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The effect of the ‘evoking freedom’ technique on sales in a computer-mediated field setting

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Abstract:

The ‘evoking freedom’ technique is a verbal compliance procedure which solicits someone to comply with a request by simply telling a person that he/she is free to accept or to refuse the request. However, the effect of this technique has never been tested in a selling context. Previous customers (N = 900) of an extreme sports store were solicited by email to participate in a campaign where they were offered a gift voucher if they persuaded someone to become a new customer of the store. According to the case, the email contained a sentence that stated that they were free to participate or not in the operation. It was found that the ‘evoking freedom’ condition was associated with a higher number of new customers (+8.4%) than the control condition (+4.7%).

Keywords: compliance; customer behavior; freedom; online sales; request

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09593969.2012.690780

Affiliations: 1: Psychology Department, Université de Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France 2: Business Department, Université de Bretagne-Sud, Vannes, France

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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