How to Write Business Letters That Get Results

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How to Write Business Letters That Get Results






If you’re like many people, writing a letter is not the first task at the top of your “To do” list. However, if there is something that you need to accomplish or something that you need from a business or organization, a formal business letter is a must. Here are some tips for getting this task at the top of the list and the letter actually out the door!

1. You must first know what you want your letter to accomplish. Therefore, write out in 50 words or less what it is you need or want done. For example: I need Mr. Smith to be a consultant for an upcoming seminar. I need the company representative to exchange this product for me. I need a refund charged to my account. I need my credit report amended and corrected.

2. Make sure your opening sentence explains exactly why you are writing the letter. The reader will be glad to know right away what you want or need.

3. Explain exactly what the situation is and how that person can help you. Do not include flowery words. This is not the time for poetry. Be short, direct, and polite.

4. Whenever possible, explain to the reader the benefits that he or she will reap by helping you. For example: “Through your help I will be able to demonstrate my initiative to the client and gain more business.”

5. Include a phone number or email address that the person can use to contact you should more information be needed. Make sure the contact information is connected to places where you can be interrupted without getting into trouble. If you give your current work number and you start getting too many calls, your boss and/or co-workers may become annoyed.

6. Include a day or a week that you will call that person if you have not heard about the situation. (It may feel like you are being overbearing, but do not fret. Letting the person know that you plan to see the situation through to its resolution shows your seriousness to resolve the matter.)

7. Finally, edit the letter. Check the letter for spelling mistakes. Use the spelling and grammar check feature on your computer. If you do not have a computer or do not trust it to catch all your errors, let someone else review the letter and then redo the letter.

8. Read the letter out loud. Point to each word as you read the letter. You will be less inclined to let your eye just glance across a page and thereby miss mistakes. Put the letter down for an hour if at all possible. Reread it again. It is amazing how different a letter reads when you read it out loud instead of silently.
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