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Key Terms

Discuss about the Business Communication Skills for Seeking Attention.

Certainty and persuasion are the two concepts that seek attention and are governed by subjective factors. These concepts profoundly shapes the behavior as a catalyst and brings beliefs to life while adding meaning and consequence in action (Nanarpuzha and Noronha 2016). When applied in the perspective of the salesperson then these concepts are studied based on influence strategy in the corporate world. The buyer and seller interaction and the use of tactics by seller is often considered a refined way to lead to ultimate level of certainty and persuasion in terms of sales being generated.

On the contrary, this assignment will study the integral concepts and the application of certainty and persuasion in the real life scenario. However, this will be analyzed based on the two academic articles undertaken to underline the critical appraisal of the concepts as well as the arguments defined in the articles.

Certainty – The certainty defines the confidence that we possess in the beliefs and is mainly subjective in nature than being objective. Moreover, according to the research, the opinions matter more irrespective of the data being same.

Persuasion – Persuasion can be described as a function of thoughts that not only influence people’s attitudes but also people’s thoughts based on external messages (Brinol, Tormala and Petty 2013). Moreover, the process through which one can reinforce attitudes or behaviors is termed as persuasion.

Influence Strategy – The strategies help in enabling a group or an individual to change decisions by establishing the frame or reframing the issue. Moreover, the mutual gain can be gained through ethical influence and persuasion. These strategies tend to be effective in the practical scenario when a salesperson pursues the buyer to buy the product based on tactics used in selling a product. 

Article 1: “How Certainty Transforms Persuasion”

The first article outlines the basic concept of certainty as well as persuasion. As rightly, opined by Tormala and Rucker (2015), “certainty can be organized into categories according to how people make evaluations or appraisals” and these appraisals are only formulated based on relevancy, legitimacy, completeness and accuracy. Moreover, certainty is considered as a tool of persuasion at different levels that is interpersonal, managerial as well as organizational. However, persuasion is influenced by the power of subjective factors to make people certain of their opinions while evaluating the pros and cons. The four lever of certainty that are defined in the article are:

  • Consensus – The certainty in people’s opinions amongst others makes them more confident which makes the likelihood of sharing in new members to be high (Hawley 2015). However, this can be well followed based on the attitude towards position or product that is widely shared. Consensus can be generally applied through the customer satisfaction surveys and feedbacks.
  • Repetition – This tactic is certain with the marketers to make the public aware of the repeated message. Moreover, the repetitive message increases the sense of proposition as well as willingness in the people. As a result, repetitive messages enhances customers certainty while making sure that customers express their approval through multiple opportunities.
  • Ease – The third lever of certainty that deals with the impact of subject feeling that comes with the persuasiveness of ideas.
  • Defense – This mechanism deals with the certainty after the people have defended themselves on certain argument irrespective of the situation if the situation is correct or not.

Key Arguments of the Authors

Article 2: “Seeking attention an investigation of salesperson influence strategies used while selling to small retailers”

According to Nanarpuzha and Noroha (2016), it has been clearly stated that sales person also uses persuasion as a method of selling to retailers but in this case, it is known by influence strategy. However, salesperson selling and persuasion has been cited to be under-researched topic as there has been no evidence on the way the salesperson adopts influence strategies in the emerging markets like India, Brazil, etc.

The power and tactics in the everyday setting have gauged by the influence strategies in the organizational settings. However, when applied in the organization settings, the nice distinct features that influence tactics is use by a sales person are rational persuasion, ingratiation, personal appeals, consultation, inspirational appeal, legitimating tactics, coalition tactics and pressure. Nevertheless, there are number of studies that not only explore the classification of power but also measure power between channel members through fivefold classification that is reward, legitimate, referent, coercive and expert power. The seller influence tactics is majorly pertinent to personal selling such that different holds different definitions.

  • Information exchange is based on a communication process where there is two and fro of information without any recommendations.
  • Recommendations is a rational argument to explain the benefit of the purchase.
  • Promises are a reward contingent
  • Threats imply with seller’s request to the buyer if the sanctions are not done properly.
  • Requests and legalistic pleas are not applicable.
  • Ingratiation enhances the seller’s interpersonal attractiveness to gain the consent of the buyer.
  • Inspirational appeals are a tactic to elicit emotional response.

However, these influential practices applied in daily practice are further analyzed through Indian “Kirana” stores. Moreover, practically these strategies take form according to the situation such as sales catalog potential, incentives (as a case of promise), customized appeals (combination of information exchange and recommendations), contracts and legal means (combination of threats and legalistic pleas) and the problem solving capability if in the small retail. However, all these strategies focus on developing partnership with the storeowners with an understanding of particular challenges faced by the owners of the store. Contrary to this, different influence strategies affect strategies in small retail to gain “share of counter” as well as competitive advantage over rival salespersons.

The differences in arguments is highlighted based on certain perspectives given in the two articles.

Reason for Difference

Article 1

Article 2


It involves a subjective concept of certainty and persuasion.

It incorporates an objective concept of certainty and persuasion.

Goal of the Article

The goal is to find how these four levers can be used for persuading people and the best lever amongst the four.

The goal of the article relies on the different influence strategies that the salesperson takes in luring the buyer to purchase the product.


The article has covered the general perspective that can be applied to all levels whether interpersonal, managerial or organizational.

The article has covered the sales perspective that can be applied to only organizational setting.


The article implements the certainty levers on everyday perspectives; right from one pitch sales to leadership initiatives

The article implements only in one direction that is marketing and sales perspectives


This theory lacks validity of the data and applying to the real life scenario

The theory is assume to be valid when it comes to applying in the emerging markets like India in areas of retail.

Author’s Perspectives

ü  Certainty is a tool of persuasion

ü  Four different levers can be applied everywhere (Contextual).

ü  No such practical implication is given on informal support networks

ü  Persuasion is a tactic to achieve certainty

ü  Different influence strategies can be applied in the salesperson-relationship interaction (Situational)

ü  Practical implication is given on informal support networks

The recommendation that can be drawn based on the articles are given as the following.

  • The certainty principles in article one only highlights the tactical level of the marketing tool but does not highlight the sub categories that could be applied in a real life scenario.
  • On the other hand, I recommend this article for any backing done in a product or an idea, which is conceptual in nature. It is done here using moral strategies that avoids manipulating others by not challenging the rights to beliefs and propositions. Nevertheless, as opined by Veronesi (2015), “it is not about what you do, but it is how you do it that matters.”
  • The second article does not illustrate the importance environmental influence on the relationship between salesperson and the retailer. Moreover, the grounds related to the relationships are not are not investigated such that the effectiveness of the retailer with the product or sales. Conversely, one more concept that lacks understanding is transformational leadership while selling the product to the leader
  • Although, the different influence strategies evaluated on the salesperson-retailer interaction based on customer expectation but should be based on the compliance because compliance makes recommendation strategies counter-productive.


To conclude, it can be said that the two articles evaluated are of different nature because if one talks about concepts, the other talks about its practical implications. However, both the articles gives a new insight to certainty and persuasion. Moreover, the if one article highlights the importance of levers of certainty on a subjective basis, on the other hand, the second article highlights the influence strategies undertaken by salespersons in the practical of emerging market. As a result, some similarities as well as dissimilarities govern the report.


Brinol, P., Tormala, Z. and Petty, R. (2013). Ease and persuasion: Multiple processes, meanings, and effects. Available at: [Accessed 8 Aug. 2016].

Hawley, D. (2015). Putting "Certainty" to the Test in Group Decisions. [online] Atomic Spin. Available at: [Accessed 8 Aug. 2016].

Nanarpuzha, R. and Noronha, E. (2016). Seeking attention: an investigation of salesperson influence strategies used while selling to small retailers. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 36(2), pp.144-159.

Tormala, Z.L. and Rucker, D.D. (2015). How Certainty Transforms Persuasion. Harvard Business Review, 93(9), pp.96-103.

Veronesi, I. (2015). Using certainty in persuasion: Manipulation or leadership? - Leaders League. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 Aug. 2016].

Cite This Work

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