Business letter

  • Số trang: 497 |
  • Loại file: PDF |
  • Lượt xem: 32 |
  • Lượt tải: 0
tranphuong

Đã đăng 58976 tài liệu

Mô tả:

The AMA Handbook of Business Letters Fourth Edition This page intentionally left blank The AMA Handbook of Business Letters Fourth Edition Jeffrey L. Seglin and Edward Coleman American Management Association New York • Atlanta • Brussels • Chicago • Mexico City • San Francisco Shanghai • Tokyo • Toronto • Washington, D.C. Bulk discounts available. For details visit: www.amacombooks.org/go/specialsales Or contact special sales: Phone: 800-250-5308 E-mail: specialsls@amanet.org View all the AMACOM titles at: www.amacombooks.org This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Seglin, Jeffrey L., 1956The AMA handbook of business letters / Jeffrey L. Seglin and Edward Coleman. — 4th ed. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 978-0-8144-2012-6 (hbk.) 1. Commercial correspondence—Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Letter writing—Handbooks, manuals, etc. I. Coleman, Edward, 1968- II. Amacom. III. Title. IV. Title: Handbook of business letters. V. Title: American Management Association handbook of business letters. HF5726.S42 2012 651.7'5—dc23 2012005590 © 2012 Jeffrey L. Seglin All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of AMACOM, a division of American Management Association, 1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. The scanning, uploading, or distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the express permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions of this work and do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials, electronically or otherwise. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated. About AMA American Management Association (www.amanet.org) is a world leader in talent development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. Our mission is to support the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including classroom and virtual seminars, webcasts, webinars, podcasts, conferences, corporate and government solutions, business books, and research. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—learning through doing—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career journey. Printing number 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Contents Preface to the Fourth Edition .............................................................................xiii   PART I.  The Basics .............................................................................................. 1 Approaching This Book ................................................................................... 1 Approach of This Book .................................................................................... 2       Chapter 1.  Planning the Letter .......................................................................... 3 Researching the Facts ....................................................................................... 3 Analyzing the Subject and Reader ................................................................. 5 Knowing Your Objectives and How to Accomplish Them ......................... 6         Chapter 2.  Components of an Effective Letter ................................................ 9 Language—Clarity Versus Ambiguity ........................................................... 9 Tone—Personality .......................................................................................... 12 Focus of Attention—The “You Attitude” ..................................................... 13 Length .............................................................................................................. 15           Chapter 3.  Structure: The Parts of a Letter .................................................... 17 Dateline ............................................................................................................ 17 Reference Line ................................................................................................ 18 Personal or Confidential Note ...................................................................... 18 Inside Address ................................................................................................ 19 Attention Note ................................................................................................ 21 Salutation ......................................................................................................... 21 Subject Line ..................................................................................................... 22 Paragraphs ....................................................................................................... 22 Continuation Sheets ....................................................................................... 23 Complimentary Close .................................................................................... 23 Signature Block ............................................................................................... 24 Identification Line .......................................................................................... 26                           American Management Association www.amanet.org vi n CONTENTS Enclosure and Attachment Notations ......................................................... 26 Distribution Notation .................................................................................... 27 Postscript ......................................................................................................... 28       Chapter 4.  Appearance of the Letter .............................................................. 29 Stationery ........................................................................................................ 30 Formats ............................................................................................................ 31 Full Block .................................................................................................. 31 Block .......................................................................................................... 32 Semiblock ................................................................................................. 34 Simplified Letter ....................................................................................... 35 Official Style .............................................................................................. 36 Hanging Indented .................................................................................... 37 Envelopes ......................................................................................................... 38 Memorandums ............................................................................................... 39 Email ................................................................................................................ 40                         Chapter 5. Grammar ........................................................................................ 43 Grammar ......................................................................................................... 44 Wrong Pronouns ...................................................................................... 44 Pronouns and Antecedents .................................................................... 46 Subject and Verb Agreement ................................................................. 46 Dangling Modifiers ................................................................................. 48 Split Infinitives ......................................................................................... 48 Parallel Structure ..................................................................................... 49 Punctuation ..................................................................................................... 49 Capitalization .................................................................................................. 50 Spelling ............................................................................................................ 50 Jargon ............................................................................................................... 50 Clichés ............................................................................................................. 51 Wordiness ........................................................................................................ 51                             PART II.  The Letters ......................................................................................... 53   Chapter 6.  Sales, Marketing, and Public Relations Letters .......................... 55 Letters of Introduction .................................................................................. 55 Sales Letters ..................................................................................................... 63 Letter Accompanying Renewal Notice ........................................................ 80 Letter Announcing a Special Presentation .................................................. 81 Letter Expressing Appreciation to Customers ............................................ 82 Catalog Letters ................................................................................................ 83 Sales Inquiry Response .................................................................................. 86                 American Management Association www.amanet.org CONTENTS n vii Appointment Requests .................................................................................. 87 Letters of Interest  ........................................................................................... 90 Letter to Difficult-to-See Prospect ............................................................... 93 Letter to Find Decision Maker ..................................................................... 94 Letters Confirming Proposals ....................................................................... 95 Follow-Up Sales Call Letters ......................................................................... 99 Letter to Renew Contact ............................................................................. 106 Letter Welcoming New Client .................................................................... 107 Letter Asking for Referral ........................................................................... 108 Letter Promoting Special Sale ..................................................................... 109 Letter to Wish Existing Customer Holiday Greetings ............................. 110 Letter to Acknowledge Anniversary of a Sales Relationship .................. 111 Public Relations Letters ............................................................................... 112                         Chapter 7.  Customer Service Letters ........................................................... 123 Complaint Resolution Letters ..................................................................... 123 Apology Letters ............................................................................................ 135 Letter Acknowledging Order ...................................................................... 145 Letters Correcting Wrong Shipment ......................................................... 146 Product or Service Information Letters .................................................... 148 Thank-You Letters to Customers ................................................................ 152 Letter to Lapsed Customer .......................................................................... 157 Pricing Letters ............................................................................................... 158 Change-in-Location Letters ........................................................................ 161 Project Status Letters .................................................................................... 163 Product-Handling Letter ............................................................................. 167 Letters Announcing Personnel Changes ................................................... 168 Subscription Response Letters .................................................................... 170 Letters to Stockholders ................................................................................ 175 Letter Dealing with Unreasonable Customer ........................................... 188                                 Chapter 8.  Credit and Collection Letters .................................................... 189 Letter Requesting Commercial Credit ...................................................... 189 Credit Information Letters .......................................................................... 191 Letters Announcing Credit Policy Change ............................................... 192 Returned-Check Letters .............................................................................. 195 Credit Reference Letters .............................................................................. 198 Letter Denying Credit .................................................................................. 201 Letters Granting Credit ............................................................................... 202 Letter Raising Credit Limit ......................................................................... 205 Letter Clearing Disputed Items .................................................................. 206                     American Management Association www.amanet.org viii n CONTENTS Stop-Payment Letter .................................................................................... 207 Collection Letters ......................................................................................... 208 Credit-Suspension Letter ............................................................................ 219 Letter Reinstating Credit ............................................................................. 220 Letters Accepting Partial Payment ............................................................. 221 Letter Acknowledging Payment ................................................................. 223 Letter About Deposit Due ........................................................................... 223 Letter to Lender to Renegotiate Payment Terms ...................................... 224 Letter from Customer About Billing Error ............................................... 226                   Chapter 9.  Letters to Vendors and Suppliers ............................................... 227 Letter Dealing with a Request for Proposal .............................................. 227 Letters Involved with Presentations ........................................................... 229 Letters Dealing with Vendor Bids .............................................................. 231 Letter Placing Order .................................................................................... 233 Letter Requesting Distributor’s Name ....................................................... 234 Letter Seeking Information About Product .............................................. 235 Letter Asking About Quantity Discounts ................................................. 236 Letters Complimenting Vendors ................................................................ 237 Letters Clearing Up Billing Errors ............................................................. 239 Letters Complaining to Vendors ................................................................ 241 Letter Cancelling Contract ......................................................................... 244 Letter Firing Vendor Because of Economic Conditions ......................... 245                           Chapter 10.  Personnel Letters ....................................................................... 247 Job Interview Request Letters ..................................................................... 247 Letters Accompanying Résumés ................................................................ 253 Letter Withdrawing Candidacy for a Position ......................................... 258 Letters Responding to Job Applications .................................................... 259 Letters Thanking People Who Recommended Applicants ..................... 273 Job-Offer Letters ........................................................................................... 275 Letters Accepting or Rejecting Job Offers ................................................. 282 Letter Welcoming New Employee .............................................................. 285 Recommendation Letters ............................................................................ 286 Commendation Letters ................................................................................ 292 Letters About Job Promotions .................................................................... 299 New-Employee Announcement Letter ...................................................... 301 Letters Requesting and Refusing Raises .................................................... 302 No-Longer-With-Us Letters ....................................................................... 305 Letter of Resignation .................................................................................... 307 Letters to Retiring Employees ..................................................................... 308                                   American Management Association www.amanet.org CONTENTS n ix Letters Regarding Leaves of Absence ......................................................... 310 Letter Offering Employee a Lesser Position .............................................. 312 Reprimand .................................................................................................... 313 Termination Letters ...................................................................................... 314 Letter Acknowledging Anniversary Date .................................................. 319 Letter Announcing Staff Changes .............................................................. 320 Letter Requesting Mentorship .................................................................... 321 Farewell Letter to Employee ....................................................................... 322                 Chapter 11.  Transmittal Letters .................................................................... 325 Letters Transmitting Payment .................................................................... 325 Letter Transmitting Contracts .................................................................... 332 Letters Transmitting Requested Materials ................................................ 333 Letter Transmitting Manuscript ................................................................. 335 Letter Transmitting Manuscript to Reviewer ........................................... 336 Letter Transmitting Final Invoice ............................................................... 338               Chapter 12.  Confirmation Letters ................................................................ 339 Letter Confirming Supplier’s Oral Instructions ....................................... 339 Letter Confirming Prices and Quantity Discounts .................................. 340 Letter Confirming Arrangements for Speaker ......................................... 342 Letter Confirming Appointment ................................................................ 343 Letter Confirming Travel Plans .................................................................. 344 Letter Confirming Telephone Conversation ............................................ 345 Letters Confirming Receipt of Materials ................................................... 346                 Chapter 13.  Request Letters .......................................................................... 349 Letter Requesting Information About Accommodations ....................... 349 Letter Requesting Information About Seminars ...................................... 351 Letter Requesting Assistance ...................................................................... 352 Letters Requesting Return of Material ...................................................... 353 Letter Requesting Material from Speaker ................................................. 355 Letter Requesting Correction on Charge Account .................................. 356 Letter Requesting Reprint of Article ......................................................... 357 Letter Requesting Subscription Cancellation ........................................... 358 Letter Requesting Free Products ................................................................ 359 Letter Requesting Information About a New Product ............................ 360 Letter Requesting Pricing Information ..................................................... 361                         Chapter 14.  Replies ........................................................................................ 363 Letter Acknowledging Order ...................................................................... 363 Letter Acknowledging Registration for Conference ................................ 364        American Management Association www.amanet.org x n CONTENTS Remittance Letter ......................................................................................... 365 Response to Request for Clarification ....................................................... 366 Response to Request for Information About Member of Organization ...................................................................... 367 Letters Responding to Requests for Materials .......................................... 368 Letter Replying to a Sales Letter ................................................................. 370 Letter Responding to a Request for Free Products .................................. 371 Letter Responding to Request for Information About a New Product ............................................................................ 372 Letters Responding to Requests to Be a Speaker ..................................... 373                 Chapter 15.  Permissions Letters ................................................................... 375 Letters Seeking Permission to Reprint ...................................................... 375 Letters Indicating More Information Needed for Permission ............... 380 Letters Granting Permission ....................................................................... 382 Letters Denying Permission ........................................................................ 384 Cover Letter for Contract ............................................................................ 386 Letter Requesting Reversion of Rights ...................................................... 387               Chapter 16.  Social, Personal, and Miscellaneous Letters .......................... 389 Thank-You Letters ........................................................................................ 389 Invitations ...................................................................................................... 410 Letters Accepting Invitations ...................................................................... 418 Letters Declining Invitations ...................................................................... 423 Letter Expressing Interest in Speaking ...................................................... 428 Letter Reserving Meeting Facility .............................................................. 429 Letter Requesting Membership in a Club ................................................. 430 Follow-Up Letter to Speech Attendees ...................................................... 431 Letter Expressing Compliments on an Article ......................................... 432 Birthday Greetings Letter ............................................................................ 433 Public Service and Fund-Raising Letters .................................................. 434 Letters Declining Requests for Donations ................................................ 442 Letter Urging Political Representative to Action ..................................... 445 Congratulations-on-New-Position Letters ............................................... 446 Letters to Sick Employees, Acquaintances ................................................ 448 Condolence Letter ........................................................................................ 450 Letter Congratulating Someone on Opening a Business ........................ 451 Letter Announcing Retirement .................................................................. 452                                       American Management Association www.amanet.org CONTENTS n xi Part III.  Appendixes ....................................................................................... 453   Appendix I. Words to Watch ............................................................................. 455   Appendix II. Punctuation .................................................................................. 461   Index ..................................................................................................................... 465   The letters in this book are available online in easily customizable format at www.amacombooks.org/go/AMAHbkBizLts4. American Management Association www.amanet.org This page intentionally left blank Preface to the fourth edition It’s remarkable how quickly the years have passed since the publication of the first edition of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters. While much has changed during that time, the basic fundamentals of letter writing have remained the same. Still, we felt it was time that we updated the book with a much wider selection of model letters as well as updates to reflect today’s work setting. People in all walks of the business world are in need of a book that can help them hone their letter-writing skills. The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is designed to answer that need. It will arm you with both the skills needed to be good letter writers and more than 370 model letters on which to base your own correspondence. The AMA Handbook of Business Letters will not just show you how to write better letters, it will show you how to write better. Sections on grammar and usage in the first part of the book complement the sections on basic letter-writing skills. The second part of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is the heart of the book. Here, more than 370 model letters have been collected. The vast majority of them are based on actual letters that were used in business. They were chosen to represent the broad spectrum of the type of letters businesspeople will most commonly have to write. We have fictionalized the names of the people, companies, and products in the letters. If a name resembles an actual name, it is purely by coincidence. Many of the sample letters in Part II can easily be used as emails. We include them in traditional letter format, but the message of each letter can be used as the text for an email. Obviously, the sample letters can also be used as templates for letters that you can attach to emails. We give you tips on how to adapt the letters to email in Chapter 4 in the section titled “Email.” You can find electronic versions of each of the letters in this book at www.amacombooks.org/go/AMAHbkBizLts4. Part III features two appendixes that give tips on frequently misused words and punctuation. Many people assisted us with this new edition. In particular, our spouses, Nancy Seglin and Lisa Freiman, were supportive of our efforts. And Bethany and David Whitemyer were invaluable in ensuring that this new edition came to pass. For assistance on this and previous editions, we’d like to thank: Peggy R. Broekel, Michaela Coleman, Tess Coleman, Donna Reiss Friedman, Loren Gary, Beall D. Gary Jr., Mary Glenn, Robert Griffin, Dr. Lindsey Harlan, Adrienne Hickey, Martha Jewett, Joan Kenney, Jim Lewis, Evan Marshall, Christina Parisi, Sam Mickelberg, Howard Palay, Patti xiii American Management Association www.amanet.org xiv n PREFACE TO THE FOURTH EDITION Palay, Pat Richardson, Robert Roen, Louis J. Roffinoli, Matthew Rovner, Lester Seglin, Mike Sivilli, Mark Stoeckle, Lisa Tieszen, John Waggoner, Evan Whitemyer, Lucas Whitemyer, and Tom Williams. We are particularly grateful to Hank Kennedy, president of AMACOM Books, for having the wisdom to believe that the time was right for a new edition of our book. Erika Spelman and Andy Ambraziejus were terrific shepherds of the book as it made its way through the production process. And Debbie Posner’s substantial work as copyeditor as well as Jacqueline Laks Gorman’s work as proofreader on this new edition make it a far better book than it would have been without the benefit of their extraordinary skills. We also thank our editors Ellen Kadin and William Helms at AMACOM. We’re also grateful to readers of previous editions who have sent us letters or emails with questions, suggestions, or ideas for this new edition. In an effort to continue to make future editions of the book as useful as possible, we’d like to ask your help once again. If you have ideas for new features or types of letters you’d like to see included in future editions, or if you have observations or questions, email them to us at: jseglin@post.harvard.edu. Jeffrey L. Seglin, Boston, Massachusetts Edward Coleman, Indianapolis, Indiana American Management Association www.amanet.org The AMA Handbook of Business Letters Fourth Edition This page intentionally left blank PART I The basics All letters methinks, should be as free and easy as one’s discourse, not studied as an oration.… —Dorothy Osborne (Lady Temple), letter to Sir William Temple, October 1653 Successful professionals know the importance of effective letter writing. You can’t have a good business relationship with customers if they don’t know what you’re trying to tell them in a letter. The services or products of a company can’t be marketed if a prospective customer is baffled by the service or product described. How can a salesperson expect to make a sale when, because of a muddled letter, the prospect can’t even understand what it is that’s being sold? Letter writing is crucial to the success of every professional. Without letter-writing skills, the professional’s effectiveness is stymied. Approaching This Book Our objective in The AMA Handbook of Business Letters is to help you write effective letters. Ineffective letters are a waste of time and money. This realization should be enough to convince every professional of the need to be a good letter writer. Letters may not seem like the crux of your business, but if you consider that effectively written letters can increase the quality of working relationships and the quantity of business you can attract, as well as decrease wasted hours and money, you can begin to see the importance of learning to write letters well. You should be prepared to approach this book with one chief goal in mind—to learn how to write more effective letters. Remember, too, that although letter writing is not a 1 American Management Association www.amanet.org 2 n THE BASICS simple skill, with practice you can become a good letter writer. Once you learn the basics and put them into practice, your letters will get better and begin to flow more easily. Approach of This Book Before you begin to write more effective letters, you must learn what makes up a good letter. The first part of this book takes you step-by-step through the basics of letter writing. You’ll learn the importance of planning a letter and gathering all the information you need. The plan is put into practice when you decide on the approach your letter will take and the components necessary to achieve the selected approach. The components of a letter are effective only if you know the proper mechanics involved in a letter’s structure and appearance. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and language usage are important if your letter is to be understood and well accepted by its reader. You needn’t fear an extensive course in grammar. What you’ll receive here are the fundamental “commonsense” rules of grammar, which are easily learned and should become natural not only to your letter writing, but to all of your other writing as well. The second part of this book consists of more than 370 sample letters, divided into categories reflecting various aspects of business. Each chapter also contains brief analyses of the strong points of many of the sample letters. Most of the sample letters are based on actual letters written and used by professionals. Names of people or corporations have been changed, but the content remains essentially unaltered. The letters chosen serve as models for ones you may have to write in your everyday business life. You can adapt them to meet your needs or use them as a touchstone to aim toward in your letter writing. The appendixes to this book consist of helpful lists and rules to refer to in your letter writing. As with all things, perfection can be reached only with practice. If you apply the basics learned in the first part of The AMA Handbook of Business Letters, and study the examples presented in the second, your letter-writing skills will improve greatly. The end result will be a letter that makes your readers think that what took much thought and planning on your part flowed as smoothly and effortlessly as discourse. American Management Association www.amanet.org CHAPTE R 1 Planning the letter Planning is a key factor in the accomplishment of any goal. Letter writing is no exception. To successfully construct a clear, effective letter, you need a good plan. Some letters do not require as elaborate a plan as others. A letter to a customer detailing a proposal for a product purchase will obviously need a more elaborate plan than a thankyou note for a business lunch. Common sense can usually dictate how elaborate your plan needs to be. If the information you need to present in a letter is limited enough for you to outline it in your head, there is no real need for a detailed outline featuring Roman numeral headings and sub-points beneath sub-points. The elaborateness of your plan should suit the elaborateness of the letter to be written. Of course, if you, as a letter writer, are more comfortable constructing a detailed outline for each of your letters, there’s nothing wrong with following that procedure. With enough practice, however, the simpler letters should flow more easily, and the time you might have spent laboring over outline after outline can be directed to other areas of your business. The following three steps are essential in the planning of any letter: 1. Researching the facts 2. Analyzing the subject and reader 3. Knowing your objectives and how to accomplish them If you follow these steps as you are planning to write any letter, you should find that your letters will be clear and well received, and will achieve your desired goal. Researching the Facts Before you write a letter, it makes sense to know what you plan to talk about. If you wing it and write whatever comes into your head, chances are you’ll end up with a confused, ineffective letter. 3 American Management Association www.amanet.org
- Xem thêm -