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From ancient time and human beings exchanged value, by bartering goods and material
between each other to the invention of coins in 630 BCE, there is always a common
denominator in all of their transactions, the ability to sell, and to persuade the act of
influencing opinions that in turn leads to an improved or altered behaviour and thought
towards something or someone. In the competitive business world and predominantly in the
business to business
industries, where many scholars debate that persuasion involves emotions, and many believe
that persuasion is proof with logic. This difference in opinion can be based on the perspective
of where is the persuasion is utilized and the dimension of the contract involved, taking in
account decision making process, and buyers criteria. However, there is a widely accepted
notion that no matter how great is the disparity between the effect of persuasion in consumer
purchase and industrial procurement, humans are emotional creatures and not always
creatures of logic (Carnegie, 1936). This paper seeks to shed light on what is the general view
about persuasion in selling, and what are the persuasion skills that contribute to the success in
sales also in industrial sales.

Persuasion is a figurative process in which persuaders try to influence other people to change
their attitudes or behaviour concerning an issue through the transmission of a message, in an
atmosphere of free choice.
Persuasion is more of an art, that can be mastered learned by anyone (Mortensen, 2004),
Mortensen & Cialdini study persuasion from a psychological perspective of how the human
mind works when exposed to persuasive messages, other persuasion expert debate from the
study and observation of marketers and sales in action, states that persuasion from a rhetorical
perspective is the art of expanding, engineering ideas and twisting and positioning words
beyond recognition when arguing a proposition, much like the sophists did in Athens in the
fourth century BCE (Nilsson, 2015).
However in this work, we will concentrate on the Psychological side of persuasion, and how
different tactics that compliance officer employ produce yes,(Cialdini,2009). Yes, is sought
for in every transaction in life, whether Business to Business or in FMCG ( fast moving
consumer products) even by influencing your child to eat his vegetables.

Looking at the persuasion from the perspective of many scholars, there is a clear
consideration that Persuasion cannot exist in vacuum; it needs to be carried out, behaved and
expressed, said, felt and motivated, broadcasted and influenced, It is argued that humans
communications is the synergy of words, tone, facial expressions and body language
(Mehrabanian,2007). Giving an example here is the word Yes after winning a lottery has a
different tone and pitch and body language to the same word Yes, from a criminal in
interrogation confessing a crime.
Persuasion has a broad spectrum of how people view it, from the gap in positive influence to
the negative manipulation, as persuasion is applied to influence children eat healthy food, it
can also be applied in manipulating and scamming the elderly to buy dubious health
insurance. (De Liema, 2014) Ultimately it is speculated that people may hold general views of
persuasion as good and bad (Nave theories about persuasion to be correctly referenced).

Key Words
Sales competence, Persuasion competence, Sales persuasion ,Sales skills, Influence in sales

This literature review is mainly based on the research on persuasion in business study. In the
context of business, the paper will organize and evaluate persuasion literatures and book,
which come from Kurt W. Mortensen and. Robert. B. Cialdini. The purpose is to explore the
persuasion skill impacts of Sales on B2B context. Moreover, the literature review tries to find
the relationships and different between Mortensen & Cialdini. Also add other research article
to analyze. Moreover, the keywords of searching are as follows: persuasion, sales, sales kill,
Influence in sales Mortensen & Cialdini. These words are key points of the whole literature

In order of fulfil the purpose of this report, a study was conducted on the theories of Cialdini
and Mortensen, also on reading and comparing and contrasting many scientific articles on
persuasion and influence to be able to gain more knowledge of what is persuasion, and how is
it used in business and everyday life.

For this literature review, we searched the following databases: Google scholar, the library of
Linnaeus University. We searched mainly in two areas: Sales and persuade. This requires two
layers of searching, we narrowed down our search by finding a search term in the article title,
abstract, or keyword. After narrowing down the scope of the search, we further focus on the
impact of persuasion in the business side.

In order to find articles that fit the research theme, we used the following search terms: Sales
competence, Sales persuasion, and Sales skills. The number of articles is not sufficient after
us searching these keywords, so we added some synonyms and related vocabularies, such as:
Persuasion competence, Influence in sales. There are almost 3000 articles in total. We deleted
articles published before 2000 and around 300 articles are left. After that, we deleted about
some articles which are not related to persuade. After reviewing the rest of the articles details,
there are 16 articles were used in this review.

Laws of persuasion by Kurt Mortensen

There is only one way . . . to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other
person want to do it.(Carnegie, 1934)
Law of Dissonance:
Dissonance is the opposite of mental consistency, when on has dissonance in the mind, they
have two opposite thoughts, thoughts are not congruent with their actions, Cognitive
dissonance was coined by Leon Festinger, it happens when our actions are not consistent with
what we believe or think, examples new years resolution of eating healthy, yet first week of
the new year one is out with friends and eats a high calorie meal at a fast food restaurant with
a large soda.
How to use Law of Dissonance in Persuasion, is getting commitment from the client, one
research was done on the beach, a lady leaves her radio and towel and goes away for two
minutes an actor from the research steals the radio in front of all sunbathers no one stops him.
However, when the lady request the sunbathers to watch her things, and when they say yes,
nine out of ten deter the thief from stealing the radio, to be consistent with what they have
Another example used in sales, is by telling the customer to repeat his needs that are parallel
with your products, example, salesman might ask the buyer, if he wants quality, durability,
style, affectivity, and may even ask the buyer to elaborate with his own words, then present
his product as durable, effective, quality and stylish since these are the attribute of his
product, now since the buyer has exclaimed he wants such qualities in the product he is
mostly convinced to buy, since he wants to be consistent with what he wants.
FITD ( Food in the door) is one of dissonance main tactics, where you obtain a small initial
acceptance, to ask eventually for a bigger one, like the salesman asking the customer to try
this in our business, and once inside, it is very easy to obtain commitment meet people of
demand and close the sale.
The law of Obligation which is also the law of Reciprocity in Cialdini:
Where you give something and the person will be obliged to give something back, example
one salesman used to send a decorated Sword with CEOs name of companies he targeted on
the Sword, and a card saying we will fight by your side in the next battle.
99% of the time CEOs would give him a chance for sales meeting obliged by the thoughtful
The law of connectivity which is also the law of liking in Cialdini:
This law is when you get your audience to like you, by being similar, having similar tastes,
views about things in life, same level of thoughts and energies, by connecting with the other
side on many levels, like attracts and influences like.
Examples, A labour officer wanted to convince his workers in a factory to stop the strike, he
wore the labour cloths, stood amongst them, used simple language and spoke to them from a
worker to worker and not stood on a pedestal and spoke with complicated jargons.
The law of social validation
This law is how people tend to behave in how others do, wisdom of the crowd.
By showing your product is validated by the public, or many people use it, you create a social
validation, our product the most sought after by successful industry one company has on its
website and having a list of many industries using their service creates social validation.
An experiment was done recently where a student was told he will be participating in a
scientific experiment, not knowing what it is, she entered the room to see many seated on the
chairs in waiting room, as she sits down they all stand up everything a bell rings for no
apparent reason, and sit down, eventually the second ring she also stood up and sat down
every time the bed rang, following the social validation.
The law of scarcity:
The law of scarcity is since the beginning of humans, we have an innate nature to value scarce
things, if something is rare and limited, we value it, exclusivity is very powerful in luxury
brands the difficulty to obtain it.
Experiments have been done even on small children with cookies; all the children wanted the
cookies that they could not have.
When floods in India destroyed their onion farms, onion price went up by ten folds, people
still bought it because it was scarce.
The law of Verbal packaging:
Its a way with words, making things sound different, like a cup half full, instead of half
empty, example focus groups were told that the hamburger was 25% marbled or had fat.
While other were told it was 25% lean, talking about the same facts of one type of burger, the
group that was told its 25% did not like the burger, while the other group liked the burger.
Verbal packaging is how to play with words in marketing also, like flight baggage are not lost
they are misplaced, another example is how a flight attendant found out that the chicken
breast was not enough for all passenger and had more beef, so she spoke to passengers while
offering option, would you like to have beef marinated with vegetables and drizzling with
beef sauce, or chicken breast?
Most people chose beef and did not choose the generic chicken breast.
The law of contrast:
This law of persuasion is used by showing something to influence receiver behaviour about
something else. Example a real-estate agent takes the family looking for a house to a poorly
built house for one price, then takes them to a way better house just a little more costlier than
the bad shape house, by looking at the mediocre house, they tend to see the second house as
very good.
Results of the review
Cialdini has in common with Mortensen as follows:
1. Reciprocity=Obligation
2. Social Proof= Social validation
3. Scarcity= Scarcity
4. Consistency=Consistency/Dissonance
5. Liking=Connectivity
6. Authority= Power
Mortesen proposes in Pre-Persuasion to construct a winning argument in the following
1. Create Interest
Creating interest is where the sales specialist knows what words to use, what catches the
attention of the buyer, by understanding his clients needs.

2. State the Problem

Stating a problem clearly defines what the salesman is trying to solve. in a persuasive speech
by finding a problem and relating to how it affects the client. In which, it shows them a
problem they have and why it is of concern to them. Why is this a problem to to them, and
what are the circumstance if problem left unsolved.
3. Offering Evidence
Evidence supports the argument is also validates the claims and offers proofing that the
argument is right. It allows the audience to rely on other sources too. Evidence can include
statistics, examples, stories, testimonies, analogies, and other supporting material used to
improve the integrity and congruency of the argument.

4. Presenting a Solution
Now that the salesman has gained the audiences interest and provided evidence in support of
his message; Salesman advanced to solve the problem by presenting the concrete solutions,
which has been studied to fit perfectly for the target company before the sales meeting has
taken place.There are three steps stated by Mortensen (2004) one is to Discover what the
prospects want and need to hear. second is to Design and structure a winning persuasive
argument third is to Deliver the message with passion, compassion, and purpose.

Cialdinis book on influence:

Cialdinis main work is summed up in 6 principles of persuasion, which he later develops on
these principles and sub branches each and everyone
into real life events.
One of the principles is Reciprocity, as humans it creates a dissonance if they take and not
give back, once we are given something we are obliged to give something back.
By this Law, it can be seen that most business contacts build on this context, doing favours to
each other and repaying that favour, example one company which we had an internship
semester at, bought advertising from a company that has agreed to install LED lights from
them, as a reciprocal move. Social Proof is another law of Persuasion where the wisdom of
the crown is used to influence others to commit to a purchase by follow the crowd, also
Testimonials from satisfied customers show the prospect.
people who are similar to them have benefited from the use of service or product.
Liking and authority, consistency and scarcity, where people like ones who have something in
common and similar to them, and do business with ones they like, also people do not like to
be inconsistent once they give a verbal commitment, and the power of authority where a
doctor advertising a toothpaste has more credibility than other professions, so as the power of
scarcity, what is scarce is valuable, as luxury brand has the exclusivity to make their product
scarce and more valuable in the eyes of their customers.

Robert Cialdini's six principles of Persuasion

1. Reciprocity
suggests that there is an implied obligation on the part of the recipient of a gift to reciprocate
in some manner, Research in that area has found that the giving of inexpensive gifts or small
monetary incentives will result in a higher rate of response than not giving any gifts or
monetary incentives, there are also indicate that it is not necessary that the gift be an
advertising specialty gift that carries the retailers name, logo, slogan, or some sales
message in order to motivate the consumers to buy (Hershey&Paul, 1990)

Shows that there is an implied obligation of the recipient to return gift, in some way in the
field of research has found that provide cheap gifts or small monetary incentives can lead to
the reaction rate is higher than do not give any gifts or monetary incentives, also shows that
there is no need to present is a "professional advertising gifts, retailer's name, logo, slogan, or
some sales information in order to motivate consumers to purchase (Hershey&Paul, 1990)

2. Commitment & Consistency

For example, some car dealerships offer customers an outstanding price on a car, sometimes
several hundred dollars below competitors prices. Later in the process, something happens to
remove that several hundred dollar advantage from the sales price, such as the salesperson
discovers an error, the supervisor says no, or they need to add air conditioning to the package
at an additional price. Even though the several hundred dollar advantage may be the only
reason why the customer began negotiations with the dealership, most customers will not
back out at this point because they have created in their minds other reasons to pursue the deal

3. Social Proof
One increasingly important source of signals is social proof, whereby consumers rely on the
collaborativelyshared information and experiences of others to infer a course of action. a
third of the variance in the sales rank is a significant contribution to the field of research on
the impact of social proof on sales. however It is conceivable that the type of product for
which reviews are sought is an influential factor in assessing the nature and role of social
proof. For example, when shopping for an expensive or technically complex product, expert
recommendation may be more important than that of a close but uninformed friend.or Social
proof is a powerful tactic of influence. (Aguirre,2013).This is why television producers use
laugh tracks, bartenders salt their tip jars, charities publicize the names of donors, and
advertisers emphasize how many people are using their products.

4. Liking
The sales representative attributed his success to one factor: His customers liked him. To
produce this liking, each holiday he simply sent his 13,000 former customers a seasonal card
that included his comment, "I like you!" Other sales representatives produce liking by
complimenting customers (i.e., ingratiation) on seemingly unrelated aspects of the purchase
decision (Tommy,1994),

5. Authority
Since persuasion can cause compliance even in the absence of authority, it seems that an
increase in persuasion should lead to a decrease in the reliance on authority. This is only
partially true, however: persuasion and authority can be both substitutes and complements,

6. Scarcity
One method of sales promotion is to make some products scarce or to make them appear
scarce. A favoured tactic used by almost every telephone home shopping show is to refer to
the restricted supply or the large number of units sold (Gierl, 2008), however, in Traditional
theories on scarcity, the commodity theory (Brock 1968) seem not to be fully adaptable to the
consumption area. This problem could be due to the fact that normally consumers are able to
choose among a large variety of options, so the scarcity of one special option should not lead
to an enormous constraint which can, for example, lead to reactance and therefore increase the
attractiveness of the scarce product. (Gierl, 2008)

Discussion and Conclusion

We can talk about the gap, that none of the persuasion book talk about how to
meet resistance, none of the books, study both sides sender and receiver and
reaction to persuasion before and after, and the books looks at all audience as
The Persuasion Knowledge Model: How
People Cope with Persuasion Attempts

Samir references and meaningful sentences:

Persuasion is important to sales man. He can draft his USP ( unique selling preposition) on the
basis of AIDA (Attention-Interest-Desire-Action) formula. His application must be drafted
from buyers point of view.

Of course, there are three knowledge structures at issue here, and all states of relevance and
development are possible. Certainly there will be times when topic knowledge and/or agent
knowledge are more pertinent and extensive than persuasion knowledge and will, therefore,
be drawn on in preference to persuasion knowledge. People who already know a lot about
HMOs in general, and a lot about the company sponsoring the ad they are reading, may not
choose to draw on persuasion knowledge at all. The PKM does not suggest that persuasion
knowledge dominates people's thinking as persuasion targets, only that it contributes to it and
can be. under some conditions, a major contributor.(The Persuasion Knowledge Model: How
People Cope with Persuasion Attempts)

Persuasive impact is greater when a person is happy or in great mood (Janis et al.,1965)
( article affect and persuasion)
The essence of selling is persuasion (Funkhouser,1984)
Personal selling would benefit greatly from Persuasive work (Funkhouser,1984)
While some people seem to be naturally persuasive, most people even sales people are not
(McMurry, 1961) ( A practical theory of persuasion)

Friestad and Wright (1994) claims that persuasion awareness

grows by experience and observation. In the sales framework, training contributes
an advantage through which new sales staff learns precise influence, topic, and
target knowledge. Training is planned to introduce or reinforce perceptions
about target prospects identities, views, motives, and goals, and ways to
persuade the target.

Friestad M. , & Wright P . (1994). The persuasion knowledge model: How people cope with
persuasion attempts. Journal of Consumer Research , 21, 131. doi:10.2307/2489738

Marguerite DeLiema, BS, Yongjie Yon, MA, Kathleen H. Wilber, PhD; Tricks of the Trade:
Motivating Sales Agents to Con Older Adults. Gerontologist 2014; 56 (2): 335-344. doi:

Recall the words of the industrialist, Charles M. Schwab. We are all salesman every day of
our lives. We
are selling our ideas, our plans, our enthusiasms to those with whom we come in contact. ( To be referenced correctly & sentence above
used in any paragraph of where it can belong)
Chen & Sam
DeLiema, M., Yon, Y. and Wilber, K. (2014). Tricks of the Trade: Motivating Sales Agents to
Con Older Adults. The Gerontologist, 56(2), pp.335-344.

Cialdini, R. (2009). Influence. 1st ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

Nilsson, T. (2015). Rhetorical business. 1st ed. Lund: Department of Service management and
service studies, Lund University.

Mortensen, K. (2004). Maximum influence. 1st ed. New York: American Management
Carnegie, D. (1936). How to win friends and influence people. 1st ed. Simon and Schuster.

Mehrabian, A. (2007). Nonverbal communication. 1st ed. New Brunswick, NJ: Aldine
Transaction, pp.45-63.

Friedman, H. H., & Herskovitz, P. J. (1990). The Effect of a GiftUponEntry on Sales:

Reciprocity in a Retailing Context. American Journal of Business, 5(1), 49-50.

Amblee, N., & Bui, T. (2011). Harnessing the Influence of Social Proof in Online Shopping:
The Effect of Electronic Word of Mouth on Sales of Digital Microproducts. International
Journal of Electronic Commerce, 16(2), 91-114.

Tommy, E. Whittler1994). Eliciting Consumer Choice Heuristics: Sales Representatives'

Persuasion Strategies.Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management,14(4), 3-15

Gierl, H., Plantsch, M., & Schweidler, J. (2008). Scarcity effects on sales volume in retail.
The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research, 18(1), 45-61.

Brock, T. C. (1968). Implications of Commodity Theory for Value Change. Psychological

Foundations of Attitudes, 243-275.

Steen, E. V. (2009). Authority Versus Persuasion. SSRN Electronic Journal.

Foster, D. and Lawson, S., 2013. Likingpersuasion: case studies in social media for
behaviour change.

Roskos-Ewoldsen, D.R., Bichsel, J. and Hoffman, K., 2002. The influence of accessibility of
source likability on persuasion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38(2), pp.137-