Posted: October 17th, 2013
Importance of Business Correspondence
1. Inquiry Letter
August 28, 2012
Mr. Zhu Lu
Fine Leather Shoes Ltd.
22 Miu Ave, Shangai
Dear Mr. Lu,
I trust that this letter finds you in excellent health. My name is Mrs. Cindy Elroy and I own an importing company specializing in women’s shoes. The company, Fit Shoes Ltd., is based in Sydney, Australia. I learnt of your company from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, which led me to your website.
I have been looking for an affordable leather shoe manufacturer with a reputation for quality, with which to partner. I would like to inquire if you have a product line of multicolored women’s shoes. In case you do, not I would like to know if I could send you my designs and have you manufacture them. I would also appreciate information on any other women’s product lines you have. Please remember to include your current business policies.
It would be a privilege to partner with your organization. Please let me know if you have worked with other Australian companies. Thank you for your assistance. I look forward to your reply.
Fine Shoes Ltd
2. Reply Letter
August 28, 2012
Mr. Tom Connor
Dear Mr. Connor:
I hope that this letter finds you well. My name is Ms. Liu Ming. I am the director of public relations at the Shanghai Sports Ltd. I am writing in reply to your letter dated 24 August 2012. I appreciate the interest you expressed in our company.
We currently have the capacity to manufacture the pointed football boots you were interested in before the September Deadline. We, however, regret to inform you that the extra streamlined ‘immerse’ swimming caps you liked are out of stock due to a shortage of raw material. Allow me to interest you in our new speed line, which has been proven to increase the speed of swimmers.
We appreciate the concerns you raised regarding the use of child labor in China. Our company complies with the fair labor laws set by the International Labor Organization (ILO) who regularly send an inspector to our factory. Please refer to the ILO website, which has a list of approved organizations. We look forward to partnering with your esteemed organization. Find enclosed the copies of the certificates awarded to us by ILO. Thank you for your time.
Shanghai Sports Ltd
32 Mao Lane, Shanghai
3. Importance of Business Correspondence in the International Setting
Business correspondence is crucial in the International context. It is the primary means of making queries concerning issues like business contracts and terms. The correspondence you use as an international businessperson influences how seriously you will be taken. The quality of your letter will be taken to equal that of your company. Well-written and formatted letters convey seriousness to clients and help build trust. Quality also determines the amount of respect you command. Business correspondence can thus be taken as an advocate for a company’s position.
Good letters are always well organized. It is advisable for business people to plan everything they want to say in advance. Drafting out the sequence of the intended communication helps writers to include all the relevant facts. It also avoids redundancy caused by unnecessary words. Considering that communication is with real people markedly improves the content of letters. Business people should always convey respect to their recipients. One should use a tone of courtesy even when disagreeing with a fact. This shows sensitivity to others people’s views. It also reduces the impersonality of letters and can lead to strong friendships as attested by real life businessmen.
Another important aspect in business correspondence is appreciation. Thanking people for sparing the time to read your letter increases the chances of the recipient supporting your goals as your gratitude indicates you value them. Clarity in correspondence also eases everyone’s work. Misunderstandings can result in expensive delays. It can also result in mishaps such as the wrong goods being shipped to you. Using simple and concise words is thus better that complicated ones. Business people should always consider if their recipients use English as a first or second language. Using idioms may also lead to confusion.
When corresponding in the international context, having insight into your recipients’ culture increases your chances of success. When writing, show respect for their country of origin and mention something positive about it. Also, be careful not to adopt a stereotypic tone as this may portray you as ignorant. Honor your reader’s place in the world economy, avoid insulting phrases such as ‘third world country’ or ‘Oriental’ (Kolin, 2012). Maintaining goodwill with clients takes tact, which one can develop through reading or talking to businesses people who have dealt with a certain country in the past. Letters with antagonistic tones can make recipients adopt defensive attitudes with you.
With the advent of technology, most business correspondence nowadays is done via the internet. The revolution of the Information Technology industry has presented business people with various communication options like e-conferencing, instant chat and Email. Emails are more common as they are easy to use and affordable. It is also easier to keep records for future reference. One should ensure emails are an acceptable means of business communication before adopting them when dealing with new business partners as some cultures find them too impersonal (Martin & Chaney, 2012).
People sometimes get informal when corresponding via email. This can have negative results as it indicates a lack of professionalism. Proper etiquette should still be observed. As adopting, a familiar tone with emails can be offensive and is associated with disrespect.
Kolin, P. C. (2012). Successful writing at work.
Martin, J. S. & Chaney, L. H. (2012). Global Business etiquette: a guide to international communication and customs. Santa Barbra, Cali: Praeger.
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