Whether you are in sales, marketing, engineering, or in any other business field, writing a business letter will inevitably be part of your job at one point or another. This is especially the case if you’re running your own business or startup. You will need to get in touch with potential clients, suppliers, vendors, and other businesses that deal with you on a constant basis.
In some cases, you will find that you need to persuade the recipient of a letter for some action. For example, you might be selling a product, or you might want to buy something from them, but you are negotiating a lower price.
In some cases, business letters will be internal to your company. You might be writing someone from another department, and asking for information or action. Either way, here are a few things you need to remember when drafting a persuasive business letter.
What you need:
- Word processor
- Printer or email service
How to do it:
- First and foremost, you will need to know the proper format for writing business letters. This should start with the date, then the name, title and address of the recipient. You will then need the greeting, the body, and then the closing. At the end should be your name and signature. Note that if you are drafting a letter for someone else to sign, his name should be on the letter.
- Make sure every sentence has a purpose. Don’t use vague language, like maybe, perhaps, sort of, or kind of, which will appear as informal. Use the active voice instead of the passive voice.
- Be polite. If you are writing a rejection letter, complaint or cancellation, you need not be impolite with your language. However, you should be both polite, but firm. Use words that are unequivocal, and that cannot be misconstrued in a different light.
- If you are writing a business letter for invitation or sending congratulations, you can write with a less formal and happier tone. Still, don’t overdo it, as it might seem informal.
- Use your company or department letterhead, if the letter calls for it. If you are writing on your own accord as a businessman, consultant, freelancer or maybe even a job applicant, then use clean, crisp paper with at least 85 GSM weight.
- Proofread your letter before printing out or sending. Also, make sure you keep your own copies for reference.