How to Write a Business Letter

Business letter – few simple tips & tricks will help you master the basic form of professional communication, that is a business letter. Below you’ll find it in a nutshell.

What a Business Letter Says About You

Writing an effective business letter is crucial in order to be perceived as a trustworthy business partner. Nowadays, most commonly business letters mean business emails, to which, however, the same rules apply. It is through an email that the first business contact is made. And the first impression that is made during the first contact can decide about the future cooperation.

What to Remember When Drafting a Letter

When you write a business proposal in which you want to present your company and its services, you should follow certain rules:

  1. You usually don’t know who you are writing to, so you should start the letter with:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to present our business offer to you.

And here is the place to develop your offer, i.e. write about your company and the type of services you offer.

Business letters will vary at this point, but they should have one thing in common when being the first contact with your potential customer: avoid contractions and use full forms of verbs: ‘I am’ and not ‘I’m’, ‘We do not’ rather than ‘We don’t’, etc.

  1. The letter should also end appropriately, and when started with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’, it should end with:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

<here you put your full name and surname>

  1. If the potential customer becomes interested in your proposal and responds, that is when you know his or her name. Therefore, the second email should start with:

Dear Mr/Ms <here you put customer’s surname>,

Thank you for responding to our email and showing your interest in our services. To answer your questions…

The rest will vary depending on the type of services you offer and the potential customer’s questions about them.

  1. However, one thing should be common for your business letters. Finish the letter with:

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

<here you put your full name and surname>

What to Do Next

After that the initial business relationship is established, the emails may become less formal. The customer will probably start referring to you by your first name. Thus, given this provision, you may start doing the same.

  1. You may begin your third email to the customer the same way:

Dear <here you put customer’s first name>,

Yes, we can provide…

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

<here you put your first name>

The phrase: ‘I look forward to hearing from you’, known as the sign-off, should always be placed before you end the letter.

  1. Once the customer becomes one of your regulars, with whom you exchange emails, also on a daily basis, you can get very informal and start your emails with:

Hello/Hi <here you put customer’s first name>,

The service is ready and will be delivered by…

Thanks,

<here you put your first name>

  1. There are some other useful phrases commonly included in emails. At the initial stage, when you are not familiar with the customer yet you may use:

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our services.

Later on, e.g. during the second, third or further contact with the customer you may use:

If you need our further assistance, please call us on: <phone number> or contact us by email: <email address>

  1. Apart from the knowledge of formal and semi-formal phrases, the right attitude is crucial to maintain an effective business relationship. Always respond to your customer and if, for a grounded reason, you do it with a significant delay, you can say:

Dear <here you put customer’s first name>,

I apologize for the delay in responding to your email caused by/due to… (more formal)

Sorry for a delay in replying because of… (less formal)

Or say simply:

Sorry I couldn’t respond sooner because…

  1. Remember not to leave your customer in a limbo and ALWAYS answer his or her queries, even just to say that you are not interested in the job they have for you:

Dear <here you put customer’s first name>,

Thank you for your offer but we are not interested in cooperating with you on this project. (more formal)

Or, simply:

Thank you but we won’t do it. Till next time. (less formal)

Regards,

<here you put your full name and surname>

Still Feeling Unsure About Your Business Letter Skills?

If you think you cannot handle the task, there is always a solution. You may rely on professionals, who will deliver the service you require. The above tips and tricks are based on lingua franca of netiquette and business correspondence, that is English, though they may be transposed onto every language.

If you are unsure of your command of English and skills in drafting business letter, you may always turn to Slavis Translation Services. Slavis’ experienced linguists will help you phrase the business letter with the right wording and with cultural peculiarities in mind.

 

If you are looking for ISO-certified Translations, do not hesitate! contact our Translation Agency now and ask for best-possible offer!

Autor: Michal Wiewior

CEO in Slavis Technical Translations, Sworny - Certified Translations

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