Essential Qualities of a Good Business Letter
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A letter should serve the purpose for which it is written. If a businessman writes a letter to the supplier for purchase of goods, the letter should contain all the relevant information relating to the product, mode of payment, packaging, transportation of goods, etc. clearly and specifically. Otherwise, there will be confusion that may cause delay in getting the goods. Again the quality of paper used in the letter, its size, colour etc. also need special attention, because it creates a positive impression in the mind of the receiver. We may classify the qualities of a good business letter as:
a. Inner Qualities; and
b. Outer Qualities
a) Inner Qualities – The inner qualities of a good business letter refer to the quality of language, its presentation, etc. These facilitate quick processing of the request and that leads to prompt action. (i) Simplicity – Simple and easy language should be used for writing business letters. Difficult words should be strictly avoided, as one cannot expect the reader to refer to the dictionary every time while reading letter. (ii) Clarity – The language should be clear, so that the receiver will understand the message immediately, easily and correctly. Ambiguous language creates confusion. The letter will serve the purpose if the receiver understands it in the same manner in which it is intended by the sender. (iii) Accuracy – The statements written in the letter should be accurate to, the best of the sender’s knowledge.
Accuracy demands that there are no errors in the usage of language – in grammar, spellings, punctuations etc. An accurate letter is always appreciated. (iv) Completeness – A complete letter is one that provides all necessary information to the users. For example, while sending an order we should mention the desirable features of the goods, i.e., their quality, shape, colour, design, quantity, date of delivery, mode of transportation, etc. (v) Relevance – The letter should contain only essential information. Irrelevant information should not be mentioned while sending any business correspondence. (vi) Courtesy – Courtesy wins the heart of the reader.