THE ART OF PERSUASION
'Let me send you our brochure' is probably the most commonly used phrase in business. But all too often, it can spell the end of a customer enquiry because many brochures appear to be produced not to clarify and to excite but to confuse. So what goes wrong and how can it be put right? Too often, businesses fail to ask themselves critical questions like, 'Who will the brochure be sent to?' 'What do we want to achieve with it?' The truth is that a brochure has usually been produced for no other reason than that the competition has one.
However, with a little research, it often transpires that what the client wants is a mixture: part mail shot, part glossy corporate brochure and part product catalogue - a combination rarely found. Having said that, the budget is likely to be finite. There may not be enough money to meet all three marketing needs, so the first task is to plan the brochure, taking into account the most significant of these. The other requirements will have to be met in a different way. After all, introducing the company's product range to new customers by mail is a different task from selling a new season's collection to existing customers.
The second task is to get the content right. In 95 per cent of cases, a company will hire a designer to oversee the layout, so the final product looks stylish, interesting and professional; but they don't get a copywriter or someone with the right expertise to produce the text, or at least tidy it up - and this shows. A bigger failing is to produce a brochure that is not customer focused. Your brochure should cover areas of interest to the customer, concentrating on the benefits of buying from you.
Instead, thousands of brochures start with a history lesson, 'Founded in 1987, we have been selling our products .. I can assure you that customers are never going to say to themselves, 'They've been around for 20 years - I'll buy from them.' It's not how long you've been in business that counts, it's what you've done in that time. The important point to get across at the beginning is that you have a good track record. Once this has been established, the rest of the brochure should aim to convince customers that your products are the best on the market.
It is helpful with content to get inside the customer's head. If your audience is young and trendy, be creative and colourful. As always, create a list of the benefits that potential customers would gain from doing business with you, for example, product quality, breadth of range, expertise of staff and so on. But remember that it is not enough just to state these; in order to persuade, they need to be spelt out. One possibility is to quote recommendations from existing customers. This also makes the brochure personal to you, rather than it simply being a set of suppliers' photographs with your name on the front.
At the design stage, there are many production features that can distinguish your brochure from the run of the mill. You may think that things like cutouts or pop-ups will do this for you and thus make you stand out, or you may think they just look like designer whims that add cost. Go through all the options in detail. One of them might be that all-important magical ingredient.
13 What point does the writer make about brochures in the first paragraph?
A Customer expectations of them are too high.
B They ought to be more straightforward in design.
C Insufficient thought tends to go into producing them.
D Companies should ensure they use them more widely.
14 The writer's advice to companies in the second paragraph is to
A produce a brochure to advertise new product lines.
B use a brochure to extend the customer base.
C accept that a brochure cannot fulfil every objective.
D aim to get a bigger budget allocation for producing brochures.
15 In the third paragraph, which of the following does the writer say would improve the majority of brochures?
A better language and expression
B better overall appearance
C more up-to-date content
D more product information
16 In the introduction to a brochure, the writer advises companies to focus on
A their understanding of the business environment.
B the range of products they offer.
C their unique market position.
D the reputation they have built up.
17 When discussing brochure content in the fifth paragraph, the writer reminds companies to
A consider old customers as well as new ones.
B provide support for the claims they make.
C avoid using their own photographs.
D include details of quality certification.
18 What does 'run of the mill' in line 67 mean?
《The art of persuasion》，勸說的藝術。這里的勸說(persuasion)帶點廣告的意思，是指怎么樣設計廣告手冊(brochure)才能吸引顧客，也就是勸顧客掏錢購買產品。
13題問第一段中作者對廣告手冊所做的觀點是什么。答案是后面幾句：businesses fail to ask themselves critical questions like….企業沒有問自己一些關鍵性的問題。從這段話可以看出，作者認為企業在設計廣告手冊時的考慮是不周全的，沒有進行深入思考。所以答案是C：設計他們時考慮得并不充分。A不對，沒有提到客戶的期望，只是說廣告手冊可能會把客戶弄糊涂。B也不對，第一段并沒有提到design的問題。D在原文中也沒有提到。這題稍微需要理解和概括。
14題問作者在第二段中對公司的建議是什么。原文說的很明白：There may not be enough money to meet all three marketing needs, so the first task is to plan the brochure, taking into account the most significant of these.不可能滿足所有的市場需要，所以優先考慮最關鍵的部分，其他的需要用另外的方式來滿足。理解了內容不難選出答案是C：接受一個廣告手冊不可能滿足所有目標的事實。
第三段緊接著第二段所說的首要任務(first task)，提出了次要任務(second task)：把廣告手冊的內容找準。在95%的情況下，公司會雇人好好設計廣告手冊，但是卻不會找有相關技能的廣告文字撰稿人制作內容，或者至少給收拾下。還有一個更大的失敗之處在于制作出的廣告手冊不是以客戶為中心的。廣告手冊應該涉及到客戶感興趣的領域，集中在從你那購買所能獲得的好處上。
15題問作者在第三段說怎么樣才可以改善大部分的廣告手冊。根據前面的內容概括，很顯然答案在A和D之間。選A是根據題干中的the majority of brochures來的，原文中提到In 95 per cent of cases, a company will hire a designer to oversee the layout….. but they don't get a copywriter or someone with the right expertise to produce the text.在95%的情況下公司只注重設計而不注重表述內容，這里的95 per cent of cases可以對應the majority of brochures。get a copywriter or someone with the right expertise to produce the text，找一個有相關技能的廣告文字撰稿人來制作文字，也就是A所說的更好的語言和表達。
16題問在廣告手冊的引進階段，作者對公司們的建議是什么。原文很明確：The important point to get across at the beginning is that you have a good track record.。通過這一階段最重要的是你必須有一個良好的業績記錄。也就是D選項所說的公司要注重他們所建立起來的名聲。其他幾個選項都沒有提到。第五段說的是廣告手冊內容的一些注意事項。內容中要包含與你做生意時可能獲得的一些好處。公司要對手冊上的聲明做詳細說明。還可能引用現存客戶的一些建議。這些可以使得廣告手冊顯得很個人化，而不是堆砌供應商的照片然后把自己的名字印在最前面。
17題問第五段對廣告手冊內容的討論中，作者的建議是什么。答案是原文的這么一句：it is not enough just to state these; in order to persuade, they need to be spelt out。僅僅只是聲明是不夠的，為了可以說服，他們需要被詳細說明。也就是B選項所說的為所做的聲明提供支持。A和D沒有提到，C不對，不是說避免使用他們的照片，而是說不能僅僅只呈上他們的照片，還要有別的東西，比如客戶的建議。
最后一段是說的設計階段的注意事項，需要具備哪些特征才能讓你的廣告手冊脫穎而出。18題要聯系上下文進行理解，原文是說“there are many production features that can distinguish your brochure from the run of the mill.”有很多生產特征能讓你的廣告手冊區別于其他的，后文有一個make you stand out，理解這里的含義，就是要和普通的一般的廣告手冊相區分。所以選擇ordinary。
transpire：When it transpires that something is the case, people discover that it is the case. 為人所知
spell something out：to explain something clearly and in detail
e.g:The report spelled out in detail what the implications were for teacher training.
track record:all the past achievements, successes or failures of a person or an organization 業績記錄