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Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 1
Chapter Nine
Writing Business Correspondence
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 2
Chapter Nine
Table of Contents
 Considering Audience and P...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 3
Considering Audience and Purpose:
Writing Inquiries
 Make ...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 4
Considering Audience and Purpose:
Writing Inquiries (contin...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 5
Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales
Messages
 Deve...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 6
Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales
Messages (conti...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 7
Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales
Messages (conti...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 8
Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful
Adjustment Letters
 Ad...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 9
Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful
Adjustment Letters (con...
Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 9
Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful
Adjustment Letters (con...
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Chapter 9: Writing Business Correspondence

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Chapter 9: Writing Business Correspondence

  1. 1. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 1 Chapter Nine Writing Business Correspondence
  2. 2. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 2 Chapter Nine Table of Contents  Considering Audience and Purpose: Writing Inquiries  Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales Messages  Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful Adjustment Letters
  3. 3. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 3 Considering Audience and Purpose: Writing Inquiries  Make your questions specific, clear, and concise. Phrase your questions so that the reader will know immediately the type of information you are seeking, why you need it, and how you will use it.  If appropriate, present your questions in a numbered list to make it easy for your reader to address them.  Keep the number of questions to a minimum to improve your chances of receiving a prompt response.
  4. 4. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 4 Considering Audience and Purpose: Writing Inquiries (continued)  If possible, offer some inducement for the reader to respond, such as promising to share the results of what you are doing.  Promise to keep responses confidential, if appropriate.  Close by thanking the reader for taking the time to respond. Provide contact information, such as a phone number or an e-mail address, to simplify a reply.
  5. 5. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 5 Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales Messages  Develop your letter to accomplish three basic goals. – Open by attracting your reader’s attention and arousing his or her interest. – Describe features of the product or service that would appeal strongly to your reader’s wants or needs. – Suggest ways that the reader can immediately use the product or service.  For e-mail messages, create a subject line that encourages recipients to read the message (“Local Locksmith Offers Unmatched Security Packages”).
  6. 6. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 6 Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales Messages (continued)  Be certain that any claim you make in a sales message is truthful, not an overstatement.  Present evidence to convince your reader that your product or service is everything you claim it to be.  Don’t exaggerate, make unreasonable claims, speak negatively of a competitor, or use other unfair tactics. You can build confidence with a money-back guarantee, a trial offer, testimonials, honest comparisons to other products, or case histories.
  7. 7. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 7 Writer’s Checklist: Writing Effective Sales Messages (continued)  Make the customer’s response easy and worthwhile. You might include a map to your store, a discount coupon, instructions for phone-in orders and free delivery, or a Web address for more information, special discounts, and online orders.
  8. 8. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 8 Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful Adjustment Letters  Address your reader respectfully, whether you apologize, explain, educate, or offer an adjustment.  Explain what caused the problem if such an explanation will help restore your reader’s confidence or goodwill.  Explain specifically how you intend to make the adjustment if it is not obvious in your opening.  Express appreciation to the customer for calling your attention to the situation, explaining that this helps your firm keep the quality of its product or service high.
  9. 9. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 9 Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful Adjustment Letters (continued)  Point out any steps you may be taking to prevent a recurrence of whatever went wrong, giving the customer as much credit as the facts allow.  Avoid recalling the problem in your closing (Do not say, “Again, we apologize . . ..”) Close on a positive note, looking forward, not back.
  10. 10. Writing That Works | Chapter 9 Bedford/St. Martin's (c) 2013 9 Writer’s Checklist: Writing Tactful Adjustment Letters (continued)  Point out any steps you may be taking to prevent a recurrence of whatever went wrong, giving the customer as much credit as the facts allow.  Avoid recalling the problem in your closing (Do not say, “Again, we apologize . . ..”) Close on a positive note, looking forward, not back.

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