Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Business and Economics


Marketing and Supply Chain

First Advisor

Dr. Brian Murtha


To boost revenue, many firms are encouraging their service salespeople to cross-sell while providing a service; but cross-selling can upset customers. How, then, may firms effectively cross-sell without upsetting customers? The authors address this question by introducing the concept of deselling behaviors, defined as service salespeople’s actions that are incongruent with persuasive intent. They combine insights gleaned from 101 inconspicuous, fly-on-the-wall videos of actual service salesperson-customer exchanges with theoretical underpinnings of the persuasion knowledge model and reactance theory to advance a novel conceptual framework of deselling behaviors. Their framework advances prior literature by illuminating three unique sets of deselling behaviors that reduce customers’ reactance to cross-selling recommendations, and thereby enhance ambidextrous effects (i.e., enhance cross-selling performance and customer satisfaction): 1) nonverbal source signals (e.g., tangibilizing cooperativeness and passive proxemic positioning), 2) verbal source signals (e.g., proactively discounting and attribution externalizing), and 3) verbal message signals (e.g., vividly educating and piecemeal recommending). Further, they delineate how enacting deselling behaviors prior to a cross-selling episode may impact the relationships between deselling behaviors during a cross-selling episode and reactance to cross-selling recommendations.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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