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Chapter 8 Invitation and Thank-you Letters Invitation Invitations are very common in our daily life. They can be divided into two categories: invitation card and invitation letter. An informal invitation resembles a business letter. When sent from a business office, the letter is sometimes keyboarded on executive stationery, which is smaller than the regular business letterhead. Although many formal invitations are handwritten, especially for smaller groups, formal invitations generally are printed and follow formats found in etiquette books Wording of invitations should be conversational, as though the writer were extending the invitation orally. A general invitation should be cordial and sincere, while a formal invitation should be less personal, written in the third person. Often formal invitations include "RSVP" and a telephone number. The RSVP notation means "Please let us know if you plan to attend." It informs invited guests that the host is expecting an immediate telephone reply to facilitate plans for the event. If an invitation includes "Regrets only", it will require a reply only if the invited guest cannot attend. Invitations are written in the deductive pattern and are relatively short. Either kind of invitation, however, must do three things: • Invite the reader to the gathering. • Offer a reason for the gathering. • Give the date, time, and place of the gathering. Thank-you Letter Following the receipt of a gift, attendance as a guest, an interview, or any of the great varieties of circumstances, a thoughtful person will take a few minutes to express his/her appreciation. Although in many cases thanks could be conveyed as well by telephone calls, letters seem much more thoughtful. By writing letters of appreciation, you can show your respect for others. A thank-you letter goes beyond simply thanking the receiver for being kind; it notes the consideration, the extra effort and the kindness extended. A thank-you letter covering a business situation might be sent promptly. It also must sound sincere. A proper thank-you letter will: • Begin with a statement of thanks. • Be specific about which is appreciated, which reflects a sincere feeling of gratitude. 1 • End with a positive and genuine statement. The following card and letters are written according to the writing principles mentioned above. Now read the letters and try to figure out how the writing principles are applied in them. The questions after the letters might help you accomplish the task. Letter A An invitation card The Sales Department of the New York B&G Wine Co., Ltd Cordially invites you to a tea reception marking the opening of the branch in Shanghai at 10 a.m. in Hilton Hotel on Friday, May 15th, 2005 R.S.V.P Tel: 021- 43267522 Letter B An invitation to a dinner party Dear Mr. Black: To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Shenzhen Trading Co., Ltd, we are holding a dinner party at Hilton Hotel in Shenzhen from 7-00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 6th. You are cordially welcome to the party so that we can express our sincere appreciation for your generous support. For your information, the party will be attended by other business elites such as Mr. Zang Hong and Li Peng from Beijing International. We believe that this may offer many of us an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with each other. We do hope that you will be able to join us on this occasion, and look forward to meeting you at the party. Sincerely yours, Letter C Thanks for suggestions from an employee 2 Dear Mr. Harrison: Many thanks for submitting your splendid suggestion that we should hold a meeting every week so that all the staff are able to freely take part in the discussion about the management of our firm. We have carefully looked into the suggestion. This will be helpful in smoothing the procedures of communication and giving employees a feeling of belonging and responsibility. In this way, we can solve many problems quickly. Please keep on giving such good suggestions. Having such help, we have made great strides in the past ten years. We'll place a copy of this letter in your personnel file as a formal record of our appreciation. And your year-end bonus will grow by $1,000 for the suggestion. Best regards, Bill General Manager Questions for Comprehension 1. According to letter A, do you know how to write invitation cards? 2. What a general invitation should be like? 3. What should a formal invitation include? 4. What kind of specific information does letter B give? 5. Explain some situations in a business environment that may call for a thank- you letter. 6. How does letter C express sincere appreciation? 7. How can you make sure that a thank-you letter definitely expresses your goodwill with warmth and sincerity? 8. List the outlines recommended for an invitation and a thank-you letter. Sample Analysis Sample 8-1 An invitation to a fair Dear Mr. Rogers: We are glad to learn that you are considering a visit to China to pave the way for cooperation between our two companies. We agree with you that a discussion between us in person is beneficial and necessary. As the next session of the Chinese 3 Export Commodities Fair in Guangzhou is to be held from October 6 to 20, 2005 in the city, we would like to suggest that you attend it. The general manager and sales representatives of our company will be there to meet you and conduct negotiations with you. Some of the new products will be on display at our stands. After your visit to the Fair, you may come to some of the factories you are interested in. Provided you have decided to come to visit, we will forward you a formal invitation. We are confident that our meeting at the Fair will be productive and lead to advance of our business relations. We sincerely hope that we can meet at the Fair. Once you have fixed your schedule for the visit, please inform us so that we will make necessary arrangement to welcome you. Faithfully yours, Sample 8-2 An invitation to the ceremony Dear Mr. Grant: We would like to invite you to attend our award ceremony, which is to be held at Johnson Hall, Duke University on 18 January this year. The proceedings will begin at 2 p.m. and end around 5 p.m., after which a dinner will be given at 6:30 p.m. for our prominent visitors. As one of our distinguished ex-students, you are expected to address the parents and students with a short speech of your choice before handing out the awards. Although we realize you are busy, we hope you can find time to attend the ceremony. Your presence and speech will make the occasion more delightful. Yours sincerely, 4 Sample 8-3 Thanks for arrangement for a visit Dear Mr. Park: Our visit to B&G is drawing to a close and we are leaving for Paris shortly. On the eve of our departure, I am pleased to get the opportunity to send you and your associates a message of deep thanks for the cordial reception and hospitality extended to us during our stay here. We all believe that this visit is very fruitful and we are confident that this visit will be helpful to the further strengthening of our business cooperation. We do hope that you will give us, on an early occasion, an opportunity to reciprocate (IR^) your hospitality by visiting us in Paris as our guest. My associates8 and I would be delighted to entertain you in the near future. Both sides could examine further how we will work together more closely in order to expand business between us. Meanwhile, we wish you good health and every success in your work. Sincerely yours, Sample 8-4 Thanks for firm order Dear Sirs: We have confirmed by fax accepting your firm ordei^of 15th May. And as this is your first order with us, we must write to tell you how glad we were to receive it and to thank you for the opportunity you have given us to supply the goods you need. 5 We hope our handling of this order will lead to further business between us and to a happy and lasting association. We shall certainly do our best to make it so. Yours sincerely, Sample 8-5 An invitation to a lecture Dear Mr. Green: I was told by our mutual friend Mr. Wang that you will visit China next month. I want to invite you to come to our college to give the students some lectures on "Marketing Management". Please let me know as soon as possible if you can come and tell me your exact arrival time. Yours sincerely, Sample 8-6 Thanks for prompt payments Dear Customer: This is to acknowledge our appreciation for your prompt payments for the goods we supplied. Customers like you help us make profits in business. Please place your order again soon. We are looking forward to more cooperation with you. Cordially yours, Language for Writing I. Notes 6 I. provided: conj. Provided your quotation is favorable to attract buyer here, we can push the sale of your products successfully. 2. associate: 3. firm order e.g. firm offer , firm price, firm market II. Useful Sentence Patterns 1. We are planning/giving/having... at... on... My wife and I are now planning a small cocktail and dinner party at our home from 4 to around 9 p.m. on July 6th. 2. We would/should be (very) pleased/glad/delighted/happy if you could... We should be very pleased if you could honor us with your presence. We would be delighted if you could find the time to join us for a small party we are having at our office in London to celebrate the end of the financial year. 3. Would you please... Would you please do me a favor by joining a party? 4. We (sincerely) hope... We sincerely hope you can attend. We hope you are not too busy to come. ?iU 5. Please let me know/confirm... Please let me know as soon as possible if you can come and tell me when you will be able to do so. Please confirm your participation at your earliest convenience. 6. Thank you for... Thank you for your kindness to me and for your compliments. Thank you for hospitality that made us feel as comfortable as we do in our own home. Thank you for inviting me and some of my colleagues to dine with you last night. It was an enjoyable occasion and an excellent dinner. Thank you for considering our company. 7 7. Many thanks for your... Many thanks for your support. Many thanks for our generous cooperation. 8. Please accept/extend my (sincere) thanks... Please accept my sincere thanks for showing me such warm hospitality when I visited Please accept my profound appreciation for your help. Please extend my thanks, on behalf of all the attendees, to each of your employees. 9. I'm grateful to you for... I'm particularly grateful to you for having taken time out of your busy schedules to meet me. I'm grateful to you for the time and effort you put to ensure my trip was a successful and satisfying one. 10. I very much appreciate... I very much appreciate your taking the time to help me with the training program at your factory and look forward to an opportunity to return the favor, I sincerely appreciate your warm congratulatory message on the completion of our new o f f i c e b u i l d i n g . Exercises I. Read the following letter and discuss with your classmates whether there are any problems in it Then try to improve it. and contrast your improved letter with the original one. To whom it may concern: Being a sewing machine operator in our plant is a very demanding job. It is very easy to make mistakes during operation. Ho we v e r, a ll th e p ro d u c ts in y o u r se c tio n m e t o u r quality standards last month. Thank you for making such prod ucts. Sincerely , 8 II. Fill in the blanks of the following letter with the words and expressions given. Change the form where necessary. 1. Thanks for reception ` gratitude appreciation assist express look forward to add greet helpful Dear Mr. Moon, Thank you very much for ___________ my daughter while she was in London. I k no w t h at sh e h as al r ea d y w ri t t e n t o you __ ___ __ her _________, but I would like to __________ my own ___________. The introductions you made for her and the contacts and information she gained will be extremely__________. We are _________ the pleasure of you ____________ in Paris in the near future. Yours faithfully, 2. Invitation to giving a speech present seminar reply arrangement invite join admire session Dear Mrs. Brown: All the staff of our company have long _________ your excellent research activities and would enjoy learning more about your work. We would like to ________ you to speak at the opening _________of our annual ___________ on Sales Promotion to be held at Hilton Hotel on March 3rd at 9:30 a.m. Since this seminar lasts one hour and a half, a one-hour address followed by a thirty-minute question and answer period would be ideal. About 100 persons are expected to be __________; most of them sales managers, or persons with experience in marketing. We do hope you can ___________us that day. I would appreciate your ____________ by February 24th, so we can make __________ for you. 9 Sincerely, III. Put the following sentences into the right order and make it a complete letter. 1. An invitation letter a. The dinner will be held at the Asia Peace Plaza, beginning at 5:30 p.m. and continuing to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 24 and dress will be informal business wear. b. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, October 24. c. We are planning a small dinner party in honor of Johnson, President. d. We hope that you will be able to join us in this opportunity to meet the senior directors of our company. 2. A thank-you letter a. When I was in charge of sales ten years ago, one of the first orders I filled was from Burley & Sons. Since then, of course, it has been a pleasure enjoying many, many opportunities you offered. b. For these ten years our business has been consistently developed, with an average annual profit increase of 20 percent. In the meantime, our sales distribution has been enlarged to the present 68 countries and areas from the original 10. That is why my colleagues and I share happiness and pride while celebrating the tenth anniversary of the corporation. c. Let's work together for our ever greater success! d. Surely we value all of our customers, but we feel a special responsibility to those like you, Burley & Sons, whom we have served. e. Our satisfaction with our present business position comes largely from our being able to maintain and enhance our service record. So, while celebrating our tenth anniversary I'd better, on behalf of the whole corporation, say "Thank you! Thank you for your ever continuing faith in us." f. Many thanks for your congratulation on the celebration of the tenth anniversary of our corporation. IV. Write letters according to the information given in the following situations, applying the writing principles discussed in this chapter. 1. You graduated from college with a double major in accounting and arts and accepted a job with a world-famous company. During your 3-year stay, you worked closely with other staff. However, an illness in your family has required you to relocate to another state. The senior manager was instrumental in helping you gain a similar 1 0 posi tion with another company. Write the manager a letter of appreciation. 2. A discussion of the joint venture agreement will begin in Beijing Hotel from October 17th to November 1st. You want to invite Mr. Wang to attend this discussion. Write to him and ask for the personal details of their representatives, such as the full name, age, gender and position, etc. 1 1
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