- Slides: 31
Writing Skills - Letter Writing
Overview • Writing Routine & Pleasant Letter • Writing Unpleasant Letter • Writing to Persuade • Preparing Resumes • Writing Application Letter • Structure & Layout of Letters
Writing Routine & Pleasant Letter
Understand Your Audience/Readers
AUDIENCE REACTION • Eager or interested • Pleased or neutral • Displeased • Uninterested or unwilling
Organize – Why? • • • Encourages brevity and accuracy Permits concentration Saves time in dictating/writing Facilitates emphasis/de-emphasis The relationships among ideas are easier to distinguish and remember • Reaction to the message and its writer is more likely to be positive.
Organize (Deductively or Inductively) deductive sequence-of-ideas pattern has several advantages: 1. The first sentence is easy to write 2. The first sentence is likely to attract attention. 3. When good news appears in the beginning, the message immediately puts readers in a pleasant state of mind. 4. The arrangement reduces the reading time. Once readers have grasped the important idea, they can move rapidly through the supporting details.
Business Letters - Situations Letters not likely to generate any emotional reaction are referred to as routine letters. 1. Routine Claim and ‘yes’ reply 2. Routine Letters about credit and favorable response to credit request 3. Routine Letters about orders 4. Letters about routine requests
Routine Claim • Persuasive claims, which will be discussed in a later chapter, assume that the request will be granted only after explanations and persuasive arguments have been presented. • Routine claims - possibly because of guarantees, warrantees, or other contractual conditions - assume that the request will be granted quickly and willingly, without persuasion.
Routine claims When the claim is routine (not likely to meet resistance), the following outline is recommended: 1. Request action in the first sentence, 2. Explain the details supporting the request for action. 3. Close with an expression of appreciation for taking the action requested.
When the response to a claim letter is favorable 1. Reveal the good news in the first sentence. 2. Explain the circumstances. 3. Close on a pleasant, forward looking note.
Routine Letters about Credit Request for information 1. Identify the request and name the applicant early. 2. Assure the reader that the reply will be kept confidential. 3. Detail the information requested. Use a tabulated-form layout to make the reply easy. 4. End courteously.
Favorable response to a request for credit 1. Begin by saying credit terms have been arranged; 2. Indicate the foundation upon which the credit extension is based. 3. Present and explain the credit terms. 4. Include some resale or salespromotional material. 5. End with a confident look toward future business.
Routine Letters about Orders 1. In the first sentence say “please ship, ” “please send, ” “I order, ” 2. List the items ordered and give precise details. 3. Include a payment plan and shipping instructions. 4. Close the letter with a confident expectation of delivery.
Favorable Response to an Order Letter • Non-routine acknowledgments require individualized letters. Although initial orders can be acknowledged through form letters, the letters are more effective if written individually.
Letters about Routine Requests • Routine Requests. Businesspeople often write letters requesting information about people, prices, products and services. 1. Make the major request in the first sentence. 2. Follow the major request with the details that will make the request clear. If possible, use tabulation for added emphasis. 3. Close with a forward look at the reader’s next step.
Favorable Response to a Routine Request. Many people say “yes” thoughtlessly 1. Shows sincere interest in the request and the person. 2. Provides specific answers and guidelines. 3. Provides additional helpful information.
Writing about the Unpleasant
Overview • Saying “No” to an Adjustment Request • Saying “No” to a Credit Request • Saying “No’ to an Order for Merchandise • Saying ‘No’ to a Request for a Favor
Remember • Without empathy for the audience’s feelings, it is hard to gain its cooperation or persuade it to accept tough decisions
The inductive sequence-ofideas: 1. Begin with a neutral idea that leads to the reason for the refusal. 2. Present the facts, analysis, and reasons for the refusal. 3. State the refusal using a positive tone and de-emphasizing techniques. 4. Close with an idea that moves away from the refusal.
Four steps: • Introductory Paragraph • Facts, Analysis and Reasons • Refusal Statement • Closing Paragraph
SAYING “NO” TO AN ADJUSTMENT REQUEST (1) begin with a neutral or factual sentence that leads to the reasons behind the “no” answer, (2) present the reasons and explanations, (3) present the refusal in an unemphatic manner, and (4) close with an off-the-subject thought.
SAYING “NO” TO A CREDIT REQUEST Including resale - favorable statements (1) it might cause credit applicants to prefer our brand. (2) it suggests that the writer is trying to be helpful; (3) it makes the writing easier because negative thoughts are easier to deemphasize when cushioned with resale material; (4) It can confirm the credit applicant’s judgment in choosing the merchandise, thus making an indirect compliment.
SAYING “NO” TO AN ORDER FOR MERCHANDISE • Unclear Orders – The buffer has a resale emphasis – The reason for not immediately filling – The close tells how the customer can solve the problem • Back Orders (1) you are able to send only part of the order, or (2) you are able to send none of the order. • Substitutions
SAYING “NO” TO A REQUEST FOR A FAVOR • Introduces the subject without revealing whether the answer will be “yes” or “no. ” • Gives reasons • Subordinates the refusal by placing it in the dependent clause of a complex sentence. • Closes on a more positive note by offering a counterproposal.
SPECIAL PROBLEMS - ABOUT THE UNPLEASANT Is an inductive outline appropriate for all letters that convey bad news a) The letter is the second response to a repeated request. b) A very small, insignificant matter is involved. c) A request is obviously ridiculous, immoral, unethical, illegal or dangerous. d) The writer’s intent is to shake the reader. e) The writer-reader relationship is so close and longstanding that satisfactory human relations can be taken for granted. f) The writer wants to demonstrate authority.
Difficulties In Writing The Buffer • Avoid saying “no. ” • Avoid using a know-it-all tone • Avoid wordy and irrelevant phrases and sentences. • Avoid apologizing. • Avoid writing a buffer that is too long. Agreement, Appreciation, Cooperation, Fairness, Good news, Praise, Resale, Understanding
Bad-News Sentence E. g. • The preceding figures do not justify raising your credit limit to Rs 30, 000 as you requested, but they do justify raising the limit to Rs 15, 000. • If the price were Rs 35, 000, the contract would have been signed. • By accepting the arrangement, the ABC company would have tripled its costs.
Last Paragraph • Don’t refer to or repeat the bad news. • Don’t apologize for the decision • Don’t urge additional communication • Don’t anticipate problems • Don’t include clichés that are insincere in view of the bad news • Don’t reveal any doubt that you will keep the person as a customer