chapter  17
15 Pages

Compliance Principles in Retail Sales in the United States

A typology of verbal message tactics employed in selling encounters is proposed based on Cialdini’s (1993) principles of compliance. Trained observers recorded the use of tactics in 416 interactions to identify how different types of sales clerks employed the tactics. Four types of buyer-seller interaction patterns were identified and described: The client-oriented clerk, the ingratiation-style clerk, the task-oriented clerk, and the passive-inactive clerk. Practical implications, cultural issues, and the validity and utility of Cialdini’s compliance principles are discussed, along with the value of observing real behaviors in public settings.