IntroductionBusinessmen & Executives have to write anumber of letters relating to their own &their organization’s social life. The pressureof business activities & the necessities ofwork make people neglect the littlecourtesies & the contacts that can addgrace to business life & also build strongerpersonal relationships.
DefinitionLetters of thanks & appreciation, letters ofsympathy & condolence, letters inviting speakersat meetings & functions, accepting or refusinginvitations to speak, etc. are some of goodwillletters. If you want to show appreciation orconvey gratitude for a contribution made, orexpress thanks to loyal customers for theircontinued business, a goodwill letter can do thejob. Goodwill letters often come as a surprise,are greatly appreciated, and are an effective wayto build relationships. Be sure you keep yourletter focused on the recipient, not on yourself oryour company.
Principles of Effective Goodwill Letters There is no fixed plan or outline for such letters. It is better for each person to write in his/her own style. There are some points which need to keep in mind while writing such letters.
The letter should be timed properly. A short letter makes a better impression than a long one. The words must be carefully chosen. The writer’s own natural vocabulary is the best. The tone of letter should be personal & suitable for the person who is to receive it. Jargon phrases are worse in such letters & must be strictly avoided. The salutation & the complimentary close should be suitable to the message. It is proper to use the reader’s name in the salutation.
All names & details of the occasion mentioned in the letter must be correct. Clarity comes from being sure of what one wants to say, saying it directly & simply. The letter must have the power of feeling. The reader must sense that the feelings are sincere. The letter must be signed personally and not by a secretary or a P.A. Courtesy requires that the letter should be well made up with neat typing, folding, & addressing. When the same message is to be sent to several persons, each one’s letter must be a fresh copy.
Successful Goodwill LettersA goodwill letter will be successful when you answer yes to the following questions: If you were the reader, would you honestly like to receive this letter? Will the reader feel that you enjoyed writing the letter & that you mean everything you wrote? Did you keep the spotlight on the reader?
Congratulatory Letters• The good fortune or achievement of employees, business associates & friends provides many occasions for writing such letters .• Expression of good wishes & congratulation should be brief, direct & concise.• Enthusiasm & genuine pleasure in the success & achievement of someone must be reflected in the letter.
Letters of Sympathy• When an associate, whether customer, colleague, employee or business acquaintance meets with misfortune of any kind, a message of sympathy should be sent.• A letter of condolence should be short & simple.• It should contain a consoling message, briefly expressed, it may give some comfort or encouragement to the reader.
Invitations• Invitations to functions, dinner, lunch may also be made by letter.• Like other courtesy letters, the invitations should be cordial & gracious in tone.• The degree of formality or informality depends on the relationship between the writer & the reader.
Invitations to Speak• Institutions, organizations, & professional associations hold meetings, seminars & conferences at which speakers are invited to address the audience.• The opening paragraph of such letters should give some information about the inviting organization, & the purpose of the meeting or the nature of the function.
•The day, date, time & place of the functionshould be included.•The subject on which he/she is expected to speak& the approximate time he/she is to have on theprogramme, should be given.•The letter should end with a request to confirmacceptance so that arrangements for the meetingcan be completed.
“Thank You” Letters• When someone has rendered a service, given help or participated as a guest in a programme, courtesy requires that a “thank you” letter should be sent immediately after the event.• After paying an educational visit to a company or a factory, the institution which sent students, or the group leader, must thank the office for their hospitality & reception.• A guest speaker must also be sent a letter of thanks.
Letters of Appreciation• Such letters do a great deal for the spirit of understanding, friendliness and goodwill.• It is worth taking every opportunity to build up good relations with people whether they are subordinates or customers or associates.• Such letters should be written with genuine & sincere feeling; most persons can detect flattery.