The Anatomy of First-Time and Subsequent Business-to-Business “Cold” Calls

B. Humă, E. Stokoe

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.This article examines business-to-business “cold” calls between salespeople and prospective clients. Drawing on 150 audio-recorded interactions, we use conversation analysis to identify the overarching structural organization and constituent activities in first-time and subsequent “cold” calls, a distinction that emerged from participants’ orientation to their relationship history or lack thereof. The article reveals how structural features of telephone conversations, such as identification sequences and “reason for calling,” are adapted to achieve local interactional results and that these conversational microstructures are consequential for the outcome of the telephone call and, ultimately, a company’s bottom line. Data are British English.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-294
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


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