Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


2 August 2017

Openings of business-to-business prospecting “cold” calls

Presented By Bogdana Huma
  • 1-2.30pm (a DARG event)
  • B1.14 Brockington Building

About this event

‘The data for this session are part of a corpus of business-to-business prospecting “cold” calls. The calls are initiated by salespeople and have not been solicited by the prospective customers. The focus of the session will be on call openings.

I’ll be bringing a sub-collection of call openings in which the calls are answered by receptionists. In these extracts we see salespeople asking to be transferred to the person in the company they are looking for. I am interested, broadly, in:

  1. The sequential organisation of the opening and how the “canonical opening sequence” (Wakin & Zimmerman, 1999, p. 409) is adapted to serve local interactional purposes.
  2. The “switchboard request” (Maynard & Hollander, 2014, p. 29) whereby a salesperson asks to speak to a specific person in the company.
  3. The discursive and interactional resources salespeople mobilse in call openings to enhance the effectiveness of their switchboard requests, for instance: enacting “being acquainted” with the person they are seeking to speak to.
  4. If and how the identities of “cold caller” and “gatekeeper” emerge in and as part of the call openings. How are these identities oriented to? What are their interactional consequences?’