Making Persuasive Requests In a business environment, persuasion is critical to success.

1. Making Persuasive Requests

In a business environment, persuasion is critical to success. Persuasion is necessary when you anticipate resistance or when you must prepare to present your ideas effectively.

1)Which of the following are elements of effective persuasion? Check all that apply.

a)Asks for an unspecified outcome

b)Provides vague and unproven examples

c)Builds interest

d)Anticipates objections

e)Asks for a particular, easy-to-take action.

Fill in the blank with the most appropriate answer.

2)To overcome possible resistance from the reader, the writer should

a)state the purpose

b)lay a logical foundation

c)generate fortitude

before delivering the request.

Read the following message, and answer the following questions.

Dear Mr. Sanchez:

Your efforts to promote ethical business practices in our city have drawn national recognition. You are an excellent role model for all our citizens, especially our youth.

Following your leadership, next month Jackson High School, in partnership with the Decatur Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting our second annual Ethics and Leadership for Youth conference. Last year the ELY conference had more than 1,500 attendees from district high schools. This year we are increasing our registration to accommodate 750 more students from neighboring school districts. We are excited that so many students are interested in promoting ethics and leadership in their community.

Last year, after learning about the importance of ethical leadership, students who attended our conference returned to their home schools and implemented a total of nine ethics and leadership initiatives. One of these initiatives included a project in which students researched ethical leaders in the local community. Naturally, the students encountered much of your work and have humbly requested your presence at the Ethics and Leadership for Youth conference this year. As a speaker at the ELY conference, you would have the opportunity to significantly impact our next generation of leaders.



Jan Sanduccino, Principal

Jackson High School

3)Which of the following paragraphs most effectively completes the [CLOSING] section of this message?

a)Therefore, we would like to invite you to be the keynote speaker for the second annual ELY conference. The keynote address is scheduled for 10 a.m., Friday, April 16, in the Jackson High Memorial Auditorium. Our students would be honored by your presence. If you are able to join us, please call me at (555) 673-3333 by March 15 to make arrangements.

b)Therefore, we would like to invite you to be the keynote speaker for the second annual ELY conference. If you are able to join us, please call me before the middle of this month.

4)Why is the body of this message effective?

a)It addresses the reader by name.

b)It builds interest and notes direct and indirect benefits.

c)It avoids mentioning direct benefits and demonstrates openness.

5)Effective claim and complaint messages:

a)Accuse the receiver of intentionally creating the problem

b)Use an irrational tone

c)Adopt a moderate tone

6)What should you include in a persuasive claim or complaint message? Check all that apply.

a)Expression of personal disappointment or other feelings

b)Accusations of deceit

c)Blow-by-blow chronology of details

d)Data that justifies your claim

When persuading within organizations, pay special attention to power relationships and whether the person you are writing to is your subordinate or superior.

Fill in the blank with the most appropriate answer.

7)A successful persuasive message to subordinates should use selector

a)complex words

b)warm words

8)Which of the following are elements of an effective persuasive message to a superior? Check all that apply.

a)Avoid sounding pushy

b)Make a dollars-and-cents case

c)Ignore risks involved

d)State ideas timidly

e)Describe benefits and risks involved

2. Writing Sales and Marketing Messages

Sales messages use persuasion to promote specific products or services. Although you may not have to write sales letters in your career, the techniques of effective sales letters can be used to help you promote your ideas, your organization, and even yourself.

Professionals follow the AIDA pattern (attention, interest, desire, and action) for persuasion, which works well for written messages. Messages following the AIDA pattern open with an attention-getter.

Read the following attention-getter, and answer the following question.

Dear Mr. Chandler:

The early bird catches the worm! Register at now and be one of our first 100 members. Read on to learn more about our exclusive offer.

1)Which hook does this attention-getter use?


b)Quotation or proverb

c)Product feature

Fill in the blank with the most appropriate answer.

2)The interest section of your sales message should

a)offer a trial version at no cost

b)describe the central selling points of your product or service

3)What techniques overcome resistance and prove the credibility of a product? Check all that apply.

a)Including testimonials

b)Using misleading statements

c)Sending free trial samples

d)Sending unwanted merchandise

4)What motivators should the action section of your sales message include? Check all that apply.

a)A proof of purchase

b)An unauthorized endorsement

c)A satisfaction guarantee

d)A deadline

If you carefully follow the AIDA pattern, your persuasive message will be more effective.

Read the following persuasive sales message, and answer the following questions.

June 10, 2012

Ms. Hannah King

1383 16th Avenue

New York, NY 76567

Dear Ms. King:

[1] When you are thinking about eco-friendly products, don’t be bamboozled by bamboo! Bamboo grows up to three or four feet a day and offers an affordable, beautiful, eco-friendly source for furniture.

[2] We are the Panda Furniture Company. For the last ten years, we have created beautiful bamboo furniture products for homes and gardens in the Philadelphia area. Our ten-year tradition of excellence—supported by two Go Green Awards and three Certificates of Excellence from World Sustain—has made Panda an industry leader. Anderson Research Inc. found that Panda has the best quality bamboo furniture and uses the most eco-friendly production process.

[3] Due to popular demand for our eco-friendly products, we are opening a showroom in New York where customers just like you will be able to visit and experience our comfortable and beautifully designed products. Mayor Darby notes that his “Panda couch is easily the most responsible and elegant investment” he’s made this year. So, be our guest at the sneak preview of our New York Panda store. We will have exclusive products from our new lines for sale.

[4] On June 15th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. our store is yours for an exclusive sneak preview. The first 25 guests will receive a complimentary Panda Eco-Friend end table. Refreshments will be provided by BluePointe Bakery. So, take the Parkway to Exit 12 and join us for this momentous occasion! Together, we look forward to a sustainable future.

Sincerely yours,

Bonnie Weisz

5)What is effective about the body (paragraphs 2 and 3) of the previous message? Check all that apply.

a)Builds interest by using facts

b)Begs the question

c)Establishes credibility

d)Uses circular reasoning

6)In paragraph 4, which statement motivates action?

a)The first 25 guests will receive a complimentary Panda Eco-Friend end table.

b)So, take the Parkway to Exit 12 and join us for this momentous occasion!

c)Together, we look forward to a sustainable future.

3. Writing Successful Online Sales and Marketing Messages

E-mail and Internet marketing campaigns allow you to make the most of limited advertising dollars while reaching a great number of potential customers. Like traditional direct mail, persuasive messages online can help you attract new customers, keep existing ones, and promote future sales.

1)The persuasive techniques used for print messages also work with electronic messages; there are, however, a few key differences. Identify the guidelines for creating effective e-mail sales messages. Check all that apply.

a)Provide a means for opting out.

b)Focus on a few central selling points.

c)Keep the main point “below the fold.”

d)Craft a catchy subject line.

e)Send “blanket” mailings.

Fill in the blank with the most appropriate answer.

2)Online forums like blogs and Twitter can be powerful marketing tools used to generate

a)a positive online presence

b)open-ended discussion

3)Identify an element of a successful persuasive tweet.

a)Offer freebies to anyone who wants one.

b)Retweet the same tweet multiple times an hour so that everyone will see it.

c)Urge action by restricting the availability of an offered freebie.

Read the following scenario to determine which media channel would be most appropriate for a marketing or sales message, and answer the following question.

Your coffeehouse, Joe Brew, has just entered a partnership with a highly acclaimed local bakery. Joe Brew sends out a regular monthly e-newsletter and maintains a blog, but you want to make both customers and business partners aware of the exciting news before next month.

4)Which media channel should you choose?

a)Blanket e-mail



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