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11th edition
Raymond V. Lesikar

Directness in Good News and
Neutral Messages
Sunan Islam

A positive or neutral message calls for directness

whereas negative messages calls for indirectness.

General PLAN for the direct order message:
 Start

with the objective.

 Directness
 If

saves time for writer and reader.

explanation helps, give it.

End with a goodwill comment, specifically adapted.

Writing Direct Requests or Inquiries

A direct request is a straightforward written message
that asks another for - information,
- merchandise, or
- assistance.

The most effective direct request start with:
- the purpose,
- add specific details, and
- end with a courteous close that
leaves the reader with positive feelings.

Requesting Credit Information

In a credit arrangement,

a business sells products to another business or individual
in exchange for the promise to pay at a later date.

Credit purchases are so important,

companies conduct the credit granting process very carefully,

through a series of letters.

Requesting Credit Information – cont……

These letters fall into 5 categories:
1. Credit applications
2. Inquiries about creditworthiness
3. Responses about creditworthiness
4. Letters granting credit, and
5. Letters refusing credit.

Credit Applications

When consumers apply for credit,
they must complete application forms that
provide the information needed for credit decisions.

To increase your company’s chances of gaining credit,
application letters must be as specific as possible.

Include all information
that will support to your company’s financial stability.
For example: you might attach:
- the names and addresses of business credit accounts,
- bank references, and
- a copy of your firm’s latest financial statement.

Inquiries about Creditworthiness
Once a company receives a credit request,
it tries to determine, whether the applicant is creditworthy.

In part of this process includes written inquiries to references,
provided on the credit application.
The goal of the inquiry is to gather information
that will help the company to make a wise credit decision.

Filing Claim Letters

A claim is notice from a customer that
there is something wrong with a good or service.

An adjustment is the company’s response to the claim.

Customers write claim letters for many reasons, such as:
- billing errors,
- damaged or defective product,
- deliveries unordered or incorrect product,
- missed delivery dates.

Filing Claim Letters – continued ……

***How you write a claim letter:
 All Claim letters should start by telling the reader
what you want and why you are writing.
** You should then explain all the details
that the reader will need to assess the situation.
Among the details you may provide:
- the invoice number,
- delivery dates,
- store location,
- description of the item in question, etc.

Filing Claim Letters – continued ……
How you write a claim letter:- continued…….

Finally, your letter should suggest a solution.
For example:
tell the company that - you want a replacement
an adjustment to your bill.

Make every attempt to end your letter on a:
- positive,
- forward-looking note,
- expressing confidence that the
company will settle your problem fairly.

***Adjustment Grants
 When you grant an adjustment -

the situation is a happy one for your customer.
 In

other positive situations,
a message written in the direct order is appropriate.

You begin directly with the good news answer.
you close on a friendly note.

Adjustment Grants continued…..

But if the situation stems from an unhappy experience
you have two special needs:

One is theneed to overcome the negative impressions
the experience leading to the adjustment has formed
in the reader’s mind.

The other is theneed to regain any confidence
- in your company,
- its products, or
- its service

the reader may have lost from the experience.


Need to overcome negative impressions:
To understand the first needjust place yourself in the reader’s shoes,
because Something bad has happened:
- goods have been damaged,
- equipment has failed, or
- sales have been lost.

** Granting the claim will take care of most of the problems,
but some negative thoughts may remain.
** You need to work to overcome such thoughts.

** You can attempt to do this using words that produce positive effects.
For example: In the opening you can do more than –

just give the affirmative answer.
** You can add goodwill, as in this example:
“The enclosed check for $90 is our way of proving
to you that we value your satisfaction highly”.


You especially want to Avoid the negative words –
that could be used to describe what went wrong
words such as mistake, trouble, damage, broken & loss.

Even general words such as -

problem, difficulty, and misunderstanding
can create unpleasant connotations.

Also negative are the apologies often included in the messages.
Example: “We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused you”


Need to regain lost confidence (Seller to Buyer):

* If something can be done to correct a bad procedure or a product defect,
you should do it.
* Then you should tell your client what has been done
as convincingly and positively as you can.
* Sometimes –
you will need to explain how a product should be used.

Delivering Good News (Seller to Buyer):

Begin directly with the good news.

The remainder of the message is customer welcome and subtle selling.

The message closes with a note of
appreciation and a friendly, forward look.

Using directness for bad news (to Seller)

Claim situations may appear to be bad-news situations.

Usually bad-news situations are handled in indirect order.

Example (Seller wants):

The businesspeople want to know when something is wrong with their products or services
so they can correct the matter.
and there is no reason for delay or a gentle treatment.

continued ……..


Outlining the claim message (Buyer to SELLER):

Begin directly - Tell what is wrong.
Identify the situation
(invoice number, product information, etc.).

Present enough of the facts to permit a decision.

Seek corrective action.

End positively and friendly.

Extending Invitations

Invitations are requests to attend business or social events

such as receptions and open houses.

Every invitation should accomplish 3 things:

Request the participant’s attendance at a specific event;

Explain why the gathering is being held; and

Provide all the details that the recipient needs in order to attend,
including date, time, and location.