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Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Letters and Memos.

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Presentation on theme: "Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Letters and Memos."— Presentation transcript:

1 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Letters and Memos that Carry Negative News C H A P T E R 8

2 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Learning Objectives u Identify the need for indirectness in delivering bad news. u Recognize six components in an effective indirect strategy. u Apply skilful writing techniques in refusing requests. u Retain good will while refusing claims. u Demonstrate tact in refusing credit requests.

3 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Before Applying the Indirect Writing Strategy u Analyze the message. u Anticipate the readers reaction. u Know when to be direct

4 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Elements of the Indirect Strategy u Buffer u Transition u Explanation u Bad news u Alternative(s) u Goodwill closing

5 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Develop a Good Buffer u Reduces or cushions the shock of negative news. u Provides a neutral or positive opening that does not reveal the bad news. u Is u neutral u upbeat u relevant

6 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Build a Smooth Transition u Guides the reader to an explanation that follows. u Plants a key word or idea in the buffer and/or transition that leads the reader to reasons for refusal.

7 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Present the Explanation u Presents sound reasons for denying a request. u Projects an unemotional, objective, and helpful tone.

8 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning De-emphasize Bad News u Avoid the spotlight. Put the bad news in the middle of a paragraph halfway through the letter. u Use a long sentence. Dont put bad news in a short, simple sentence. u Put the bad news in a subordinate clause.

9 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning De-emphasize Bad News I realize that the new accountant, if hired, would help all departments prepare tax information. You realize, however, that because the fiscal year ends this month, most department funds are earmarked. Although financial support for additional help cannot be provided by the departments, most employees are willing to devote extra time and effort during tax preparation.

10 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning De-emphasize Bad News Although financial support cannot be provided by the departments for additional help, most employees are willing to devote extra time and effort during tax preparation. u Use the passive voice.

11 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning De-emphasize Bad News I realize that the new accountant, if hired, would help all departments prepare tax information. You realize, however, that because the fiscal year ends this month, most department funds are earmarked. u Be clear but not overly graphic. u Imply the refusal.

12 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning De-emphasize Bad News Although financial support cannot be provided by the departments for additional help, most employees are willing to devote extra time and effort during tax preparation. u Offer an alternative.

13 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Close With Goodwill u Provide courteous, pleasant, and forward- looking closing that doesnt refer directly to the bad news. We hope that the dedication of the present staff will contribute to successful tax preparation.

14 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Close With Goodwill Avoid closings that u Refer to the bad news u Conclude with clichés u Invite further correspondence

15 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Buffer: u Identify previous correspondence incidentally or in a subject line. u Begin with a neutral statement on which both reader and writer can agree.

16 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Dear Mr. Durante: SUBJECT: YOUR MAY 15 LETTER You are one of nearly 500 individuals who took advantage of our membership campaign and joined the MegaGym physical fitness program. Were glad that you have been able to use our outstanding training equipment and our workout classes for the past seven months. Identifies previous correspondence. Friendly refusal for a cash refund Neutral statement.

17 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Transition: u Plant a key idea or word that leads naturally to the explanation.

18 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims You are one of nearly 500 individuals who took advantage of our membership campaign and joined the MegaGym physical fitness program. Were glad that you have been able to use our outstanding training equipment and our workout classes for the past seven months. Because of the success of our membership campaign, we have been able to add a number of state-of-the-art equipment units. Key Word.

19 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Explanation: u Present valid reasons for the refusal.

20 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Because of the success of our membership campaign, we have been able to add a number of state-of-the-art equipment units. This and other improvements depend on the contracts signed by individuals like you. We hire employees, schedule workouts, and purchase equipment based on the number of contract memberships in effect. Explanation is logical and objective.

21 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Bad News: u Soften the blow by de-emphasizing refusal.

22 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims To allow membership contracts to be broken would make it impossible for us to fulfill our commitments to our employees and to our members. Although your contract payment cannot be refunded, we can deactivate your membership. When you return from your overseas assignment, you may resume your active status and use the remaining five months of your membership. Refusal is softened by position, wording, and alternative.

23 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Closing: u Renew good feelings with a positive statement.

24 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Requests and Claims Enclosed is a form for you to return regarding the status of your membership. You can count on MegaGym to help you get back in shape when you are able to resume your membership. Goodwill closing focuses on making alternative easy to accept.

25 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit Buffer: u Express appreciation for order or for credit application. u Include resale information if appropriate. Dear Ms. Rhodes: We genuinely appreciate your application of April 3 for a Holt Platinum credit card.

26 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit Transition: u Move from buffer to explanation logically. u Repeat key idea or word if possible. We consider many factors in our evaluation process, and the requirements for this type of card are demanding.

27 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit Explanation: u Describe submission of application to credit-reporting agency. u Do not specify reasons for denial. u Use objective language.

28 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit We consider many factors in our evaluation process, and the requirements for this type of card are demanding. After receiving a report of your current credit record from TRW Information Services, we find that a Platinum card cannot be issued at this time.

29 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit Bad News: u Imply refusal or state it respectfully. u Offer alternatives, if possible. u Suggest possible extension of future credit here or in the closing.

30 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit After receiving a report of your current credit record from TRW Information Services, we find that a Platinum card cannot be issued at this time. If you feel your credit report contains inaccurate information, please contact TRW and follow the instructions on the enclosed sheet to verify your report.

31 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Writing Plan for Refusing Credit Closing: u Project an optimistic look to the future. Thanks, Ms. Rhodes, for the confidence you have shown in Holt. We invite you to continue shopping at our stores, and we look forward to your reapplication in the future.

32 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Credit Refusals That Retain Business u Avoid language that causes hard feelings. u Include only factually correct information. Avoid adding your opinions or suggestions. u Strive to retain customers on a cash basis u Prepare for possible future credit--without raising false expectations.

33 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Revise the following refusals so that the bad news appears in a subordinate clause or discuss strategies for revising.

34 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill 1. We cannot fill your order because we are out of Model X-25 printer stands. We can, however, substitute Model X-35, which can be shipped immediately. Although we are out of Model X-25 printer stands, we can ship immediately Model X-35.

35 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill 2. Kable Connection cannot extend credit on your Express Card number. However, we can extend credit if you apply for a Kable Card. Although Kable Connection cannot extend credit on your Express Card number, we can extend credit if you apply for a Kable Card.

36 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Convert the following sentences from active to passive voice. 1. I am unable to make a cash contribution this year because of unusually high taxes. A cash contribution this year is impossible because of unusually high taxes.

37 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill 2. We cannot process your application this month. Your application cannot be processed this month. 3. The Transit Authority no longer authorizes reduced fare for college students. Reduced fares for college students are no longer authorized.

38 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Study the following openings of actual bad-news letters from well-known companies (with names changed). Discuss strategies for improving the remaining lettersif they need revision. Use the following questions to guide your discussion. u Does the bad-news letter follow an indirect strategy? u Does it open with a buffer? u Does the letter require revision to retain goodwill?

39 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Ineffective: Big Name Cable TV Company Dear Customer: In order to provide you with the best in customer service, to maintain continued picture quality, and to continue delivering the cable programming you currently enjoy, we must adjust our rates. Like every business in town, we are faced with increased operating costs.

40 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Improved: Big Name Cable TV Company Dear Valued Customer: For many years Big name Cable TV Company has prided itself on bringing you remarkable programming and responsive service while keeping customer costs at the lowest in the cable industry. Like every business in town, however, we are faced with increased operating costs. In order to continue providing you with the best in customer service, to maintain continued picture quality, and to continue delivering the cable programming you currently enjoy, we find it necessary to adjust our rates.

41 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Ineffective: Best-Known Garden Product Company Dear Unhappy Vegetable Gardener: I am very sorry that you are dissatisfied with the performance of the PlentiFul plant food product in your garden. We take great care in blending the finest water soluble plant foods. I am inclined to believe that your dissatisfaction with our product is due to some misunderstanding of how water soluble plant foods should be used or due to some other factor in your garden completely unrelated to the plant food.

42 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning Try Your Skill Ineffective: Big Pharmaceutical Company Dear Mr. Manning: Thank you for writing about our product, OptiTears. We can certainly understand your concern over experiencing eye discomfort following use of this particular bottle. It was helpful of you to return the bottle of OptiTears in question so that our laboratories can analyze the product for conformance to specifications. Results of the analysis provide useful information in our continual product evaluations and will be made available to you.

43 Essentials of Business Communication Third Canadian Edition by Mary Ellen Guffey and Brendan Nagle Copyright 2000 Nelson Thomson Learning


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