LETTER WRITING Persuasive Requests:

A request for cooperation, gifts, or favors, without any intention to buy or sell, is a persuasive request. This type of letter attempts to persuade the reader to spend time or money or to go to some trouble to help the writer – usually without benefit to the reader.

1. Begin with something that will Interest the Reader

  • Altruistic Appeal
  • Reader-benefit appeal
  • Individual responsibility appeal
  • Personal experience appeal.

2. Follow through with the Reason for the Request

  • Emphasize an advantage to someone other than the writer
  • Compliment the Reader
  1. State the Request in Definite and Specific Terms
  2. Stimulate action with closing remarks
  3. Reflect an optimistic Outlook

1. Begin with something that will Interest the Reader

  • Altruistic Appeal
  • Reader-benefit appeal
  • Individual responsibility appeal
  • Personal experience appeal.

2. Follow through with the Reason for the Request

  • Emphasize an advantage to someone other than the writer
  • Compliment the Reader
  1. State the Request in Definite and Specific Terms
  2. Stimulate action with closing remarks
  3. Reflect an optimistic Outlook

Dear Residents

The Welfare Society G Block is conducting a survey of our members in an attempt to obtain information which will help in improving the quality of our services and thereby benefiting our worthy members. The information received from you will act as in identifying the problem areas.

In addition, our project Review Committee can benefit from information regarding strength and weaknesses of our programming as well as suggestions for improving them.

Other members and I eagerly await your reply. Please return the survey in the enclosed enveloped by September 20.

Yours Sincerely

Replies to Inquiries

Use the direct plan when you say yes to an inquiry or request, and be sure to follow the suggestions listed here in your reply.

1. Give the Exact Information Requested

Say in the first sentence that you are granting the request or answering the inquiry. A common error in answering inquiries is failure to answer some of the questions asked. Prevent this common error by marking on the letter of inquiry the points or questions to be addressed. Before you send your reply, double-check with the original letter to see that each point or question has been adequately covered.

When answering yes to a request for an appointment or reservation, repeat in your letter all the details such as date, time, and place.

The following letter shows an answer to a request for a reservation:

Dear Mr. Ali,

We are happy to receive your registration form and deposit for the 21st Century Marketing Conference to be held April 3-7 in Lahore.

The Lahore Hilton has set aside a block of rooms at a special discounted rate for conference attendees. The rate is Rs. 1000 for a single, Rs. 1500 for a double. To make reservations, call 00 – 11 – 22 before February 1.

Pakistan International Airlines is offering conference attendees up to 40 percent off the regular fares. To make flight reservations, call 800-684-4000, and refer to identification number J0969.

When you arrive at the conference, be sure to register before noon on Monday, April 3, so that you can attend the 1:00 p.m. special roundtable discussion by market analysts.

Yours truly,

2. Express Appreciation for the Inquiry

Tell the customer, either directly or by implication that you are glad he or she has written to you about one of your organization’s products or services. Write in the spirit of service and goodwill. The tone of your reply should express your appreciation.

3. Sell Your Organization or Product

Put “sell” into every letter you write. An inquiry tells you that the customer was interested when he or she wrote, but what guarantee do you have that the interest is still “hot”? Stress the benefit of converting interest into action.

4. End with a Positive Closing

If appropriate, offer to give further assistance, and end with a goodwill closing. When inquiries are clear, concise, and specific, they are easy to answer.

Look at the following example. Immediately after the request was received, the following reply was written. Because all the customer’s questions could be answered positively, the writer used the direct approach.

Enclosed are samples of the paper we recommend for letterhead stationery. We are happy to answer the questions in your June 15 letter because the content and design of your organization’s letterhead create a first and lasting impression of your organization………….

Dear Mr Hassan

Thank you very much for your letter of May 21 in which you request us to send you the latest Catalogue and pricelist of our office supplies and equipment. I send them this morning, by First Courier Service.

The Catalogue gives complete details of our products I am sure you would find them as usual suitable to your requirements.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely

Replies to Persuasive Requests

It’s easy to answer a persuasive request when you can say yes. A smiling “Here it is” or “I’ll be glad to” just about sums up the reply. Follow the direct plan and use the suggestions listed here.

1. Start with a Cheerful “Yes”

Open your letter with the good news that will make your reader happy:

“I’ll be at the seminar to help in any way I can. The solution to the problem of tax increases is important to me too, and I’m glad you planned the seminar”.

If the request is granted grudgingly or with reservations, you will probably lose the goodwill you could expect to gain by saying yes.

2. Confirm Details of the Request and Acceptance

The confirmation can be included with the “Yes” in the first paragraph, as in this opening sentence:

We are pleased to enclose the entrance requirements to our graduate business program.

Otherwise, the confirmation should follow in the next paragraph and should repeat the details of the request to be sure that reader and writer agree. For example, a letter accepting an invitation to give a talk at a meeting should confirm the day and date, time, place, subject, and length of the talk. Or, if a contribution is enclosed, the letter should state the amount and purpose.

Offer to do More than Requested

The “something extra” may be an offer to do more than requested.

For example, a professor is invited to speak at a convention in Islamabad, with expenses paid but no fee. The professor not only accepts, but also offers to come at no expense to the nonprofit organization:

Since I will be in Islamabad that week on other business. I shall be happy to speak to the convention on Monday, May 1, or Tuesday, May 2, at no expense to your organization.

Model Letters

Gentlemen,

A few days ago I visited the office of a large corporation in Karachi, and was much impressed with the layouts of their various departments in which modular furniture is displayed. During my visit, I inquired about manufactures of such equipment and was told that you have an entire building in which various modular furniture’s and equipments are displayed.

I would like very much to visit your Exhibit Building. I can come any time that is convenient for you. If I do not hear from you to the contrary, I will plan to visit you on Thursday, March 8.

Cordially yours,

Responding to a Request to Visit Showrooms (In the same situation)

Dear Mr. Abid,

I am delighted to know that you are planning to visit us on Tuesday, March 8. The Exhibit Building is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., so you can come anytime.

I thank you for your interest.

Sincerely yours,

Refusal to Inquiries / Requests When you must say no, use the indirect plan and deliver the bad news gently and tactfully. Strive to convey courtesy and thoughtfulness through your letter. A gracious refusal is much like a persuasive request – you are asking your reader to accept your decision as the only fair answer under the circumstances. Remember that a “no” letter has two purposes:

  1. To say no.
  2. To keep the goodwill of the reader.

To accomplish both purposes, consider the suggestions listed below.

Approach the Letter as an Opportunity to “talk it Over”

Give your reader whatever encouragement you can. Don’t say a plain “No.” like, “I must decline this invitation or this order or refuse this request,” you will probably write negatively. But you will probably write constructively if you think. “What can I do to encourage this person even though I have to say no?”

1. Start With a Friendly Buffer Paragraph

When you receive a letter that begins, “It is my unpleasant duty to inform you that…” or “I’m sorry to tell you that we cannot grant your request…” in such situations don’t you immediately close your mind to whatever else the writer may say? You think that the writer is not interested in helping you in building goodwill or in keeping your friendship. The writer seems concerned only with saying no and getting an unpleasant task completed. But suppose the letter begins this way:

Your proposal for a joint meeting of the faculty and Future Business Leaders of Pakistan (FLP) is exciting.

Aren’t you more likely to read the rest of the message with an open mind?

2. Tell the Reader Why You Cannot Say Yes

In your explanation, imply that you would rather say yes than no. And try to compliment the reader in some way.

3. Avoid a Negative Refusal

Give explanation of your refusal in the beginning. A blunt “No” should be avoided. If your letter does good job of explaining, the reader will realize that you cannot do what he or she has asked – the “No” is inferred. If you must state your refusal (to be sure your reader knows you are not granting the request), avoid emphasizing it or putting it in negative terms. Sometimes limiting expressions, such as only or exclusively, may substitute for negatives such as regret, apologies, cannot, and so on. Notice how this actual business letter gives the negative and almost avoids the positive points.

Dear Sir,

We are very sorry that your portrait has been damaged. This rarely happens to Malik photos.

I regret to advise that we cannot hold negatives for a long period of time, because we lack sufficient storage space; therefore, we will not be able to reprint your portrait. I am, however, processing a refund in the amount of Rs. 500/-, which you should receive within the next six weeks.

Please accept our apologies for this problem, as we greatly value your patronage.

With kindest personal regards.

The following letter shows interest in the reader and tries to keep the business while refusing the request.

Dear Mr. Babar,

We were happy to hear that your family was so pleased with your portraits. And we are sorry that one was damaged. Because our storage space is limited; however, all negatives are destroyed ten days after an order has been filled.

A refund in the amount of Rs. 500/- is being processed and you will receive it soon.

Please do let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

Sincerely,

4. Give Encouragement and, When You Can, Give Help

Sometimes you can take the sting out of a “No” with a helpful suggestion. For example, a department store representative, in declining an order for an article not carried by the store, may tell the customer where he or she can make the purchase. The reservations manager of a hotel, not able to make the reservations requested, suggested:

If you can conveniently defer your arrival in Murree until May 15, we shall be glad to reserve a double room for you and your wife. If you must be here on May 10, you might write for help to the Greater New Hotel Murree at 105 the Mal, Murree.

Model Letters

Gentlemen,

Please send me two copies of your free catalogue, “Prime gifts” which was advertised in the March issue of Ad Vision International. I plan to keep a copy and send the other to my friend.

Thank you! Yours very truly

(The Situation is same)

Gentlemen,

I am impressed by your advertisement in the March issue of Ad Vision International concerning your free brochure, “Prime Gifts.” This seems like the answer to the most popular question, “What shall we give our outstanding employees when we want to reward them?”

I’d like six copies one for myself and one for each of our general managers in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Islamabad.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Responding to a Request for a Free Catalog

Dear Mr. Gul,

In a courier service, I am sending you six copies of our catalog, “Prime Gifts”. I am very pleased that you want to circulate it.

The catalog explains everything but I do want to say that for quantities of 20 or more gifts we offer an attractive discount.

Please let me know if I can be of help in other ways.

Yours cordially,

Gentlemen,

May I visit your building in which various office layouts, using modular equipment, are displayed? My schedule is very flexible, and I can come any time that is most convenient for you.

Thank you. Yours very truly,

Use the Good-News Plan for Recommendations

When facts are mainly favourable or neutral, follow these guidelines:

1. Main Idea

State the applicant’s full name and what his or her relationship is to you as employee, customer, friend, etc. Mention dates, length of time, and type of job, credit, to whatever is relevant.

Add an expression of pleasure to your letter.

2. Explanation Answer all questions, direct or understood. Support your statements of evaluation (excellent, outstanding, etc.) with specific facts about

performance record. For a job applicant:

a ) Tell specific job duties that applicant performed. b) Discuss those duties relevant to the position for which the applicant is a candidate, if known. c) Mention, when desirable, work habits that show personality characteristics.

If there is negative material, consider the suggestions in the section “Recommendations for Candidates with Shortcomings”.

3. Ending

i. Include, if possible, a friendly statement of your personal opinion about the applicant’s probable fitness

for the position or for credit, etc. Be sure to correlate your opinion with documented facts.

Writing Thank You Letters

Just as you can find many occasions for writing personal thank-you messages, you will also find many opportunities for writing thank-you letters to build goodwill of your organization.

Letters of appreciation are often sent to:

  • A new customer for a first order.
  • An established customer for a particularly large order.
  • The payment of an overdue bill.
  • The last installment of a special-account purchase.
  • An individual or an organization that responds to a special appeal or completes a good job.
  • Someone in your own organization who makes a suggestion that proves worthwhile or who does something extra.

Occasionally (it should happen much more often!) such letters are also sent to:

  • Customers who order regularly and pay their bills on time.
  • Employees who continually do their work well.
  • Individuals and organizations who cooperate on everyday jobs but get little attention.
  • Other opportunities for sending thank-you messages include special occasions, special services, and extra responsibilities.
  • Consider the following example; it is a thank – you letter to a guest speaker.

Dear Raheel,

Thank you for the time and effort you put into your presentation for the Association of Charted Accountants meeting yesterday. I felt your talk was very well received by the members of the association.

I appreciate your willingness to make this public appearance as a representative of Community College. You handled the topic very well, and your professional approach was exemplary.

Sincerely,

A thank-you letter to the old customers

Dear Customers,

As the new year begins, Rehman stores thanks you for your friendship and for the business you have given us during the past year.

The expansion of our store will be completed in a few weeks. We can then offer you the variety of household items in the city.

During the coming year we will do our best to serve you in every way. We hope that the New Year will be a happy and successful year for you.

Cordially, Rehman Ali

Writing Letters of Congratulation

A message of congratulation or commendation is much like a message of appreciation:

  • Each recognizes and expresses interest in a worthwhile achievement.
  • A letter of appreciation says ‘thank you” and implies “well done.”
  • When your friends celebrate special events or receive honours, you want to congratulate them. In the same way, business people use congratulatory letters on such occasions as anniversaries, graduations, births, marriages, new businesses or homes, promotions, elections, retirements, and various awards and rewards. These letters convey a pleasant message and keep a favourable image of you and your organization in the recipient’s mind.
  • For instance, this brief congratulatory note was sent to an executive who recently became president of the company:

Dear Shahid,

Congratulations on your recent promotion to president of Community Bank. It is well deserved. I am sure that the business will grow and prosper under your capable leadership.

Yours sincerely,

See this example of a congratulatory note:

Dear Mrs. Rafi,

Congratulations on being named to the Governor’s task Force to Study Equal Opportunities in Business, Industry, and Government. I was very pleased to read that you have been chosen as one of the ten executives for this task force.

If anyone at Ahmed Textile can help you and the other members of the task force, please let me know. We will be delighted to be of service.

Sincerely,

Writing Letters that Announce, Invite, or Welcome

Announcements and Invitations

Goodwill announcements and invitations include:

Announcements of a new business, a new location, or an expansion or reorganization of facilities.

These usually include an invitation to visit.

Announcements of the appointment of a new official or a new representative of the organization.

Announcements of a new service or policy, often inviting the reader to use it, for instance, when a store announces that it will be open an extra evening each week.

A bank announces a new direct deposit plan in this example:

Welcome Letters

Welcoming letters are written for many occasions. These messages may be morale builders. Usually they have a definite sales flavour, as:

  • New members of a club.
  • New customers.
  • New subscribers.
  • New charge account customers.

New dealers. These messages discuss organization services and products and invite readers to call or visit, but they

avoid specific sales promotion. Notice the friendly tone and service attitude of this letter from a bank president to new customer:

Writing Get-Well Wishes and Sympathy Letters

When a personal friend or a business acquaintance is ill, a letter from you is welcome. If the illness is not serious and recovery is expected, you can send a humorous get-well card or a cheerful, happy letter. If the illness is serious or the person is getting over a major operation, then send a more subdued letter. That person will not be in a mood for jokes!

Be optimistic when you write to someone who is ill. Mention once at the beginning of the letter how sorry you are that the person is ill. From then on talk about a return to normal life, as the writer of the following letter did:

Dear Mr. Naeem,

I am sorry to hear that you’re in the hospital and hope that with rest and care you’ll be up and about again soon.

Meanwhile, if there’s anything I can do for you, just give me a call. I wish you a speedy recovery and quick return to the office.

Sincerely yours,

Dear Mr. Ali:

The management of PDS School is interested in leasing 2 economy vans to provide transportation facility to their students within the Lahore City area to their students. We were referred to your company by Bright Associates and would like to inquire about the terms of your leasing contracts as well as monthly leasing rates.

Please send detailed information concerning mileage limits, maintenance requirements, and corporate discounts to the mailing address above. If possible, we would prefer to receive the above information electronically at our e-mail address listed above, as this would speed up our information-collecting and decision-making process.

We hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,

Dear Ms. Ahmed:

We are in the process of setting up a new office in Lahore and would like to compare prices from the local office furniture companies.

We will need 12 desks and 24 chairs, six metal filing cabinets, a 4.5’ x 6’ dry erase board, and a conference table that seats ten. The conference table and ten of the chairs should be high quality wood. As the office is opening on September 6, we would need the furniture delivered by the 2nd. We are looking to spend no more than Rs. 100,000.00.

If you would like to offer a quote or discuss our needs in more detail, please call me. We hope to have all our quotes by next Monday.

Sincerely,

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