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					Chapter 6

Routine Letters and Goodwill Messages

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Ch. 6-1

Writing Plan for an Information Request
• Opening: • Body: Ask the most important question first or express a polite command. Explain the request logically and courteously. Ask other questions if necessary. Use enumerations. Request a specific action with an end date, if appropriate, and show appreciation.
Ch. 6-2

• Closing:

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Information Request ThreeParagraph Letter
• Paragraph 1. Ask for information. • Paragraph 2. State your questions using enumerations—1) 2) 3) or bullets. • Paragraph 3. Request specific action with an end date.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Ch. 6-3

Request Letter Example
Dear Mr. Smith
As a recent college graduate entering the business world, I am interested in building an investment portfolio. Please send the information that answers the following questions about your investment program.
1. What would be the required minimum initial investment? 2. Do you offer the following investments: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or utility funds. 3. Which bond (discount or premium) is better to invest.

Your answers to the above questions by June 1, 200-, would be appreciated. You may send the information to me at the above address. Sincerely
(Remember always use a letter and return address with the current date. Use full block with all paragraphs beginning at the left margin.)

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Ch. 6-4

Improving Openers for Routine Request Letters
Weak:
I’ve been given the task of locating a convention site for my company’s meeting. I’ve checked a number of places, and your hotel looks possible.

Improved:
Will you please answer the following questions regarding possible accommodations at the Hyatt Regency for a conference in May.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e
Ch. 6-5

Improving Openers for Routine Request Letters
Weak:
While reading WIRED magazine, I noticed an offer of a free video describing your Webbuilding software.

Improved:
Please send me your free video describing your Web-building software.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Ch. 6-6

Improving Openers for Routine Request Letters
Weak:
I am conducting a training class for students of photography at the Lincoln Training Center, and I saw a picture that we would like to use in our program.

Improved:
What is the procedure for ordering a copy of a photograph to be used for training purposes?
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e
Ch. 6-7

Improving Closings for Routine Request Letters
Weak:
Thanks for any information you provide.

Improved:
We would appreciate receiving answers to these questions before April 4 so that we will have plenty of time to plan our conference.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Ch. 6-8

Improving Closings for Routine Request Letters
Weak:
Hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience.

Improved:
Please send the video by August 15.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Ch. 6-9

Improving Closings for Routine Request Letters
Weak:
Thank you for your cooperation.

Improved:
Your answer to my inquiry will help me make my printer choice. Thanks!

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-10

Parts of a Business Letter
Letterhead Island Graphics
893 Dillingham Boulevard Honolulu, HI 96817-8817
line 12 or 2 lines below letterhead

Dateline

September 13, 200x
2 to 10 lines

Inside Address

Mr. T. M. Wilson Visual Concepts Enterprises 1901 Haumualii Highway Lihue, HI 96766
1 blank line

Salutation

Dear Mr. Wilson:
Ch. 6-11

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e

Parts of a Business Letter
1 blank line

Subject Line Body

SUBJECT: BLOCK LETTER STYLE
1 blank line

This letter illustrates block letter style, about which you asked. All typed lines begin at the left margin. The date is usually placed two inches from the top edge of the paper or two lines below the last line of the letterhead, whichever position is lower. If a subject line is included, it appears two lines below the salutation. The word SUBJECT is optional. The complimentary close appears

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-12

Parts of a Business Letter
two lines below the end of the last paragraph.
1 blank line

Complimentary Sincerely, Close
3 blank lines

Signature Block Reference Initials

Mark H. Wong Graphics Designer
1 blank line

MHW:pil

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-13

Writing Plan for an Order Request
• Opening:
• Body:

• Closing:

Authorize purchase of items. Suggest method of shipping. List items vertically. Provide quantity, order number, description, and unit price. Request shipment by a specific date. Tell method of payment. Express appreciation.

(See your book for examples of this letter. Remember always use a return and letter address with the current date.)

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-14

Writing Plan for a Simple Claim
• Opening: • Body: Describe clearly the desired action. Explain the nature of the claim. Tell why the claim is justified. Provide details regarding the action requested. End pleasantly with a goodwill statement. Include end dating if appropriate.

• Closing:

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-15

Writing Plan for Granting a Claim
• Subject Line (optional): Identify previous correspondence. • Opening: Grant the request or announce an adjustment immediately. • Body: Provide details about how you are complying with the request. Try to regain the reader’s confidence. Include resale or sales promotion if appropriate. • Closing: End positively with forward-looking thought. Express confidence in future business dealings.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-16

Direct Plan Letter with a Sales Appeal Paragraph
Dear Mr. Li Your replacement travel bag purchased on invoice #3020 for $49 on April 25, 200-, will reach you by June 1, 200-. Fast delivery of the order is our way of proving to you that we value your business. Because your business is important to us, we have carefully examined the handling of your order. It was determined that the travel bag was damaged during packaging. Our manager of packaging has assured me that this will not happen again. Mr. Li, our travel accessories are becoming very popular with our travel clients. You may wish to examine our new brochure describing our new line of travel products. If you place an order by July 1, 200-, we will give you a 10% discount. Please call us or e-mail us to place your order. Thank you for your business. We look forward to working with you in the future. Sincerely (Remember one idea per paragraph. Note that in the 3rd paragraph you are trying to sell another product to the client. Begin this letter with the good news that their product will be replaced.)

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-17

Writing Plan for a Letter of Recommendation
• Opening: Identify the applicant, the position, and the reason for writing. Establish your relationship with the applicant. • Body: Describe applicant’s job duties; give specific examples of skills and attributes. Compare with others in field. • Closing: Summarize applicant’s significant attributes. Offer an overall rating. Draw a conclusion regarding the recommendation.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-18

Three Kinds of Goodwill Messages
1. Letters of appreciation
• To customers for their business • To hosts and hostesses for their hospitality • To colleagues for jobs well done • To individuals who have performed favors
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-19

Goodwill Letter Three-Paragraph Letter
• Paragraph 1. State thank you. • Paragraph 2. Be specific about the contribution. For example, if the person is congratulating you on your degree, then be specific how this person helped. • Paragraph 3. Closing. Thank again.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-20

Three Kinds of Goodwill Messages
2. Letters of congratulation
• For engagements, marriages, anniversaries, births

• For promotions, appointments
• For awards • For any significant event

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-21

Three Kinds of Goodwill Messages
3. Letters of sympathy
• To console a friend, relative, or loved one

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-22

Goodwill Messages: Cards or Personalized Letters?
Typical Greeting Card Thank-You Message
It's wonderful to visit with someone as nice as you– You make your guests feel so at home by everything you do. So this just comes to thank you in a warm and special way– For your hospitality was enjoyed much more than words can say!
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-23

Goodwill Messages: Cards or Personalized Letters?
Personalized Thank-You Letter
Dear Professor and Mrs. Shelton: Thanks for inviting the other members of our business club and me to your home for dinner last Saturday. The warm reception you and your wife gave us made the evening very special. Your gracious hospitality, the delicious dinner served in a lovely setting, and the lively discussion following dinner all served to create an enjoyable evening that I will long remember.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-24

Goodwill Messages: Cards or Personalized Letters?
Personalized Thank-You Letter
We appreciate the opportunity you provided for us students to become better acquainted with each other and with you. Sincerely,

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-25

Tips for Writing Goodwill Messages
The Five Ss
• Be selfless. Discuss the receiver, not the sender. • Be specific. Instead of generic statements (You did a good job), include special details (Your marketing strategy to target key customers proved to be outstanding).
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-26

Tips for Writing Goodwill Messages
The Five Ss
• Be sincere. Show your honest feelings with conversational, unpretentious language (We're all very proud of your award). • Be spontaneous. Strive to make the message natural, fresh, and direct. Avoid canned phrases (If I may be of service, please do not hesitate . . . . ).
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-27

Tips for Writing Goodwill Messages
The Five Ss
• Keep the message short. Remember that, although they may be as long as needed, most goodwill messages are fairly short.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-28

Writing Thank-Yous
Cover three points in gift thank-yous.
• Identify the gift. • Tell why you appreciate it. • Explain how you will use it.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-29

Writing Thank-Yous
Be sincere in sending thanks for a favor.
• Tell what the favor means to you. • Avoid superlatives and gushiness. • Maintain credibility with sincere, simple statements.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-30

Writing Thank-Yous
Offer praise in expressing thanks for hospitality. As appropriate, compliment the following:
• Fine food • Charming surroundings • Warm hospitality • Excellent host and hostess • Good company
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-31

Answering Congratulatory Messages
Respond to congratulations.
• Send a brief note expressing your appreciation. • Tell how good the message made you feel.

Accept praise gracefully.
• Don't make belittling comments (I'm not really all that good!) to reduce awkwardness or embarrassment.
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-32

Extending Sympathy
Refer to the loss or tragedy directly but sensitively. • In the first sentence mention the loss and your personal reaction. • For deaths, praise the deceased. Describe positive personal characteristics (Howard was a forceful but caring leader).
Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-33

Extending Sympathy
• Offer assistance. Suggest your availability, especially if you can do something specific. • End on a reassuring, positive note. Perhaps refer to the strength the receiver finds in friends, family, colleagues, or religion.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-34

Example of Welcome Goodwill Letter
•
• •

Dear Mr. Biggs
On behalf of Scooters International Co., Ltd., I would like to welcome you as a new customer. I was pleased to learn this morning that you have ordered several dozen scooters from us; and I want you to know that all of our personnel are ready to assist with the filling and shipping of the order. We sincerely appreciate your business, and we will do our best to make your association with us both pleasant and profitable for you. Sincerely

• •

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-35

Goodwill Letter—Thank You or Holiday Letter
• Dear Mr. Han
• Happy New Year! We want to start the new year by sending a big thank you for your support this last year. Your business has been very important to us. • Enclosed please find our new brochure advertising our various products. You may wish to visit our Web site at http://www.scooter.com for additional information. • In the coming year we will do our best to serve you in every way. May the new year be a happy and successful one for you.

• Sincerely

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-36

Congratulations Letter
•
•

Dear Mrs. Sequin
Congratulations on being awarded the Consumer Health Affairs #1 rating for the 200- year. This rating is quite an accomplishment and you deserve it. With this rating you join the ranks of the finest health agencies in the world. The fine health magnet products that you have developed for members the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is commendable. Congratulations and best wishes for your continued success. We look forward to working with you in the future. Sincerely

•

• •

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-37

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-38

End

Mary Ellen Guffey, Essentials of Business Communication, 6e Ch. 6-39