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Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion (ELM)

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Scenario:

You are a salesperson for a small boutique shop, Studio Productions, specializing in print design, web design, motion graphics, DVD production, and presentations. Your company is located in an urban area where there is much competition in a dwindling economy.

The company consists of the original 2 owners/partners, 1 office manager, 1 project manager, 3 designers, 1 technical support person, and 3 salespeople. Although the company is small, they have been in business for over 10 years and have some key alliances. Some of the large advertising firms and public relations firms outsource work to your shop. Some of your projects are outsourced for: printing, slide production, high-end video edits, and illustration.

With the changes in the economy, the company has chosen to stay small in order to respond quickly, but revenues are continuing to drop, and repeat business is slowing considerably. More often, the owners are bartering services with alliances because liquid assets are unavailable. The 2 owners serve as artists/ designers, sometimes salespeople, and also attempt to lead marketing efforts, but without a strategic marketing plan.

Clients tend to be friends of the owners, one-person businesses, advertising agencies, large internationally recognized companies, and marketing or sales professionals in various industries.

In this small firm, many times salespeople and/or designers act as project managers, which takes them away from bringing in new business or working on projects. This has been a frustration for the sales people since they work on commission and they are not paid separately for managing projects. The designers also get frustrated when this happens, because they end up receiving creative direction from a sales person and not an art director/creative director. Also, when the designers end up project managing, their time is split and objectivity on the project may suffer, resulting in a less refined outcome.

To turn the company's business around, the company owner decided to boost sales. As a result, your responsibilities as a salesperson will be expanded to include: prospecting new business, servicing existing clients, keeping clients informed of project progression and listening to their feedback, communicating with internal staff regarding client projects, generating more business from existing clients, participating in networking/ business events to generate more contacts for building new business opportunities.

Assignment/Task
Details: Cybrary Activity

You and your sales team decide to refresh your sales skills. Research the Internet and your course materials on the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion (ELM). Develop a short presentation for your team answering the following questions.

What are the (2) routes to persuasion identified by the theory? How can this theory be applied differently or the same to selling goods versus selling services?
What are the possible adjustments to the selling tactics you, as a salesperson for Studio Productions, may consider in gaining new clients in light of the information you learned from your research.

***I do not have a good grasp on the theory so any assistance would be appreciated***

Attached is research information which may assist.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com March 21, 2019, 12:04 pm ad1c9bdddf
https://brainmass.com/business/branding/57710

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Solution Preview

Interesting and somewhat complex scenario, indeed. Please see response attached. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

Let's critically review the information of the theory (uploaded from your file attached), to get a basic understanding of the theory:

Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion (ELM)

It is helpful to apply theory when attempting to differentiate and understand audience or customer purchasing influences. (Good point! It will help you to understand your customer to increase the likelihood that you will use a technique that will persuade the customer to purchase your product) Theory helps provide a skeleton for strategy development and a means for measuring the effectiveness of applying the theory to a given situation. One common theory of persuasion (learning to match customer motivation and knowledge base with techniques that will increase the likelihood that you can persuade the customer to purchase your product or service) is the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion (ELM) by Perloff and Cacioppo.

The ELM describes the cognitive processing (how our brain processes information e.g., hear the message, think about the message, and respond to the message) that occurs when a person is presented with a persuasive message. Whether the message is presented one on one (as in a business relationship) or through a medium (such as a television advertisement) the theory claims we all process those messages either cognitively or peripherally (automatic reaction versus active thinking process, a celebrity speaker ro buzz word may be enough to persuade this person using peripheral processing).

The theory can be applied to understanding both goods and service industries (this is #2 information), because across the board, persuasive attempts are looking to induce a change of opinion or behavior (this is #2 information), The sales process for any industry relies upon effective persuasive communication attempts to achieve certain results (Good point! Your new responsibilities in your imagined position are calling for increased sales, so this would be important). The ELM describes how different processing occurs by the target of the persuasive attempt (central processing which involves elaborate thinking processes versus peripheral process which people use when they are distracted or have limited knowledge about a topic), and what additional variables play a role in how that message is processed.

Specifically, the ELM, developed by Perloff and Cacioppo describes a central route and a peripheral route to persuasion. The central route being a cognitive path, where a great deal of thinking about an issue is involved, and more scrutiny and attention are paid to the message. The peripheral route is described as involving very little thought, and more attention is paid to the message's ability to evoke positive values, images, or feelings. Each route has very different ways of processing information, which means the methods to reach these two groups, will also be different. The theory identifies motivation and ability to process the message as the two indicators that determine in which route a person will process a persuasive message. [#1 information to consider. Central route would be appealed to when the person to whom you are selling your product has a high needs for the product (high involvement and motivation) and has a large knowledge base about the product (high ability to process information). Peripheral route of persuasion would be appealed to if your customer is distracted or has limited information (low ability to process information, so use a few main technical words, along with some buzz words, for the customer ...

Solution Summary

Based on the scenario and ELM, this solution describes the two routes to persuasion identified by the theory and how this theory can be applied differently or the same to selling goods versus selling services. It also describes the possible adjustments to the selling tactics the salesperson for Studio Productions may consider in gaining new clients.

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