Persuasion motivates someone to
believe something or to do something
that he or she would not otherwise have
As businesspersons, you will need to
persuade others to do as you want.
In a sense, all business communication
Theessence of persuasion is
overcoming initial resistance.
You will have the best chance of
succeeding if you tailor your message to
your audience, provide your reader with
reasons he or she will find convincing,
and anticipate and deflect or disarm his or
What is your purpose?
Motivate the reader to agree with you or do
as you ask.
Plan an effective strategy to achieve your
Knowing what your purpose is helps you
determine what kind of information to
“Knowledge is power.”
Promoting a Product
How is the product made?
How is the product marketed?
How is the product operated?
How is the product maintained?
What are the differences between your
product and a competitor’s product?
Knowledge and Attitude of
What does the reader
Initial resistance calls for
more objective, verifiable
evidence than if your reader
were initially neutral.
Why is the reader resistant?
Discuss how the reader will benefit from
Emphasize the reader rather than the
product or idea you are promoting Aka
The YOU attitude.
NOT: The San Diego Accounting Society
would like you to speak to us on the topic of
expensing versus capitalizing 401-C assets.
BUT: Speaking to the San Diego
Accounting Society would enable you to
present your firm’s views on the
controversial topic of expensing versus
capitalizing 401-C assets.
What is your credibility with the reader?
The more trustworthy you are, the more
trustworthy your message will appear.
Present Major Idea First
To get readers to accept your proposal
when using the direct plan, present your
recommendation along with the criteria or
brief rationale in the first paragraph.
Not: I recommend we hold our Pittsburgh sales
meeting at the Mark-Congress Hotel.
But: I have evaluated three hotels as possible
meeting sites for our Pittsburgh sales
conference and recommend we meet at the
Mark-Congress Hotel. As discussed below, the
Mark-Congress is centrally located, has the best
meeting facilities, and is moderately priced.
Second and third paragraphs should
include supporting evidence.
Last paragraph should include a request
When to Use Direct Plan
You are writing to superiors in the
Audience is predisposed to listen
objectively to your request.
Proposal does not require strong
Proposal is long or complex.
Reader prefers direct approach.
Indirect Plan—AIDA Plan
Indirect Plan—AIDA Plan
Gain Reader’s Attention
Because a reluctant reader is more likely to
agree to an idea after he or she understands its
merits, your plan of organization is to convince
the reader before asking for action.
NOT: SUBJECT: Proposal to Sell the Roper
Division (too specific)
NOT: SUBJECT: Proposal (too general)
BUT: SUBJECT: Analysis of Roper Division
The first test of a good opening sentence in
a persuasive request is whether it is
interesting enough to catch and keep the
A rhetorical question
An unusual fact or unexpected statement
Your opening statement must also be
relevant to the purpose of your message.
Creating Interest and Justifying Your
To convince, you must be objective,
specific, logical, and reasonable.
Avoid emotionalism, obvious flattery,
insincerity, and exaggeration.
Let the evidence carry the weight of your
Types of evidence
Facts and statistics
Present the benefits that will accompany
the adoption of your proposal, and
provide enough background and
objective evidence to enable the reader
to make an informed decision.
Not: I know you are a busy person, but I
would appreciate your completing this
But: So that this information will be available
for the financial managers attending our fall
conference, I would appreciate your
returning the questionnaire by October 15.
Respected Mr. Smith,
How long has it been since you and your spouse had a really good time? How long has it
been since you last took a week off to enjoy the more beautiful things in life? How long
has it been since you saw the sea, basked in the sun during the day and gazed at the stars
We thought it's been a long time too.
At ABC Cruise we are offering very few select people an offer to stay on board our cruise
for a week, in the lap of luxury like no other in this world. We will pamper you and
indulge your every little desire. We will ensure that you and your spouse get a lovely time
together and get a bit of romance going! And that too at a 50% discount over our normal
Hard to say no, isn't it?
ABC Cruise Vacations.
Types of Persuasive Requests using
Sell an Idea
Request a Favor
Write a Persuasive Claim
Concepts for Persuasive Letters
Select a central selling theme. Position
and repetition throughout supports
E2=0, meaning—emphasize everything
and you emphasize nothing.
Obtain reader’s attention with rhetorical
question, thought-provoking statement,
unusual fact, current event, anecdote, or
Create desire by interpreting features.
Show how each reader will benefit.
Make the reader the subject of most of
your sentences—not the product.
Avoid “I hope you will try our product.”
Avoid “If you want to save money, . . .”
Avoid “Hurry, hurry, order your product
Avoid “If you agree, place your order.”
Persuasion is motivating someone to
take action or to support an idea.
To overcome resistance, you must
establish your credibility and develop an
appeal that meets a need of your reader.
Use direct style.
Use indirect style. Use AIDA format.
Focus on a central selling theme.
Use a positive, confident tone throughout
Identify clearly the specific action your
reader needs to take.
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