1. Use common courtesy in your request ask rather than demand
2. Include all the information the recipients will need in order to give you maximum help, but don't waste
the readers' time with irrelevant details.
Send me the latest catalogue of your office supplies
What do you think of Letter A? Very poor, isn't it? Why?
The letter demands rather than asks (Guideline 1)
The writer has not supplied sufficient information (Guideline 2)
In consulting our files of catalogs of office equipment and supplies and checking them off against various
manufacturers and distributors, I discovered that I do not have your latest catalogs and price lists and other
information concerning your products. (I have some materials, of course, but they are out of date.
I have just been promoted to the position of office services manager of Bright Associates, and I
think one of the first things I must do is build a good reference source for me and my staff to use in
selecting appropriate equipment, materials, and supplies. For this reason I would like to request that you
send me your latest catalogs and price lists and other product information you may have in your possession
at your earliest convenience. In addition, I would be most grateful if you would put my name on your
mailing list so that I will receive all new materials.
Thanking you for your cooperation, I remain,
Letter B accomplishes certain guidelines well while others not at all.
1. Certainly, B satisfies the first guideline: it is courteous. If you were the recipient, you would quickly be
able to sense the writer's sincerity and gratitude.
2. On the other hand, the writer has completely ignored the second guideline brevity. There is no reason
for writers to tell their life's story in a simple request letter. Although the recipients will not be offended,
their time will be wasted.
3. This letter is full of deadwood and hackneyed expressions: "For this reason I would like to request" (say
"Please"); "I would be most grateful if you would put" (say "I would appreciate you putting"); "Thanking
you for your cooperation, I remain" (say "Thank you").
May I have your latest catalogs and price lists and other information about your office supplies and
equipment? I would also like to be placed on your regular mailing list so that I will receive all new sales and
Letter C meets the two guidelines for simple request letters.
1. It is courteous
2. The writer has given all the necessary information without overwriting
1. Inquiries and General Requests
An inquiry asks for information about products or services the writer is interested in purchasing.
Where as a general request the writer seeks information without intention to buy or sell. When you write
either of these letters use the direct plan and follow these suggestions.
While making requests for appointments include five Ws and the H, Day and Date, Time, Place,
etc. Moreover, explain the Purpose of the appointment or meeting. Consider the following example:
1. Best news or main idea
i. All necessary details
ii. Resale material
iii. Educational material
iv. Sales promotion
3. Positive, friendly ending
ii. Clear statement of action desired
iii. Easy action and motivation to action
iv. Willingness to help further
v. Dated action if desirables
Guidelines and Alternate Phrases
State the purpose of the appointment you're requesting up front. If you need to "sell" the meeting
idea to the other person, be sure to state the purpose in terms of benefits to the other person.
May we talk? I have a couple of ideas that could save us some moneyideas about how you can....
A colleague of mine and yours, Ahmed Hassan, mentioned you and I should get together to discuss our
mutual interest in distributing our products in the Multan. I have some information you may find useful,
and I'm sure you, too, can share some insights with me about appropriate markets.
I need to talk to you about the production costs for the engine oil. You asked me to keep you informed
every step of the way, and I think now is the time to go over several key details.
Suggest a meeting place, date, and time, but show concern for the reader's own schedule
by asking for him or her to confirm or to suggest an alternate time, if possible.
∑ I can be at your office at 11:00 Monday morning if that's convenient for you. If not, call me with
If this date is not acceptable, let me know when you're free, and I'll arrange my schedule
If this is inconvenient for you, give me a call, and we'll discuss another possibility for a meeting
If you have an alternate suggestion, let me know. I can meet with you almost any time Monday or
Tuesday of next week.
Give all the details for the reader to confirm the appointment.
Would you mind phoning my secretary to confirm?
If I don't hear from you otherwise, I'll see you in your office on May 15 at 4:00.
Let the reader know if the appointment is mandatory or optional and how to contact you if there's
We do hope you'll be able to join us.
Mr. Malik Hassan has requested we get together to discuss these issues before the end of the
Confirm all other details of the appointment, including any preparation that either of you needs to
make for the meeting.
I've enclosed an agenda. I'd like your comments particularly on the dry clearing project.
Please bring the annual report with you to the meeting.
I'm looking forward to your comments about the contract clause in dispute.
Could you be ready to present your opinion about the new labour policy?
Please review the enclosed report as a basis of our discussion.
Would you please calculate your expenses for the past nine months with regard to the Shopping the
Mall project? If you can be as exact as possible, we can identify some specific points for further
Be specific about what type of information you are seeking. Consider your needs before you write. When
contemplating the purchase of a product or service, detail precisely the criteria you will consider before
making a decision. The more specific you are in your requests, the more knowledgeable you appear.
If your request is an urgent one, indicate that within your correspondence. Provide specific details as to why
your request is more important than anyone else's.
When comparison shopping, make sure you ask the same questions of each company. This will allow you to
make an informed decision.
Request a written proposal or quotation. In response to your inquiry, a company may take the opportunity
to sell you on their product. This is understandable, but your ultimate goal is to gather information, not to
be "sold" on the spot.
When asking for a proposal or quotation, include the information necessary for a company to respond
appropriately. For example, when inquiring about medical plans, detail the type of coverage in which you
Adopt a tone appropriate to your correspondence.
As we discussed in Islamabad several weeks ago, I would like to stop by your office when I'm in Karachi in
June to discuss our magazine's project. I'll be available all day May 6 and the morning of May 7. Would you
let me know where and when would be convenient for you? I'll be confirming travel arrangements on
Tuesday, so I'd appreciate a call before then.
See you in Karachi,
Could we get together for lunch about 12:30 August 21 at the Pearl across the street from your office? I
now have available the latest figures on the project cost and need your comments about.
Please call my office them to confirm you will be able to make lunch that day. If not, would you please give
me an alternative date?
Dear Mr. Ali,
I would like to demonstrate our new XEL Fax machine to you in your office on Monday, March 21, at 3
You will be able to judge the accurate performance of this new model as described on the enclosed
I'll call you next week to make sure this date.
Now Read the Following Letter
Please reserve a room with one double bed for one adult for six nights Sunday, March 21, Through
Friday, April 29.
I would appreciate receiving written confirmation before March 9.
In request for reservations include the following details:
Number of adult and number of children,
Number of rooms,
Number and size of beds per room,
Duration of stay,
Arrival and departure times, days and dates,
You may wish to request a corporate rate when you make the reservations if your reservation is business
related. Consider the following letter.
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