The Social Penetration Theory & the Uncertain Reduction Theory Implications on the Sales Process

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Uncertainty reduction theory
This theory comes to explain the uncertainty among people who communicate with each other and how different types of communication will help to reduce the uncertainty. As a starting point, the developers of this theory (Charles Berger and Richard Calabrese) stated that uncertainty is an unpleasant feeling, which people prefer to avoid as much as they can. Every person has been confronted with the feeling of uncertainty, rather if it was when arriving to new a destination or more commonly when meeting a new person. In order to reduce the unpleasant feeling, people tend to seek information about the uncertain and by that creating more comfortable feelings, and more predictable relationships in case of
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The purpose of using this theory expressed best in the course book “SELL”, It was mentioned that “The more the sales person knows, the easier it is to build trust and gain the confidence of the buyer. Buyers have certain expectations of the salesperson and the knowledge that he or she brings to the table”. This quote reflects best why a salesperson must use the uncertainty reduction theory in order to achieve his goals. As a salesperson, I should adjust my content and tactic toward my customer habits; this is another reason why it is important to use the three ways for gathering information according to the uncertainty reduction theory (Active, Passive and Interpersonal).

The Social Penetration Theory

This theory takes the theory of Berger and Calabrese one step deeper, as it examines more deeply the interpersonal relationship / communication between two or more parties. The theory developed by Irwin Altman and Dalmas Taylor (1973), in which they stated that as relationship develop, it become deeper and deeper, from non-intimate levels through to more personal levels. This method also called ‘Onion analogy’, as the intimacy grows and time pass by, more layers of the personality revealed to the other side, that is also the


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