Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Business Letter Writing | Nature and Function

Business Letter Writing | Nature and Function
Of all forms of written communication, letters are the most common, the most frequent, and the most personal means of communication. You might more readily agree to write a letter than a technical proposal, a scientific paper, or a report. Correspondence is still playing a key role around the world. Even in this modern world, it is helping us to maintain communication with the people separated by distance. In spite of the advent of modern means of telecommunication such as telephone, telegraph and cellular phone, the importance of letters has not decreased a little. They are as important today as they were hundred years ago. Everyone must admit that with the growth of commerce and industry the usefulness of letters in business sectors is increasing more rapidly day by day. As a result, the importance of principles of writing business letters – a special form of formal letters – is being felt more and more.

Business communication specialists have identified a number of factors which one has to bear in mind while writing letters for commercial purposes. Over the years these factors have taken the form of a set of principles for writing business letters effectively. Now let us briefly discuss the principles of business letters, which are very important for effective writing.

A letter you post, in fact, carries not only a piece of information but also a piece of conversation. Think for a while, and remember that you started your "communication' with your near and dear ones through letters, which you posted time to time to communicate with them at a very young age. Still you have continued writing letters to them and will continue it throughout your life in future. These letters are called personal letters. The purpose of writing such letters is to establish a personal contact or to keep a personal relationship active. It has some other purposes too such as to maintain contact and intimacy between you and your receiver and to exchange views and opinions and so on. So, a personal letter should be frank, warm, attractive, lively and friendly, and, of course, its writing style should be informal. There is no place of formality in personal letters. Do not write to your relative or friend as though he or she was an audience you are addressing to. While writing such a letter you also have to ensure that your letter is bearing the traits of your character and personality.

After successful completion of your academic life when you would enter a profession, you will have to write dozens of letters every day to different persons and organizations, and it would become one of your routine tasks. Many of these letters will be written to persons you have never met and perhaps, you can never hope to meet. You will be writing letters to different firms and companies, customers, employees, suppliers, credit agencies, associate organizations, government offices, etc. Writing such letters are termed as business letters. The purpose of such letters is to achieve a specific goal, such as selling products or goods, seeking information or advice, making an inquiry, appeasing the upset feelings of a client, establishing rapport with a customer, creating goodwill, etc. It is, therefore, very important to know the nature and function of writing business letters if you want to reach your goal in your professional life.

The main purpose of writing a business letter is to arouse the reader's interest and stimulate in him good mood. And to achieve this goal, your letter needs to have the necessary built-in attraction. The aim of your writing is to open the mind of the reader to the message. There is one sure way of doing it: place yourself in the position of your correspondent and anticipate his feelings and reactions. A good letter writer, after having written a letter, asks himself, 'How would I react to this letter after reading it?'; 'What would my mental condition and/or feelings be if I received such a letter?' Such a test helps him to consider his letter from the reader's point of view and make the necessary changes.

Much of the barriers generated by dull letters can be removed by being cautious earlier and knowing the nature and function of writing a business letter. It is a basic need and, of course, a special quality to adapt yourself to the reader's point of view if you want to write an effective letter. Letters which handle delicate human situations should be read carefully before they are dispatched. An inconsiderate letter can induce irreparable harm.

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