\1. Write a short email on asking a favor.
2. Write a short email requesting for information.
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8-3 PERSUASIVE REQUESTS
8-3a Making a Claim
Claim messages are often
The preceding discussion of sales messages assumed
the product, service, or cause was sufficiently worthy
to reward the audience for taking action. The dis-
persuasive requests assumes requests are
reasonable—that compliance is justified when the
request is for an adjustment and that compliance will
(in some way) be rewarded when the request is for a
Common types of persuasive requests are claim
requests and messages that ask for special favors and
information. Although their purpose is to get favor-
able action, the messages invite action only after
attempting to create a desire to take action, and
viding a logical argument to overcome any anticipated
the claim is a guarantee or
adjustment will be made
However, when an immed
suasion is necessary. In a ty
service representatives har
Often, any reasonable c
tomer’s satisfaction. Therefo
the claim message will likel
the one person whose coop
adjusters might have had
manufacture and sale of tl
the service. They did not a
Companies should we
centage of claims are from
bulk is from people who
148 PART THREE: Communication Through Voice, Electronic, and Written Messages
FIGURE 8.5 POOR EXAMPLE OF A PERSUASIVE CLAIM
We just reviewed the initial architectural design and drawings for our
building facade and find them totally unacceptable. It must be redone to
We made it clear that the design needs to transition smoothly from the existing
traditional design of the building to the more modern façade. Instead, the
planned façade looks tacked on.
Call us immediately to discuss the changes that you need to make in order to
meet our expectations.
Introduction is too direct.
May damage goodwill.
The tone is too negative
to be persuasive and fails
to provide a clear and
persuasive reason for the
• Close is too demanding to
a negative reaction in the first sentence), and (2) stressing an
appeal throughout the message (to emphasize an incen-
tive for taking favorable action). In a persuasive claim,
an appeal serves the same purpose that a central selling
feature does in a sales message. Both serve as a theme;
both remind the reader of a benefit gained from doing
as asked. Note the application of these techniques in the
revision of this claim in Figure 8.6.
Knowledge of effective claim writing should never be
used as a means of taking advantage of someone. Hiding
an unjustifiable claim under a cloak of untrue statements
is difficult and strictly unethical. Adjusters typically are
fair-minded people who will give the benefit of the doubt,
but they will not satisfy an unhappy customer simply to
avoid a problem.
association wants to host its annual fund-raiser dinner at
an exclusive country club. The program chair of the asso-
ciation must write the club’s general manager requesting
permission to use the facility. Will a deductive message
When a deductive approach is used in a persuasive
situation, chances of getting cooperation are minimal.
For example, what might be a probable reaction to the
following beginning sentence? Please send me, without
charge, your $450 interactive video training game on
If the first sentence gets a negative reaction, a deci-
sion to refuse might be made instantly. Having thought
“No,” the reader might not read the rest of the message,
or might hold stubbornly to that decision in spite of a
well-written persuasive argument following the open-
ing sentence. Note that the letter in Figure 8.7 asks
the favor before presenting any benefit for doing so.
The letter illustrated in Figure 8.8 (on page 153) uses
an inductive approach and applies the principles dis-
cussed earlier. As this message shows, if the preceding
paragraphs adequately emphasize a reader’s reward for
complying, the final paragraph need not shout loudly
8-3b Asking a Favor
Occasionally, everyone has to ask someone else for a
special favor-an action for which there is little reward,
time, or inclination. For example, suppose a professional
8-3c Requesting Information
Requests for information are common in business.
Information for research reports is frequently obtained
by questionnaire, and the reliability of results is strongly
influenced by the percentage of the return. If a mes-
sage inviting respondents to complete a questionnaire
is written carelessly, the number of responses might be
CHAPTER 8: Delivering Persuasive Messages
3443 Fruit Arbor Street
Boise, ID 82009
May 2, 2017
a sincere co
Donna Hopkins, Partner
Hopkins and Lowe Architects.
234 27th Avenue
Salt Lake City, UT 83201
When Simplicity Restaurant negotiated with your firm to design our new
e impressed with your previous track record of
success. Especially impressive was the building you designed for App Works
Technologies here in Boise with its simplicity of structure and abundant
use of glass to bring in natural lighting and provide access to its park-like
building façade, we were
In our meeting with your architects, we discussed a façade design that
building. However, after viewing the initial plan and drawings for the facade,
incorporated some of these features but relates harmoniously with the existing
we were disappointed with the planned transition from the more
design of the existing building with that to the more modern façade.
With Hopkins and Lowe’s reputation for innovative architectural designs, we
are confident that the plans can be redrawn to better meet our expectations.
We are happy to meet with you again if you would like more specific
suggestions regarding changes. Please call me at 330-662-4434 if a meeting
would be helpful in this regard.
Anderson Volk, Owner
– Uses le
The most serious weakness is asking for action too
quickly and providing no incentive for action. Sometimes
the reward for taking action is small and indirect, but the
message needs to make these benefits evident.
progress reports. In many orga
are handled through the use of
memos. These routine message
conveying good news, are writte
some circumstances require th
persuasive message that motivat
change in their jobs that might
8-30 Persuading Within an Organization
The majority of memos are of a routine nature and
essential for the day-to-day operation of the business,
for example, giving instructions for performing work
assignments, scheduling meetings, and providing project
the employees or generate resis
a change in work procedures, o
For example, imagine t
restaurant was faced with the ch
152 PART THREE: Communication Through Voice, Electronic, and Written Messages
FIGURE 8.7 POOR EXAMPLE OF A PERSUASIVE REQUEST (ASKING A FAVOR)
I am unable to buy my spa maintenance supplies at your store. It would be
much more convenient for me to be able to do so. I could avoid a trip across
town to the pool supply store.
Would you consider stocking hot tub and spa maintenance supplies in your
store for my added convenience?
Does not use an inductive
approach to set a more
positive tone. Fails to
provide good reasons to
comply with the request.
Close does little to build
goodwill or encourage
FIGURE 8.8 GOOD EXAMPLE OF A PERSUASIVE REQUEST (ASKING A FAVOR)
Viann Pope, Owner and Manager
South Shores Hardware
San Pedro, CA 84330
June 21, 2017
Dear Ms. Pope:
• Begins with a sincere
sets the stage for the
request that follows.
As a regular customer of South Shores Hardware, my family and I appreciate being
able to buy our home improvement products from a locally owned business that
cares about the community. We also are grateful for the expert advice provided by
your friendly and helpful staff.
Your store provides all of the products that most do-it-yourselfers might need for
their home improvement projects. This includes maintenance products, such as pool
supplies. Adding a line of maintenance products for hot tubs and spas would provide
additional convenience for your customers and supplement your current pool supply
• Explains the rationale
for the request with
a discussion of the
benefits to the store
and its customers.
• Connects a specific
action to the
rewards for taking
By broadening your product offerings, you will continue to build a reputation as
local business that is attentive to its customers’ needs and concerns.
to its employees about a significant change in service and
style, which included new uniforms. Rather than coerc-
ing or demanding that employees accept the change,
a letter from the president could emphasize the rea-
sons the changes were being made (benefits to guests,
the company, and the employees) and the employee’s
important role in implementing the changes. Using a
lighthearted, entertaining approach, the message could
include (a) a visual model of the fresh, crisp, and profes-
sional look that the company expected with the uniform
CHAPTER 8: Delivering Persuasive Messages 1
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