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Persuasive Business Proposals: Writing to Win More Customers, Clients, and Contracts by Tom Sant

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Going Deeper Into Persuasion

For thousands of years, people have tried to figure out the best way to persuade other people to do things. We know that persuasion has been the subject of serious study since the days of classical Greece. Plato worried about the rhapsodes’ ability to appeal to citizens’ emotions and persuade them to do things that were not in the best of interest of the city or themselves. And Aristotle wrote one of the great treatises on persuasion. Among the Romans the ability to persuade was considered a hallmark of responsible citizenship.

Since World War II, researchers have worked particularly hard to identify the elements of persuasion. Why? They have some practical motives: improving advertising and marketing campaigns, ...

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