Managing prospect affiliation and rapport in real-life sales encounters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • C Clark
  • P Drew
  • T Pinch


Publication details

JournalDiscourse Studies
DatePublished - Feb 2003
Issue number1
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)531
Original languageEnglish


Detailed examination of audio recordings of business-to-business 'field-sales' encounters are used to report one way in which salespeople elicit verbal expressions of affiliation from their prospective customers - by reciprocating second assessments which affiliate with, trade off and build on prospects' own assessments. This article outlines the prototypical features of these junctures of assessment-affiliation and describes how salespeople can mobilize such assessments to build extended sequences of 'rapport' that take the form of adjacent and mutual expressions of substantive verbal affiliation. Consideration is also given to explicating both the interactional basis of these sequences as well as the socially obligating influence such affiliation and rapport can have on sales outcomes.

    Research areas

  • affiliation, agreement, assessments, business communication, obligation, rapport, selling, BEHAVIOR

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