You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Could Hiring Snobby Salespeople Boost Your Sales? new luxury shopping study suggests customers are more likely to make a purchase when dealing with a rude sales associate.

By Kate Taylor

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most salespeople learn to live by the phrase "The customer is always right." But a recent study suggests stores may sell more if salespeople adopt the attitude "I am never wrong."

A luxury shopping-related research study, aptly titled Should the Devil Sell Prada?¸ suggests that consumers are more likely to make purchases from upscale retailers if salespeople are rude or snobby.

In the study, participants rated their feelings about brands and their desire to own them following imagined and real interactions with sales representatives. Some salespeople were polite, while others were rude. Participants who expressed a desire to be associated with high-end brands reported an increased desire for the luxury products after interactions with the rude salespeople.

Related: The 120 Most Trusted Brands

"It appears that snobbiness might actually be a qualification worth considering for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Gucci," University of British Columbia's Saunders School of Business professor Darren Dahl said in a statement. "Our research indicates they can end up having a similar effect to an "in-group' in high school that others aspire to join."

However, the study doesn't mean all salespeople should stop smiling at customers. The effect only applied if the salesperson appeared to be an authentic representation of the brand. In other words, bargain shoppers at Wal-Mart or Target are not likely to be convinced to buy a dress by a rude salesperson. However, at Prada, it may be in salespeople's best interest to look down their noses at customers.

Related: Why 'No' is the Most Important Word You'll Ever Say

Kate Taylor

Reporter

Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

He Took His Side Hustle Full-Time After Being Laid Off From Meta in 2023 — Now He Earns About $200,000 a Year: 'Sweet, Sweet Irony'

When Scott Goodfriend moved from Los Angeles to New York City, he became "obsessed" with the city's culinary offerings — and saw a business opportunity.

Travel

Save on Business Travel with Matt's Flight's Premium, Only $80 for Life

This premium plan features customized flight deal alerts and one-on-one planning with Matt himself.

Science & Technology

Here's One Reason Urban Transportation Won't Look the Same in a Decade

Micro-EVs may very well be the future of city driving. Here's why, and how investors can get ahead of it.

Health & Wellness

Do You Want to Live to Be 100? This Researcher Has the Answer to Why Longevity is Not a Quick Fix or Trendy Diet

Ozempic, cold plunges, sobriety and the latest health fads are not what science reveals will help you live a longer and healthier life.

Data & Recovery

Better Communicate Data with Your Team for $20 with Microsoft Visio

Visio features a wide range of diagramming tools that can support projects across all industries.