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This type of information can easily be found on corporate websites or by phoning the company.
It is customary to include a brief amiable sentence, followed by the reason behind the letter. The following paragraphs should be used to elaborate on this reason. Include any necessary details and information to ensure that the recipient fully understands. The last paragraph is the closing paragraph. It should be used to sum up the letter and request any specific actions that are needed.
It is usually better to personally sign the letter instead of using a digital copy of the signature. This is especially useful since most signatures are difficult to read clearly. For digital letters, include the actual file name along with its extension e. Senders who type the letter themselves do not need to include their own initials. It uses left justified paragraphs for the entire letter. All text is single-spaced, with double spacing inserted between each paragraph.
An emphatic opening involves using the most significant or important element of the letter in the introduction. Readers tend to pay attention to openings, and it makes sense to outline the expectations for the reader up front. Just as you would preview your topic in a speech, the clear opening in your introductions establishes context and facilitates comprehension. Body If you have a list of points, a series of facts, or a number of questions, they belong in the body of your letter.
You may choose organizational devices to draw attention, such as a bullet list, or simply number them. Readers may skip over information in the body of your letter, so make sure you emphasize the key points clearly.
This is your core content, where you can outline and support several key points. Brevity is important, but so is clear support for main point s. Specific, meaningful information needs to be clear, concise, and accurate.
Conclusion An emphatic closing mirrors your introduction with the added element of tying the main points together, clearly demonstrating their relationship.
The conclusion can serve to remind the reader, but should not introduce new information. A clear summary sentence will strengthen your writing and enhance your effectiveness. If your letter requests or implies action, the conclusion needs to make clear what you expect to happen.
It is usually courteous to conclude by thanking the recipient for his or her attention, and to invite them to contact you if you can be of help or if they have questions. This paragraph reiterates the main points and their relationship to each other, reinforcing the main point or purpose.
Closing statements are normally placed one or two lines under the conclusion and include a hanging comma, as in Sincerely, Signature Five lines after the close, you should type your name required and, on the line below it, your title optional.
Preparation Line If the letter was prepared, or word-processed, by someone other than the signatory you , then inclusion of initials is common, as in MJD or abc. This line indicates what the reader can look for in terms of documents included with the letter, such as brochures, reports, or related business documents. Strategies for Effective Letters Remember that a letter has five main areas: The heading, which establishes the sender, often including address and date The introduction, which establishes the purpose The body, which articulates the message The conclusion, which restates the main point and may include a call to action The signature line, which sometimes includes the contact information A sample letter is shown in Figure In order to communicate effectively and project a positive image, be clear, concise, specific, and respectful; each word should contribute to your purpose; each paragraph should focus on one idea; the parts of the letter should form a complete message; the letter should be free of errors.
Key Takeaways Memos are brief business documents usually used internally to inform or persuade employees concerning business decisions on policy, procedure, or actions. Letters are brief, print messages often used externally to inform or persuade customers, vendors, or the public. A letter has fifteen parts, each fulfilling a specific function. Exercises Find a memo from your work or business, or borrow one from someone you know. Share it with your classmates, observing confidentiality by blocking out identifying details such as the name of the sender, recipient, and company.
Compare and contrast. Create a draft letter introducing a product or service to a new client. Post and share with classmates. Write a memo informing your class that an upcoming holiday will be observed. Find a business letter for example, an offer you received from a credit card company or a solicitation for a donation and share it with your classmates. Look for common elements and points of difference. Now that you have reviewed a sample letter, and learned about the five areas and fifteen basic parts of any business letter, write a business letter that informs a prospective client or customer of a new product or service.
Discuss the main goals of a business proposal. Identify effective strategies to use in a business proposal. An effective business proposal informs and persuades efficiently.
It features many of the common elements of a report, but its emphasis on persuasion guides the overall presentation. What types of products or services might be put out to bid? If your organization is going to expand and needs to construct a new wing, it will probably be put out to bid.
Everything from office furniture to bedpans could potentially be put out to bid, specifying a quantity, quality, and time of delivery required. Janitorial services may also be bid on each year, as well as food services, and even maintenance. Using the power of bidding to lower contract costs for goods and services is common practice. In order to be successful in business and industry, you should be familiar with the business proposal.
Much like a report, with several common elements and persuasive speech, a business proposal makes the case for your product or service. Business proposals Document designed to make a persuasive appeal to the audience to achieve a defined outcome, often proposing a solution to a problem.
Common Proposal Elements Idea Effective business proposals are built around a great idea or solution. While you may be able to present your normal product, service, or solution in an interesting way, you want your document and its solution to stand out against the background of competing proposals. What makes your idea different or unique? How can you better meet the needs of the company that other vendors? What makes you so special? If the download decision is made solely on price, it may leave you little room to underscore the value of service, but the sale follow-through has value.
How can maintenance be a part of your solution, distinct from the rest?
In addition, your proposal may focus on a common product where you can anticipate several vendors at similar prices. Business proposals need to have an attractive idea or solution in order to be effective. Traditional Categories You can be creative in many aspects of the business proposal, but follow the traditional categories.
Each aspect of your proposal has its place and it is to your advantage to respect that tradition and use the categories effectively to highlight your product or service. Every category is an opportunity to sell, and should reinforce your credibility, your passion, and the reason why your solution is simply the best. Executive Summary Like an abstract in a report, this is a one- or two-paragraph summary of the product or service and how it meets the requirements and exceeds expectations.
Proposal The idea. Who, what, where, when, why, and how. Make it clear and concise. Use clear, well-supported reasoning to demonstrate your product or service.
Market Analysis What currently exists in the marketplace, including competing products or services, and how does your solution compare? Benefits How will the potential downloader benefit from the product or service?
Be clear, concise, specific, and provide a comprehensive list of immediate, short, and long-term benefits to the company. Timeline A clear presentation, often with visual aids, of the process, from start to finish, with specific, dated benchmarks noted. Marketing Plan Delivery is often the greatest challenge for Web-based services—how will people learn about you? If you are bidding on a gross lot of food service supplies, this may not apply to you, but if an audience is required for success, you will need a marketing plan.
Finance What are the initial costs, when can revenue be anticipated, when will there be a return on investment if applicable? Again, the proposal may involve a one-time fixed cost, but if the product or service is to be delivered more than once, and extended financial plan noting costs across time is required. Conclusion Like a speech or essay, restate your main points clearly. Tie them together with a common them and make your proposal memorable.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Ethos refers to credibility, pathos to passion and enthusiasm, and logos to logic or reason. All three elements are integral parts of your business proposal that require your attention.
Who are you and why should we do business with you? Your credibility may be unknown to the potential client and it is your job to reference previous clients, demonstrate order fulfillment, and clearly show that your product or service is offered by a credible organization. By association, if your organization is credible the product or service is often thought to be more credible. In the same way, if you are not enthusiastic about the product or service, why should the potential client get excited?
How does your solution stand out in the marketplace? Why should they consider you? Why should they continue reading? Your thorough understanding, and your demonstration of that understanding, communicates dedication and interest. Each assertion requires substantiation, each point clear support. It is not enough to make baseless claims about your product or service—you have to show why the claims you make are true, relevant, and support your central assertion that your product or service is right for this client.
Be detailed and specific. Professional A professional document is a base requirement. If it is less than professional, you can count on its prompt dismissal. There should be no errors in spelling or grammar, and all information should be concise, accurate, and clearly referenced when appropriate.
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