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Persuasive conduct: Alignment and resistance in prospecting 'cold' calls

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journal contribution
posted on 12.06.2018 by Bogdana Huma, Elizabeth Stokoe, Rein Sikveland
Social psychology has theorized the cognitive processes underlying persuasion, without considering its interactional infrastructure—the discursive actions through which persuasion is accomplished interactionally. Our article 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 the prospect’s 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 article contributes to the wider discursive psychological project of “respecifying” psychological phenomena such as attitudes, memory, and emotion from the realm of social cognition to the realm of social interaction.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

Journal of Language and Social Psychology

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, 38 (1), pp.33-60.

Publisher

SAGE Publications © The Authors

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

28/05/2018

Publication date

2018

Notes

This paper was published in the journal Journal of Language and Social Psychology and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X18783474.

ISSN

0261-927X

eISSN

1552-6526

Language

en

Exports