Essentials of Business
The Power of a Business Letter
Business letters can provide:
Formality and sensitivity
A permanent record
Persuasive, well considered messages
Direct Requests for Information or Action
• Open your request directly:
▫ Ask the most important question first and be
• Put the details in the body
• Close with an action request:
▫ Ask for a specific action
▫ Include an end date of time if appropriate
▫ Express appreciation
Direct Claims
• Open your claim with a clear statement of what
you want
▫ If you have a legitimate claim you can expect a
positive response from the company
▫ Start with the problem or the action you want the
receiver to take
• Explain and justify in the body
▫ This is where you can explain why the claim is
• Close with a request for a specific action
Direct Replies
• Open directly with information the reader wants
to hear
▫ Whether good news or bad news the reader wants
the answer in the opening
• Arrange your information logically and make it
easy to read
▫ Supply explanations and additional information
• Close pleasantly and personally
▫ Closing with a pleasant remark shows willingness
to help the reader
Adjustment Letters
• Reasons for Adjustment letters:
▫ To rectify the wrong if one exists
▫ To regain confidence of the customer
▫ To promote future business and goodwill
Reveal good news in the opening
Explain how you are complying in the body
Decide whether to apologize
Show confidence and helpfulness in the closing
Goodwill Messages
• Goodwill Messages should be:
▫ Selfless: focus on the receiver
▫ Specific: Personalize the message and be clear
▫ Sincere: Show genuine feelings
▫ Spontaneous: Keep it direct, natural and
▫ Short: Goodwill messages do not need to be wordy
Conveying Sympathy
• Notes expressing sympathy are
the most difficult to write
• In writing a sympathy note:
▫ Refer to the death or misfortune
▫ In the case of a death praise the deceased in a
personal way
▫ Offer assistance
▫ End on a reassuring forward-looking note
May 25th, 2010
Ms. Breanna Lee, Manager
White-Rather Enterprises
1349 Century Boulevard
Wichita Falls, TX 76308
Dear Ms. Lee,
Chapter 6 – Chapter
Revision Assignment
Subject: Your May 20th Inquiry about Work Zone Software
We do offer personal record-keeping software especially for designed for small businesses like yours. Here are the answers to
your three questions about this software:
• Our Work Zone software provides standard employee forms so you are always in compliance with current government
• You receive an interviewer’s guide for structured employee interviews, and a scripted format for checking references by
• You can update your employee’s records easily without the need for additional software, hardware, or training.
• Our Work Zone software was especially designed to provide you with expert forms for interviewing, verifying references,
recording attendance, evaluating performance, and tracking the status of your employees. We even provide you with step by
step instructions, and suggested procedures. You can treat your employees as if you have a Professional Human Resources
Specialist on staff.
On page six of the enclosed pamphlet you can read about our Work Zone software. To receive a preview copy, or to ask any
questions just call 1-800-354-5500. Our specialists are eager to help you week days from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. You
can also visit our website at for more information, or to place an order.
Jacob Scott
Senior Marketing Representative
Strategies for Delivering Bad News
• Create primary and secondary goals for delivering
the bad news
• Primary:
▫ Make the receiver understand the bad news
▫ Help the receiver accept the bad news
▫ Maintain the positive image of you and your company
• Secondary:
 Reduce bad feelings
 Convey fairness
 Avoid legal liability or responsibility for your company
Indirect vs. Direct Patterns
• Use Indirect:
▫ When in need of a buffer
▫ Explain the reasons of the matter and why the bad
news is necessary
▫ Provide the bad news
▫ Close with a warm forward-looking thought
• Use Direct:
When the bad news may be overlooked
When policy requires it
When the receiver prefers directness
When firmness is necessary
When the bad news is not damaging
Avoid the Three Causes of Legal Problems
• Abusive Language
▫ Name calling
• Careless Language
▫ Be careful to say what you mean
• The “Good-Guy Syndrome”
▫ Statements that make you look good to seem like
less of a bad guy
▫ Don’t make it personal
Delivering Bad News Sensitively
• Buffer the opening
Provide the best news first
Provide a compliment
Convey appreciation
Provide a statement both parties can agree on
Provide facts
Show understanding
Typical Requests vs. Internal Requests
• Refusing outside requests (especially charities)
are common
▫ Place emphasis on the organizations attributes
▫ Explain the refusal
• Refusing Internal Requests
▫ Emphasize the employees positive attributes
▫ Strategically connect reasons for denial
▫ Suggest alternatives
Delivering Bad News to Customers
• Deal with problems and deliver bad news to
customers quickly and professionally
▫ Call the individual involved
▫ Describe problem and apologize
▫ Explain why the problem occurred, what you are
doing to resolve it, and what you are doing to
prevent it from happening again
▫ Follow up with a letter that documents the phone
call and promote goodwill
Delivering Bad News Within Organizations
• Gather all information
• Prepare and rehearse
• Explain: past, present, and future
• Consider taking a partner
• Think about timing
• Be patient with the reaction
February 16th, 2010
Mr. John Brumfield
Human Resources Development
Gulfport Energy Enterprises
1400 Longhorn Blvd.
Houston, TX 76400
Dear Mr. Brumfield:
Chapter 7- Revision
Did you know there is a direct link between the health of your employees and the health of your profits? We are in the midst of tough
economic time, and you are probably looking for benefits to offer your employees that help both you and them.
The benefits of healthier employees includes lower health care costs, fewer medical claims, improved productivity, better morale, and less
Here is how you can help your employees have sound bodies, and also improve your company’s profits:
• Provide them with Galaxy Fitness health club discounts
• Bring our aerobics, massage, weight loss, and educational programs on-site.
• Have us manage your on-site fitness center
Business Fortune magazine recently reported the following, “After a prevention and early intervention health program was implemented
at L.L. Bean, loss claims dropped by approximately 40 percent.”
Please call (713)839-2300 and speak with Jan Novak who is our corporate fitness expert to learn how you can add to the health of each
employee, and also to your bottom line.
Galaxy Fitness
Missy Mischke
Senior Marketing Manager
Writing Plan For a Persuasive Requests
• Opening:
▫ Capture the readers attention
▫ Describe a problem
▫ State something unexpected
▫ Suggest reader benefits
▫ Offer praise or compliments
▫ Ask a stimulating question
• Body:
▫ Build interest
▫ Explain logically and concisely
▫ Provide facts, statistics, expert opinions, examples and
both direct and indirect benefits
• Closing:
▫ Motivate action
Persuading Subordinates
• Usually requires little persuasion (Employees
expect to be directed)
• The goal is not to manipulate employees
• The indirect pattern is effective
only when supported by accurate,
honest advice
Persuading the Boss
• Providing evidence is critical
▫ Facts, figures, and evidence will make your claim
worth considering
• Appeal to the receiver
• Use words like, “recommend, "and “suggest”
Writing Sales and Marketing Messages
• Opening: Gain Attention
▫ Gain attention by offering special offers, benefits,
compliments, facts, product features, testimonials,
• Body: Build interest
▫ Explain more in depth
• Closing: Motivate Action
▫ Offer a gift, incentive, guarentee satisfaction
▫ Set a deadline for action
Successful email Sales and Marketing
• Use a catchy or interesting subject line that will
intrigue the reader to open the email
• Keep the information “Above the fold”
• Keep the message short
• Convey urgency
• Include testimonials
• Provide a way to opt out
Other Media in Business….
• Blogs: this can provide customers with updated
news on a company if they choose to follow it
• Wikis: This a way to easily share file and
• RSS: This can get information out to clients on a
more personal and frequent basis
• Podcasting: Content rich with audio and video
for advertising and websites
February 16, 2010
Mrs. E. R. Churchill
224 Oak Grove Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Dear Mrs. Churchill,
Chapter 8- Revision
We appreciate receiving your recent letter requesting that a curve in Highway 35 be rebuilt. The Department of Transportation
shares your concern about the safety of the stretch between Mount Vernon and Pittsboro.
Highway 35 as you mentioned has many hills, curves, and blind spots. However its accident rate is 4.05 per million vehicle
miles, which is far from the worst in the state. In fact at least 49 other state highways have worse safety records.
At this point in time I want you to know that we do have studies underway that will result in the relocation of sections of
highway 35 to terrain that will provide safer driving conditions. As you are aware such changes take time. We must coordinate
our plans with town, county, state, and federal authorities. Money is assigned to these projects by priority, and Highway 35 does
not have top priority. Also accidents along Highway 35 are not concentrated at any one curve; they are spread out over the
entire highway, which makes finding the best fix difficult.
For all of the above reasons we do not anticipate immediate rebuilding of any curves on Highway 35. In the near future we do
plan to install guardrails, and we will be certain to place a guardrail at the curve that concerns you.
We appreciate your concern for safety Mrs. Churchill. Please write to us again if you have any other ideas for reducing accidents.
Mitchell M. Overton
Office of Safety and Speed Management

Essentials of Business Communication