Book Title
M: Business Communication 3rd Edition

978-0073403229 Chapter 7 Skills Building Exercises

April 5, 2019
Skills Building Exercises
1. Assume that, as a volunteer for a nonprofit organization in your town, you have been asked
to write the next fundraising letter for the organization. In what ways might you gather
enough information about the intended readers to write a successful message? (LO1)
Students can offer a variety of answers here. They could interview the organization’s key
2. List the tangible and intangible benefits that you might describe when promoting the
following items or services: (LO1)
a. Membership in a health club
b. High-speed Internet service or digital cable service
c. A certain line of clothing
d. Car insurance
a. Membership in a health club:
Tangible: get a good workout for your money, can use the most up-to-date and effective
b. High-speed Internet service or digital cable service:
Tangible: any appeal based on saving time and saving money.
c. A certain line of clothing:
d. Car insurance:
3. List some extrinsic benefits you might use as an extra push if you were promoting the items
in exercise 2. (LO1)
Extrinsic benefits for health-club membership: free towel or water bottle with club’s logo,
discount coupon for massage or personal training session, etc.
4. For each item in exercise 2, list two likely product features and then turn them into reader
benefits. (LO1)
Membership in a health club:
Feature: state-of-the-art equipment
Benefit: effective workout, saving time and increasing fitness
5. Choose one of the items in number 2 and write a paragraph that uses scenario painting to
promote the item. (LO1)
Sample scenario painting for health-club sales message:
6. Criticize the persuasive request message below. It was written by the membership
chairperson of a chapter of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a service
organization consisting of retired executives who donate their managerial talents to small
businesses in the area. The recipients of the message are recently retired executives. (LO2)
Dear Ms. Petersen:
As membership chair it is my privilege to invite you to join the Bay City chapter of the Service
Corps of Re red Execu ves. We need you, and you need us.
7. Evaluate the following sales message. It was written to people on a mailing list of fishing
enthusiasts. The writer, a professional game fisher, is selling his book by direct mail. (LO5)
Have you ever wondered why the pros catch 'sh and you can’t?
They have secrets. I am a pro, and I know these secrets. I have written them and published them in
my book, The Bible of Fishing.
8. Critique each of the following parts of sales messages. (LO5)
Email Subject Line
a. Earn BIG profits NOW!!!
b. Reduce expenses with an experienced consultant’s help.
c. Free trial offer ends this week!
d. Your coupons are about to expire.
e. This week’s travel deals
f. Tell us about your experience with us.
g. Evaluate our service.
h. The best electric razor on the market!
i. Your opinion needed.
j. Your account needs to be updated now.
k. Inquiry
No one “correct” set of criticisms can be made of these sentences, for opinions vary on such matters.
The following comments represent the views of one competent group of critics.
a. screams out message
concisely tells main message
Product or Service: A Credit Card That Gives Bonus Points toward Multiple Airlines
a. Where would you like to go? How would you like to get there?
Product or Service: A Financial Consulting Service
a. Would you hire yourself to manage your portfolio?
Parts of Sales Presentations
Product or Service: A Pest-Control Company
a. If your home gets hit by termites while you’re covered by our plan, you won’t pay a dime
for any future treatments or repairs—guaranteed.
Product or Service: A Mail-Order Food Company
a. Our pasta assortment makes a great gift for your family, friends, and colleagues.
bland statement—"pasta assortment" is not exciting
Product or Service: Vermont Smoked Ham
a. You won’t find a better-tasting ham than the old-fashioned Corncob Smoked Ham we
make here on our Vermont farm.
Product or Service: A Unique Mattress
a. Control Comfort’s unique air support system lets you control the feel and firmness of
your bed simply by pushing a button.
Action Endings
Product or Service: An Alumni Directory
a. To receive your personal copy, just sign and return the enclosed order form along with
your check, money order, or credit card information.
Product or Service: A News Magazine
a. To begin receiving your copies of Today’s World, simply fill out and return the enclosed
emphasizes a benefit with the action
a. You can also monogram items you order before November 1.
you-viewpoint benefit tied to action
9. Find and study the online RFP for an Entrepreneurial Student-Community Partnership
Stipend Award, sponsored by the Prima Civitas Foundation. What are the criteria (both
explicit and implied) for a successful proposal? When reviewing a set of proposals that all meet
these criteria, what kinds of facts might lead the selection committee to fund certain projects
and not others? (LO6)
Evaluate student responses to the first question by their accuracy and thoroughness in supplying the
list of relevant criteria.
10. Pretend you are writing an unsolicited internal proposal requesting funding for traveling to a
major professional meeting in your area of expertise. What kinds of information will you need
to include? What arguments might your supervisors or management find convincing? What
kinds of objections might you need to overcome? (LO6)
Ideas for writing a persuasive proposal in this case might include the following:
Show that the hosts of/presenters at the meeting are experts in the field.