Consumers’ experiences of appropriate sales interaction – a speech code theory perspective

Jonna Koponen, Saara Julkunen


Little is known about what kind of salesperson-consumer interaction is valued in different cultures. We explore the influence of national speech culture in sales-related communication in business-to-consumer (B2C) environments. We apply speech codes theory to identify the B2C context-specific speech codes attached to the sales-related communication described in consumers’ narratives. The results inform three discourses among sales-related communication: consumer orientation, professionalism and independency. The results suggest that independency, fact-oriented talk, and consumer-oriented communication are central speech codes related to the B2C sales context in Finland. Furthermore, the results describe a cultural norm for appropriate sales-related communication. 


Salesperson-consumer interaction; national speech culture; B2C environments; speech codes; discources; appropriate sales-related communication

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Copyright (c) 2017 Jonna Koponen, Saara Julkunen

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896