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Course 3: Enquiries and replies to enquiries

A letter of enquiry is usually written to ask for specific information or sales literature about products and services, price lists, catalogues, terms of business, quotations, discount schedules, dealer prices, the name of a dealer or local supplier, or free samples or materials. Letters of inquiry are also referred to as request letters. Most letters of inquiry are short. They can be sent by mail, telex, fax, or e-mail. If necessary, you can include information about what type of company you are and how you heard about the company that you are writing to. The following elements can usually be included in a letter of inquiry: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Say where you saw the advertisement/ how you learnt about the company Give some general information about your business. State your general reason for writing. Request action. Close the letter. Add a formal ending.

Here are some sample letters: Letter 1 Date Name/Title Business/Organization Address City, State Zip Code Dear Sir/Madam: Could you please send us your current catalog and price list of the video recorders advertised in this month's issue of Professional Video Equipment News? We are operating a video production facility and are particularly interested in Models AA5 and AA8. Please, reply as soon as possible as we would like to make a purchasing decision early next month. Sincerely yours, Signature Name Letter 2

Date Name/Title Business/Organization Address City, State Zip Code Dear Sir/Madam: We have seen your advertisement in the March issue of Business Catering Management and would be grateful if you could send us details about your catering services for medium-sized companies. A prompt reply would be appreciated. Sincerely, Signature Name Letter 3 Date Name/Title Business/Organization Address City, State Zip Code Dear Name: When we attended the International Electronics Trade Fair in London last month, we visited your stand and saw a very interesting demonstration of your automatic high-security garage doors. The ability to drive straight in and out of your garage from the comfort of your car, as well as your emphasis on theft protection, appealed to us. We believe that there is a ready market for this in the United States. Our company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the international Zetax Corporation, well-known in the security and theft prevention industry. Would you please send us your current sales literature and price list? Of course, we will be glad to provide the usual credit and trade references if we decide to order from your company.

Sincerely yours, Signature Name USEFUL SENTENCES FOR LETTERS OF INQUIRY AND REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION Saying how you found out about the company We were given your name by the XYZ Company in Billings, Montana. We have been given your name by our business associates, Messrs. Carlson & Sons in Twin Falls, Idaho, who inform us that they have been doing business with your company since 1988. Your company was recommended to us by Ms. Andrea Jensen of the Heyerdahl Company in Providence, Rhode Island. The Belgian Consulate General in New York advised us that your company is looking for an import agent in Belgium to represent you. We have learned from the Muller Company in Frankfort, Maine, that you are the manufacturer of the Selekta answering machine with built-in telephone and fax. Mr. Frank Norris of the Butler Company in Woodlawn, Oregon, advised me that your company is interested in supplying sporting clubs and fitness centers with competitively priced, highenergy soft drinks and candy. Your company has been highly recommended to us by Stewart, Jones & Company in Melbourne, Florida, with whom we have done business during the past twenty years. Giving some information about your company We are a major retail store chain and are inviting estimates for the supply and installation of new universal product code cash registers in all of our 12 outlets in the Chicago metropolitan area. We are a company manufacturing and selling electronic parts. We are one of the largest manufacturers of electronic parts. Stating your general reason for writing We are writing to several industrial coffee machine manufacturers to invite estimates for the installation and maintenance of automatic coffee machines in our headquarters in Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as at our two production facilities in the Philadelphia area, in accordance with the attached specification list. We are interested in importing Dutch cheese (in particular Edam, Gouda and Zaanlander) and would like to receive a copy of your latest sales brochure, export price list, and export terms.

Since we intend to place a substantial order for your new line of BMX lightweight binoculars and monoculars, we would like to know whether you are prepared to grant special quantity discounts for orders in excess of $10,000. If your products and terms of business are as competitive as we have heard from our associates, Berrbaum Company in Denver, we would be interested to discuss a long-term contract with your company. Requesting action Please let me know what quantities your company can supply from stock and your earliest date of delivery. In addition, I would like to know if your company is prepared to grant a ten-percent discount. Please e-mail us details about your Document Binding machine as advertised in the Sunday edition of The Newark Gazette. We have studied the specifications of your electronic typewriters (Model 227BB) and would like a quote from you for the supply of 200 of these typewriters. Since we intend to place a substantial order for your new line of BMX lightweight binoculars and monoculars, we would like to know whether you are prepared to grant special quantity discounts for orders in excess of $10,000. Please let us know on what terms you can deliver the video recorders. Please reply as soon as possible because we would like to make a decision early next month. Please send us your latest catalog and full details of your export prices, discounts, and terms of payment. Please fax me your quotation as soon as possible. We would appreciate a prompt reply quoting export trade and delivery prices to Martinsville, West Virginia.

2. Letters of reply to enquiries


The main parts of a letter of reply are the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Acknowledge the letter State what action you are taking Focus attention on important information Answer any specific questions the inquirer asked, for example about prices and delivery Suggest ways in which you could help the inquirer make a decision to buy Invite the inquirer to ask for further information Close the letter and add the appropriate ending

Here are some sample letters: Letter 1 Date Name/Title Business/Organization Address City, State Zip Code Dear Name: Thank you very much for your request of April 16 for samples of our new ABC fabrics. We have asked our agents in San Diego, Arthur Roth Company, to supply you with a copy of our current sales catalog and price list and a full line of samples. We appreciate your interest and thank you for writing to us. Sincerely yours, Signature Name

Letter 2 Date Name/Title Business/Organization Address City, State Zip Code Dear Name: Thank you for your request for additional information on the Misell Carpet Machine, which we have been producing since 1994. This professional vacuum cleaner removes deep-down dirt. Misell Company has an excellent reputation for high-quality products, reliability, and service. Our products are designed and manufactured in the United States.

I have enclosed a special folder on the Misell Carpet Machine and a catalog that describes our other professional floor care products, including the Silent Power cannister and the Full-Power Upright Vacuum Cleaner. Please call me at (000) 000-0000 if you have any questions. Sincerely yours, Signature Name

Letter 3 Date Name/Title Business/Organization Address City, State Zip Code Dear Name: In reply to your fax of September 12, we are pleased to enclose a copy of our most recent sales catalog which features the complete range of our new sports jackets for men. These handsome and versatile jacketsin beige, navy, chocolate, or rustcan be worn from the office to informal dinners to weekend activities in great style and comfort. The medium-wale corduroy is made from a long-wearing blend of long staple cotton and polyester and is soft and easy to wear. The models that you are interested in are presented on pages 9 to 15. Mr. Robert Dillon, our regional sales manager, will telephone your office next week in order to arrange a meeting. He will be able to provide you with complete details of our other new sportswear lines. Sincerely, Signature Name

USEFUL SENTENCES FOR REPLIES TO LETTERS OF INQUIRY AND FOLLOW-UP LETTERS Acknowledging the letter of inquiry Thank you for your letter of 5 May inquiring about our full range of vacuum cleaners.

We have received your letter of 5 May inquiring in which you inquired about our full range of vacuum cleaners. Thank you for your e-mail of February 19. Thank you for your inquiry. Thank you for your interest in our sales management training program. Stating what action you are taking Please find enclosed our color brochure and export price list, which will give you a good idea of the range of our best-selling brass-look curtain rods. I enclose our latest catalog and export price list which will provide you with detailed information about our newest range of smooth leather gloves and crocodile-look belts. Our company allows a trade discount of 25 percent off the quoted list prices to wholesalers in North America. Please find enclosed a copy of our latest catalog and price list quoting prices for delivery in Montreal. The prices quoted are subject to change, however, because the international market for pure cotton is rather unstable at the moment. Of course, we will inform you by fax or telephone if there is an increase in our quoted prices. The samples you requested in your fax of June 21 will be sent to you today as a separate airfreight package. The brochures you ordered are being printed now. We will ship them on December 3. Answering any specific questions (about discounts, terms of payment, etc) and focusing attention on important information Our usual terms of payment are cash on delivery (C.O.D.). Our usual terms of payment are sixty days from the date of delivery. Our quotations are subject to 2 percent discount for cash. Our terms are 30 percent discount, with 3 percent for settlement within fifteen days of date of invoice. This is a special introductory offer and is therefore not subject to our usual discount schedule. If you accept our quotation of November 5, please advise us by fax or e-mail. We are enclosing our current catalog and price list quoting F.O.B. prices Tokyo and urge you to order as soon as possible, because there is a great demand for the new Models ZA2 and ZB3. Our quoted price includes special export packing and airfreight delivery. We are offering your company a special discount for our video recording equipment based upon the following sliding-scale: On purchases exceeding an annual total of $2,500 but not exceeding

$5,000: 2 percent; $5,000 but not exceeding $15,000: 4 percent; $15,000 but not exceeding $35,000: 5 percent; and $35,000 and above: 6 percent. As you can see on page 3 of our price list, we allow you a special discount off all net prices for orders of the value you stated in your fax. Delivery will be within four weeks of receipt of your order. Suggesting ways to help the inquirer and inviting further question Please let us know if you would like to have a demonstration of our document-binding machine at your office next week. If you would like more information or have any questions on any of our products, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. Our international sales manager, Ms. Louise Truffaut, will be in San Diego next month and will be pleased to visit your office to discuss the contents of our follow-up letter of April 9.
Mr. Robert Dillon, our regional sales manager, will telephone your office next week in order to arrange a meeting. He will be able to provide you with complete details of our other new sportswear lines.

Please call me at (000) 000-0000 if you have any questions. Just give me a call at (000) 000-0000 and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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