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Title: Persuasive conduct: Alignment and resistance in prospecting 'cold' calls
Authors: Huma, Bogdana
Stokoe, Elizabeth
Sikveland, Rein O.
Keywords: Persuasion
Discursive psychology
Resistance
Conversation analysis
Preference organization
Cold calls
Sales
Social influence
Prospecting
Pre-sequence
Designing the recipient
Recipiency management
Persuasive conduct
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: HUMA, B., STOKOE, E. and SIKVELAND, R.O., 2018. Persuasive conduct: Alignment and resistance in prospecting 'cold' calls. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, [in press].
Abstract: Social psychology has theorized the cognitive processes underlying persuasion, without considering its interactional infrastructure – the discursive actions through which persuasion is accomplished interactionally. Our paper aims to fill this gap, by using Discursive Psychology and Conversation Analysis to examine 153 ‘cold’ calls, in which salespeople seek to secure meetings with prospective clients. We identify two sets of communicative practices that comprise persuasive conduct: (1) pre-expanding the meeting request with accounts that secure prospects’ alignment to this course of action without disclosing its end-result and (2) minimizing the imposition of the meeting to reduce the prospect’s opportunities for refusal. We conclude that persuasive conduct consists in managing the recipiency of the meeting requests by promoting alignment and hampering resistance. Overall, this paper contributes to the wider discursive psychological project of ‘respecifying’ psychological phenomena like attitudes, memory, and emotion from the realm of social cognition to the realm of social interaction.
Description: This paper is closed access until it is published.
Version: Accepted for publication
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/33404
Publisher Link: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/jls
ISSN: 0261-927X
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Social Sciences)

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