Enquiries and Replies


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The most common business letter is buyer’s enquiries of goods and services and sellers ‘ replies giving information and quotation.
While replying to enquiries, one must tell the potential customer what he wants to know and something more. You should present the facts to show how the customer benefits from buying the product/service. You must also depict the advantage of the product.
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Enquiries and Replies

  1. 1. Enquiries and RepliesChapter 18
  2. 2. The most common letters in business are buyer’s enquiries about goods and services and sellers’ replies giving information and quotationsIt is used so that they have a document and a record for reference Chapter 18
  3. 3. To ask for information, you can directly begin with a question or request or an indication of the need. A series of direct questions may follow the opening paragraph. The letter may end with a friendly comment. It is moreeffective to end a letter with more business-like sentence Chapter 18
  4. 4. Points included in this letter are:•Courteous request for information, giving its purpose•Statement of what is wanted (a list of questions)•Request that the information may be given by a certain date and/or indication of business to follow. Chapter 18
  5. 5. Your reply must do a sales job. Tell the potential customer what he wants to know, and something more. You need persuasive skill and good judgment in giving information. Present the facts so as to show the customer the benefits of buyingthe product/service. You must show the advantage of the product Chapter 18
  6. 6. Asking help or advice from business acquaintances: You may ask business acquaintances forinformation. I the information is likely to be confidential, you must be tactful; offer to help in other matters, whenever possible; address the enquiry to an individual rather than to a company Chapter 18
  7. 7. A tactless refusal creates ill will; convey the negative message carefully. Courteously explain why theinformation cannot be given, and suggest some other source of information. Write a helpful tone. The points to be considered are: Appreciation of interest shown by inquirer; apology and reason for inability to give information; suggestion of other sources of information, if possible. Chapter 18
  8. 8. Mention all details of your requirements when asking for aquotations; if it is for a service, ask for a representative to visit you to discuss the details. If it is for amachine, ask for a demonstration to be arranged Chapter 18
  9. 9. Points to be kept in mind are: Polite request for quotation; details of requirements with quality and quantity of goods; place and time of delivery of goods required, carriage paid or carriage forward; any special request about mode of delivery or packing. Suggestion that the volume of business will be large if the quotation is favorable Chapter 18
  10. 10. Usual quotation is given when market conditions are normal whereas an exceptional quotation is given in case of a large order. A tabulatedquotation may be enclosed with a letter. The pointsto be considered are: thanks for enquiry; statement of prices and terms; attempt to win the customer Chapter 18
  11. 11. A firm offer is a quotation which is firm foracceptance by the receiver within a stated limitedtime. It’s a promise to sell the state quantity at thequoted piece provided the order is received within given time, usually 3 to 7 days. It is a moral obligation but not a legal obligation It is made when the price of a product is expectedto rise or when the price is fluctuating, and quoting a definite price is difficult. It builds goodwill with important customers Chapter 18
  12. 12. The substitute you offer must satisfy the purpose and need of the customer. It must be the nearest in quality and price; if it differs explain why. A substitute must be offered with confidenceJust offering a substitute without explanation may give rise to mistrust. Chapter 18
  13. 13. Write a tactful letter saying that the market is uncertain and you canquote only for a definite contract, or make a firm offer for a very short period. Chapter 18
  14. 14. If your order is likely to be large, you can point this out to persuade the seller to give better terms. The requestsshould be specific. Points to be considered are: expression of thanks for the quotation; Specific request for morefavorable terms and attempt to show that the supplier will benefit if he gives the requested terms; suggestion that large/frequent orders will be placed if the request is granted Chapter 18
  15. 15. Agreeing too readily to reduce your price may give the impression that the originally offeredterms were not fair, or the sales are so poor that you are eager to get an order at any price. Arequest or a favor should be granted with dignity. A grudging or condescending tone will be resented by the customer. Chapter 18
  16. 16. Show the seller that he has anadvantage, such as publicity or increased sales. Chapter 18
  17. 17. Granting a request: This is a pleasant message;grant a favor cheerfully, without grudging. You may of course express expectation of benefit by granting the favor. Refusing a request: A refusal must be conveyed tactfully so that chances of future business with the customer are not damaged. Customers can be persuaded to understand why the request cannot be granted. Take pains tom explain Chapter 18
  18. 18. It is expensive to win new customers than to keep the oldones. The commonest reason for loss of customers is thatthe supplier makes nom effort to retain them and so they drift away to competitors. A timely letter to a drifting customer can save a loss. A short letter should suffice; sending the latest catalogue, or samples of the at leastdesigns/products may make an indifferent customer feel that he is remembered by you Chapter 18
  19. 19. Address the letter to a specific person by name and include these points: i) Statement that the customer’s communication has been missed for some time ii) Tactful enquiry about why she/he has been silent iii) Information about new product/service or special offer iv) Request for order; assurance that satisfaction will be ensured. Chapter 18
  20. 20. Letters given by the employer to the employee are legaldocuments. Date of appointment, of taking charge of the post, ofconfirmation, promotion, resignation, termination of service, etc. are an important deciding factor in computing the amount due to the employee when the appointment comes to an end. It is advisable not to sign the acceptance of any letter until the details of the appointment letter are examined and found satisfactory Chapter 17
  21. 21. An appointment letter must contain:i) Name of the postii) Scale of pay and rate of incrementiii) Basic salary to be given to the particular personiv) Allowances applicablev) Date on which the person is expected to take charge of the post.vi) Provident fund, or pension and gratuity benefits applicable to the postvii) Period of probationviii) Period of termination notice Chapter 17
  22. 22. A warning memo is given in confidence to an employee whose work is unsatisfactory or who violates rules and regulations, or behaves in an undisciplined manner. The letter must refer to records or registers such as the attendanceregister, leave register, or the actual work done by the employee to indicate that there is documentary evidence of fault. Chapter 17
  23. 23. A written memo is never issued without previous oral warning. Its not a threat or dismissal from service; it states firmly that better work/behavior is expected, and that unless there isimprovement increments or promotion may be withheld Chapter 17
  24. 24. Termination service may beinvoluntary like lay-off/discharge or voluntary like resignation/retirement Chapter 17
  25. 25. The decision of lay-off is taken only after careful analysis of alternatives, like retraining, and transfer optionsIt is done owing to a loss of business, restructuring or recognition or other business requirement Chapter 17
  26. 26. The decision of lay-off is taken only after careful analysis of alternatives, like retraining, and transfer optionsIt is done owing to a loss of business, restructuring or recognition or other business requirement Chapter 17
  27. 27. If an organization finally decides to lay-off employees, all rules, procedures andcontract obligations are strictly followed. Chapter 17
  28. 28. Each lay-off may be considered separately on the basis of the employees seniority, contractterms, transitional support needs, etc. Chapter 17
  29. 29. It may offer to write testimonials,recommendations, or give other assistance in theemployees efforts to find another position. Chapter 17
  30. 30. It includes date of relieving, name of the post held, reason oftermination, and information about payment dues. An expression ofregret, and appreciation of services is necessary Chapter 17
  31. 31. Proper documentation is essential to ensure that the dismissal is legally tenable. A confirmed employees service can beterminated only after inefficiency, negligence or malpractice is definitely proved. A charge-sheet, followed by an inquiry is the required procedure before terminating a confirmed employee Chapter 17
  32. 32. The body of the letter has 4 parts: • Identify the letter as a termination notification and give the reason of issuing the letter • Summary of facts supporting the disciplinary action • Notification that the letter will be placed in the employees personnel file • Notice of right to appeal the dismissal Chapter 17
  33. 33. Resignation/retirement: The letter ofresignation indicating the last day of work is usually to be submitted to the immediate supervisor and a copy is forwarded to the HR department. An exit interview is scheduled when a resignation letter is received Chapter 17
  34. 34. When the employee leaves, a relieving letter is given to the employee. Acceptance ofresignation includes an expressionof appreciation of contribution and good wishes for the future Chapter 17