How to write a Business Letter

There are different kinds of business letters. But before I talk about the different kinds of letters, I´ll tell you how a business letter should look like.

Different kinds of business letters

Different kinds of business letters

There are four different kinds of business letters: inquiries and offers, orders and delays & complaints.

The inquiry

Business tractions frequently start with inquiries because people want to get some information about something.

An inqury should be clear, concise, complete and courteous in order to ensure a satisfactory answer. There are general or sales-related iquieries. An inquiry may consist of a single sentence, written even on a postcard. Some firms use printed inquiry forms when goods of a certain specification are required. Inquiries ask for: catalogues, brochures, price-lists, terms of payment, discounts, , and so on.

Some phrases for the writing of an inquiry:

We refer to your advertisment (and would be interested in having further details).

We should appreciate full particulars of your latest products.

XY & Co. have recommended your goods and know-how to us.

We require the material for the manufacture of

If your prices are competitive (meet our requirements (expectations)) we should be able to

A short example for an inquiry:

Dear Sirs,

Would you please send me some information about your products and quote prices, delivery date, and terms of payment.

Yours faithfully, xxx

or another example:

Dears Sirs,

I saw your "Starsonic" radios at the British Industries Fair last week.

Would you please giveme a quotation for 200 (two hundred) of these models and let me have your terms of payment.

Your prompt reply would be appreciated.

Yours faithfully, xxx

The offer

An offer is the answer to an inquiry. You get the information you asked for, when the inquiry was precise.

Every inquiry should be answered promptly and courteously.

The reply is to build goodwill by:

giving the information requested

adding further information

sending the price list, catalogue, etc.

offering advantages

submitting a detailed offer.

Solicited offers are written in answer to inquiries.

Unsolicited offers are made voluntarily.

Some phrases for the writing of an offer:

We appreciate your interest in ..

As requested, we are sending you

We are enclosing

We regret that

We hope that you will be satisfied.

A short example for an offer:

Dear Sirs,

We have pleasure in offering you our newwashing machines at the prices shown on the attached list.

Please let us know if you are interested. We hope you will take advantage of this exceptional offer.

Yours faithfully, xxx

The order

Placing orders is largely routine.

Buyers often use printed order forms and sellers use printed acknowledgments.

Orders placed by telephone are confirmed in writing to avoid misunderstanding.

An order-letter can contain

details of description,





mode of transport,

terms of payment,

conditions of delivery,

Some phrases for the writing of an offer:

Please supply the following goods.

We ask you to send us

Enclosed you will find our Order No. 4289.

The delivery date must be kept.

A short example for an order:

Please supply:

            40 Timex Quartz "Rio" a L 8.90

Delivery: prompt

The delay and complaint

You have to write a letter if you don´t get the merchandise in time, or if you don´t get payed in time.

You should be polite all the time even when your opponent isn´t. If you think that you wount get your money you can threaten with telling that you´ll go to the judge. Dont do that before you wrote three admonishments.

Use the phrases from before.

A short example for writing such a letter.

Dear Sir or Madame,

Subject: Our order 669/MP

A week ago we notified you that three AC adapters for the cassette recorders are missing. We still have not heard from you or received the missing components.

This delay is extremely annoying, particulary in view of the fact that the Christmas rush is already on.

We must insist on receiving the adapters within the next few days.

Faithfully, xxx









Nachfrage, Informationsanforderung


in Kenntnis setzten





solicited offers

angeforderte Angebote

to build goodwill by

Vertrauen aufbauen durch



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