A study attempts to ascertain whether the public image of the selling job as viewed by direct salespeople has an impact on their tendency to remain active or become inactive in that selling job. Questionnaires were mailed to 1,600 direct salespeople working with: 1. Mary Kay Cosmetics, 2. Saladmaster, 3. Tupperware, and 4. United Consumers Club. There were 491 usable replies. Respondents were divided into high-performance and low-performance categories. Job satisfaction was found to be related strongly to inactivity-proneness. Salespeople with more negative perceptions of the public image of their job had lower job satisfaction and were more prone to inactivity; however, the strength of these relationships varied between high and low performers. The view that poorer not better performers are more likely to become inactive was supported. Job image related positively to job satisfaction in the total sample and for each performance subgroup. In addition to differing on the basis of performance, salespeople also might differ in their reaction to image issues based on the length of time in the job, the expected career path, or other distinguishing factors.

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