phenomenological research design and conducted interviews with 52 Asian Indians living in the U.S. Results of the study showed that first and second generation Asian Indian had significant differences of expectations interacting with salespeople. First generation Asian Indians preferred purchasing from salespeople who were similar to them because they had similar experiences and expectations which made it easier for them to relate to each other. First generation Asian Indians found that it would be easier to communicate with Indian salespeople and they would be more trustworthy. Second generation Asian Indians preferred purchasing from American salespeople and felt comfortable communicating in English compared to their native language. This study provides valuable insights to salespeople who interact with Asian Indian consumers in the U.S.

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