14
Aug
06

Business Letter Basics

Consider your Reader
– The reader usually employees, customers, suppliers or the public.
– Imagine that you are in the readers’ position
– What essential information does that person need to know through this communication?
– What are their expectations when they open the letter?
– Have you addressed all of these issues?

Be Responsive
Address the inquiry or problem.

Be Personal
– Don’t address it “to whom it may concern” if it is possible.
– Do not use a photocopied form letter.
– But also don’t be too informal. Avoid using colloquial language or slang.

Be concise and to the point
– Explain your position in as little words as possible.
– Spell out what you can and what they need to do.
– Use clear and easy to understand language so that any misunderstanding can be minimized.
– Think before you write. Ask yourself why you are writing? What is it that you want to achieve?

Use this 5 step process:

1. List out the topics you want to cover. Do not worry about the order.
2. In each topic, list keywords, examples, arguments and facts.
3. Review each topic in your outline for relevance to your aim and audience.
4. Cut out anything that’s not relevant.
5. Sort the information into the best order for your readers.

Be friendly, build the relationship
Don’t use cold, formal language, but do use the word correctly.

Emphases the positive
Talk about what you can do not what you can’t. For example, if a product is out of stock, don’t tell the customer you are unable to fill the order, instead, tell them the product is very popular and you have sold out. Then tell them when you can get the order to them.

Stay away from negative words. For example, your complaint about our product, instead, sorry our product was not up to your expectations.

Be Prompt
If you cannot respond fully in less than a week, tell them so and say when they can expect a respond from you.

Check Spelling, Grammar & Facts

Source : http://www.writing-business-letters.com/Lesson1.html

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