Ch. 8 LIS 3021

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1. Describe important strategies for writing persuasive messages.
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Because you will be proposing something that your reader probably does not already agree with or want to do, it is often best to organize persuasive messages in an indirect order. Preparing the reader to accept your idea is a much better strategy than blurting out the idea from the start and then having to argue uphill through the rest of the message. Ideally, you should organize each persuasive message so that, from the title or subject line to the end, your readers will agree with you. However, sometimes you will want to use a direct approach. For example, if you know your reader prefers directness or if you believe your readers will discard your message unless you get to the point early, then directness is in order. You should also understand your readers. To know what kind of appeals will succeed with your readers, you need to know as much as you can about their values, interests, and needs. You can gather demographic information and psychographic information. You should also turn your product features into reader benefits. When presenting your reader benefits, be sure the readers can see exactly how the benefits will help them. You could use scenario painting. You should also use the three kinds of appeals: ethos (character), pathos (emotion) and logos (logic). All three kinds come into play in every persuasive message.
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2. Explain how to write skillful persuasive requests that begin indirectly, develop convincing reasoning, and close with goodwill and action.
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Developing your persuasive plan involves three interrelated tasks: determining what you want, figuring out your readers’ likely reactions, and deciding upon a persuasive strategy that will overcome reader objections and evoke a positive response. Thinking about your readers’ needs and interests is paramount when planning any persuasive message. Your beginning should lead to your central strategy. You must also gain attention in the opening. You need to draw your reader in with the opening of your persuasive message because you are writing to a person who has not invited your message and may not agree with your goal. Following the opening, you should proceed with your goal of persuading. You should do more than merely list points. You should help convey the points with convincing details. Making good use of the you-viewpoint is necessary. You need to use logic and emotion appropriately and project an appealing image. You then follow up with your request and the request requires care in word choice. You then end with a reminder of the appeal.
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List the ethical concerns regarding sales messages.
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Sales messages are a controversial area of business communication, for two main reasons: they are often unwanted, and they sometimes use ethically dubious persuasive tactics. Email sales messages are even more unpopular and considered “spam”. Perhaps it is because these messages place a heavy burden on ISPs, driving up costs to the users. Or perhaps the fact that they invade the reader’s privacy is to blame.
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Describe the planning steps for direct mail or email sales messages.
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Before you can begin writing a sales message, you must know all you can about the product or service you are selling. In addition, you should know your readers. In particular, you should know about their needs for the product or service. Anything else you know about them can help: their economic status, age, nationality, education, and culture. Research can also help you learn about prospective customers. Otherwise, you your best logic.
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5. Explain how to compose sales messages that gain attention, persuasively present appeals, and effectively drive for action.
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The beginnings of all sales messages have one basic requirement to gain attention. If they do not do so, they fail. With direct mail, the envelope containing the message is the first attention getter. The subject line in email messages is the main place for getting attention. The subject line should tell clearly what your message is about, and it should be short. The first words of your message also have a major need to gain attention. One of the most effective attention-gaining techniques is a statement or question that introduces a need that the product will satisfy. With the reader’s attention gained, you proceed with the sales strategy that you have developed. In general, you establish a need. Then you present your product or service as fulfilling that need. If your main appeal is emotional, for example, your opening has probably established an emotional atmosphere that you will continue to develop. If you select a rational appeal as your central theme, your sales description is likely to be based on factual material. After you have developed your reader’s interest in your product or service, the next logical step is to drive for the sale.
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6. Describe how to write well-organized and persuasive proposals.
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Proposals can vary widely in purpose, length, and format. Their purpose can be anything from acquiring a major client to getting a new copier for your department. They can range from one page to hundreds of pages. Their physical format can range from an email to a letter to along, highly structured report. Proposals can either be internal or external. That is, they may be written for others within your organization or for readers outside your organization. Another way to categorize proposals is solicited versus unsolicited. A solicited proposal is written in response to an explicit invitation tendered by a company, foundation, or government agency that has certain needs to meet or goals to fulfill. An unsolicited proposal is one that you submit an official invitation to do so. The primary means by which organizations solicit proposals is the request for proposals, or RFP. These can range from brief announcements to documents of 50, 100, or more pages. The RFP needs to include a clear statement of the organization’s need, the proposal guidelines (due date and time, submission process, and proposal format and contents), and the approval process, in additional to such helpful information as background about the organization. The contents of proposals vary with need, but one should consider these topics: writer’s purpose and reader’s need, background, need, plan description, benefits, particulars, ability to deliver and concluding comments.
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Proposals can vary widely in purpose, length, and format. Their purpose can be anything from acquiring a major client to getting a new copier for your department. They can range from one page to hundreds of pages. Their physical format can range from an email to a letter to along, highly structured report. Proposals can either be internal or external. That is, they may be written for others within your organization or for readers outside your organization. Another way to categorize proposals is solicited versus unsolicited. A solicited proposal is written in response to an explicit invitation tendered by a company, foundation, or government agency that has certain needs to meet or goals to fulfill. An unsolicited proposal is one that you submit an official invitation to do so. The primary means by which organizations solicit proposals is the request for proposals, or RFP. These can range from brief announcements to documents of 50, 100, or more pages. The RFP needs to include a clear statement of the organization’s need, the proposal guidelines (due date and time, submission process, and proposal format and contents), and the approval process, in additional to such helpful information as background about the organization. The contents of proposals vary with need, but one should consider these topics: writer’s purpose and reader’s need, background, need, plan description, benefits, particulars, ability to deliver and concluding comments. 7. What is the role of the you-viewpoint in persuasive requests? A successful sales message bases its sales points on reader interest. You should liberally use and imply the pronoun you throughout the sales message as you present your well-chosen reader benefits.
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A successful sales message bases its sales points on reader interest. You should liberally use and imply the pronoun you throughout the sales message as you present your well-chosen reader benefits.
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8. Compare persuasive requests and sales messages. What traits do they share? How are they different?
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A persuasive plan involves interrelated tasks: determining what you want, figuring out your readers’ likely reactions, and deciding upon a persuasive strategy. With a persuasive request and a sales message, you want to gain attention in the opening. It should make the reader receptive to your message. An effective attention-getter is both creative and adapted to your reader. You will also want to develop an appeal for the reader. In a sales message, you must know all you can about the product or service you are selling. In addition, you should know your readers. In particular, you should know about their needs for the product or service. You will also want to gain attention and appeal to the customer base.
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9. What appeals would be appropriate for different kinds of products or services? Identify the appeals:
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a. Shaving cream – smoothness of shave, aroma, invigorating effect Pathos (emotion) b. Carpenter’s tools – durability, quality of craftsmanship Logos (logic) c. Fresh vegetables – freshness, quality, flavor, price Ethos (character)
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10. When could you justify addressing sales letters to (mail list) “occupant”? When to each reader by name?
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“Occupant” permits potential customers to sign up for email promotions on a company’s website or offer their email addresses to a catalog, phone marketer, or other recipient. The potential customers may be asked to indicate the products, services, and specific topics of their interest. You send direct-mail messages are not always well received and they are often unwanted.
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Rarely should a sales letter exceed a page in length.” Discuss this statement. T/F
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This is true because rarely do customers want to read any further than one page in a sales letter. You are trying to gain the reader’s attention, and most of the time, sales letters are “spam” or unwanted
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12. Should the traditional sales-message organization ever be altered? Discuss.
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Sales messages vary widely. The classic AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) model is the most widely used but creativity and imagination continually lead to innovative techniques. You can also add a postscript to a sales-message.
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13. When do you think a strong drive for action is appropriate in a sales message? When do you think a weak drive is appropriate?
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How to word your drive for action for the sale depends on your strategy. If your selling effort is strong, your drive for action also may be strong. It may even be worded as a command. If you use a milder selling effort, you could use a direct question. In any event, the drive for action should be specific and clear. For best effect, it should take the reader through the motions of whatever he or she must do.
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14. Discuss the differences between solicited and unsolicited proposals.
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A solicited proposal is written in response to an explicit invitation tendered by a company, foundation, or government agency that has certain needs to meet or goals to fulfill. An unsolicited proposal is one that you submit without an official invitation to do so. The primary means by which organizations solicit proposals is the request for proposals, or RFP.
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15. For what kind of situations might you select email for your proposal? Letter format? A longer, report-like format?
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Proposals can be either internal or external. That is, they may be written for others within your organization or for readers outside your organization. The physical arrangement and formality of proposals vary widely. The simplest proposals resemble formal email messages. Internal proposals usually fall into this category. The more complex proposals may take the form of full-dress, long reports, including prefatory pages (title pages, letter of transmittal, table of contents, executive summary), text, and an assortment of appended parts. Most proposals have arrangements that fall somewhere between these extremes.

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