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					ES2002 Business Communication
Letter Writing: Organising
     Three broad outline patterns

   • Direct
   • Indirect
   • Persuasive




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   2
                      Direct approach


   Used when you anticipate readers’
    response to be positive or neutral.

     Examples
     Letters that grant credit/requests
     Congratulatory messages
     Letters that acknowledge receipt of goods




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   3
                                                            Opening
        Direct approach: Opening
             • Begin immediately with the main




                                                            Direct approach
               idea
             • State purpose in the first
               paragraph
             • Avoid slow starts




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising        4
                                                            Opening
      Direct approach: Opening




                                                            Direct approach
Examples of opening:

I will be honored to emcee the annual Chamber of
Commerce banquet on 25 May at Westin Stamford.

The revised source code with the proper in-program
documentation will be shipped to you within three
weeks.




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising        5
                                                            Middle
          Direct approach: Middle




                                                            Direct approach
• Provide more information, details or
  supporting facts
• Ensure:
   •   Accuracy
   •   Completeness
   •   Relevance
   •   Logical presentation


ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising        6
                                                            Closing
            Direct approach: Closing




                                                            Direct approach
          • State action required
          • End with positive, friendly
            statement to build goodwill




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising        7
                    Direct approach

     Opening                            Most important idea


                                        Supporting details
                 Middle
                                            or facts

                                                Friendly/
                            Close               positive
                                               statement




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising     8
                    Indirect approach

   Used when you anticipate readers’
    response to be negative.

     Examples
     Letters that turn down requests/invitations
     Letters that terminate a business relationship
     Warning letters




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   9
                                                                  Opening
        Indirect approach: Opening




                                                                  Indirect approach
• Start with a buffer
• Ensure buffer is
  • Neutral                              … some kind of barrier
  • Pleasant                              that helps cushion
                                            the shock of the
                                               bad news




  ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising       10
                                                            Opening
    Indirect approach: Opening




                                                            Indirect approach
 Examples of buffer statements
 Thank you for your interest in the clerical position
 at XYZ Co. (Letter turning down a job applicant.)
 We have always enjoyed serving you as a customer.
 (Letter refusing a request)




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   11
                                                            Middle
        Indirect approach: Middle




                                                            Indirect approach
    • Explain reasons behind the
      negative response
    • State refusal briefly




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   12
                                                                                  Middle
        Indirect approach: Middle




                                                                                  Indirect approach
    Explanation should be:
    • Adequate
    • Relevant and concise
    • Believable    • Provide plausible explanations
    • Dignified     • Avoid involved explanations
                                         • Avoid using “against company policy”




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising                         13
                                                            Middle
        Indirect approach: Middle




                                                            Indirect approach
    Refusal should:
    • Be brief
    • Be de-emphasized




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   14
                                                            Closing
       Indirect approach: Closing




                                                            Indirect approach
    Offer alternative solution, if
     possible
    End with positive friendly
     statement

We regret that we have not been able to accede to your
request this time. However, should we be able to assist
          you in the future, please contact us.


ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   15
                    Indirect approach

                         Opening                Buffer




              Middle                         Explanation
                                              Bad news




                                               Positive
                          Closing               note


ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   16
              Persuasive approach

   Used when you anticipate resistance
    or a lack of interest.
     Examples are letters that ask readers to:
     •cooperate
     •put in extra work hours    (non-sales
     •contribute a service        letters)
     •make a donation
     •make a purchase (sales letters)


ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   17
                                                            Opening
 Persuasive approach: Opening




                                                            Persuasive approach
Gain readers’ Attention




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   18
Ways of capturing                     Examples
attention
Make the reader feel                  At Zidex, employees are our greatest
special                               asset.
                                      ... You have been selected for approved
                                      membership for our Gold Card. Sales
Express appreciation for the … Tritech would not have made it
reader’s efforts             through those tough times if not for your
                             continued support and perseverance.

Focus on something of                 We want to ensure that the services that
great concern to the reader           we offer will stay relevant.
Ask a question                        Don’t you want to provide your loved
                      Sales           ones with the best things in life?

Emphasise newness of                  For the first time in Singapore, the new
product/service  Sales                Toshiba AB123 …

  ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising                      19
                                                            Middle
   Persuasive approach: Middle
        (Non-sales letters)




                                                            Persuasive approach
   • Win the readers’ Support
          Address readers’
           concerns/questions/objections
          Emphasise reader benefits
          Highlight other positive outcomes




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   20
                                                            Middle
   Persuasive approach: Middle
          (Sales letters)




                                                            Persuasive approach
   • Create Desire in Product/Service
          Emphasise key selling points
          Articulate reader benefits
          Show how product/service can
           meet readers’ needs
          Introduce price attractively



ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   21
                                                            Closing
  Persuasive approach: Closing




                                                            Persuasive approach
         • Motivate Action
            State action
             clearly/confidently
            Prompt for quick action
            End on positive note



ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   22
                 Persuasive approach

    Non-sales letters                                Sales letters
Attract Attention                            Attract Attention

Win Support                                  Create Desire in
                                             Product/Service

Motivate Action                              Motivate Action




ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising            23
                     Which approach?
Content             Anticipated                Approach           Desired
                    reaction                                      reaction
Good news             Positive                  Direct        Positive/neutral
or routine            or neutral

Bad news or           Negative                  Indirect      Understanding
unfavourable

Requests for   Indifferent or                   Persuasive    Interested/
service, money resistant                                      Persuaded
cooperation/
Sales letters


  ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising                      24
                         Points to note

  Writing plans for the three approaches are just
                   broad guidelines
      Avoid sounding standardised / artificial
Plan each message for the specific reader’s needs



      Your writing will remain interesting, sincere, and
                       real to the reader

  ES2002 Business Communication: Letter Writing: Organising   25

				
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