2BUSINESS GREETINGSWhen you meet someone online, over the phone, or in person, it’s a smart idea to introduce yourself with a bit more detail in a follow-up or letter. Why? If you did not exchange business cards, the or letter gives the recipient a record of your contact information: name, address, phone number, mailing address. If you did exchange business cards, the follow-up greeting allows you to provide information not on the card. It may repeat information you discussed as well as provide details not found on your card. How many people have you met or talked with this year who you’ve already forgotten? The follow-up reminds the recipient of the meeting or conversation, creating a more lasting impression of you in his or her mind.
3General RulesFormat: Typed. Business or personal letterhead. Style/Tone/Voice: Can be either informal or formal. Active tone or voice. Structure: (1) Include a phrase that it was “a pleasure to meet you”, (2) Add a brief reminder of your conversation; comment on the event; and/or enclose a helpful tip, lead, or article, (3) Close with a reason to stay in touch and/or make contact again the future. Handy Phrases: It was great meeting you at last night’s event; I enjoyed sharing war stories about our industry; I look forward to talking again about working with you on the project idea we discussed; Based on our conversation, I thought you might find the enclosed article of interest; My colleague, [name], would be a good prospect for you, when you contact her please let her know I referred you.
4Sample Business Greeting Bob: It was great to meet you on the phone just now! I look forward to working with you. Below is my contact information; please call or me if you have any questions. Feel free in the next few weeks to send material for me to look over—I’ll be happy to send you some feedback. Sincerely, Suzanne Davis Project Editor Kitsch House Publishing
5Tips for Business Greetings Send the greeting message within 48 hours after meeting the person. The longer you wait, the less of a positive impression it makes.In the lead, remind the person where, how, when, and under what circumstances the two of you first met.Be friendly and positive. You are trying to deepen the relationship and get it off to a successful start. Save complaints, concerns, or problems for another communication.If needed and relevant, give a capsule summary of who you are, what you do, and why the reader should care.Include all relevant contact information. Usually this is transmitted in the letterhead of a business letter or the sig file (see Part X: and Fax Correspondence) of an .Be helpful. Offer support, friendship, services, or whatever else you can do to help the recipient achieve his or her goals.
6CORDIAL CONTACTSThe main purpose of a cordial contact letter is simply to keep in touch with the reader and let him know you are thinking of him. Who would you want to keep in touch with? Customers, prospects, inactive accounts, consultants, industry gurus, colleagues, coworkers, employees, friends, relatives, the media, vendors, key suppliers, business partners, and any other people you know and care about or want to know about you. The holidays are the obvious time when people go through their address book or database and send out cards, gifts, or make calls, but the effort gets lost among all the correspondence your recipient is fielding. Make an effort to send notes and letters to important people all year long; consistency — and not one-shot deals — is the key to building relationships.
7General RulesFormat: Typed. Business or personal letterhead. Style/Tone/Voice: Can be informal or formal. Active tone or voice. Structure: (1) Begin with the reason you’re writing (e.g., been thinking of you; hope you’re enjoying the season; want to thank you for your continued business), (2) Expand on your opening, (3) Express wish for continued relationship, (4) Close with regards/good wishes. Handy Phrases: Just taking a moment to express our thanks for your business; I was just thinking about you and I hope you and your loved ones can take some time off to enjoy this beautiful summer weather; Thank you for the satisfying relationship we’ve enjoyed these past xx years; Wishing you continued personal and professional success.
8Sample Cordial letterDear Randy: I was flipping through my touch file and noticed your name. It’s been too long since we’ve talked, and I wanted you to know that I we have appreciated your business over the years. I don’t see you simply as a customer; I see you as a friend. I hope that you were satisfied with our prompt handling of your auto claim last August; I pride myself on the company’s responsiveness to these types of claims and feel good personally when I know we’ve gotten you back on the road, so to speak. If I can do anything else for you, please don’t hesitate to call. Sincerely,
9Tips for Cordial Contact Letters The tone should be light and friendly (that’s why they’re called “cordial” contacts).Limit the content to two to four short pieces of news or items of interest.Recall an old event, a favorite time, a pleasant memory to reinforce your bond with the recipient.Add interest. Tell the reader something fascinating or relevant to his life that he does not already know.Add a human touch. Connect not just on a business level, but also on a personal one, with your reader.
10REQUESTS FOR BUSINESS FAVORS Everyone, on occasion, needs help or needs to ask a favor. Examples include requesting a networking interview to learn more about a company or industry when doing a job search; asking for a letter of recommendation or reference; and asking someone for free advice, information, ideas, guidance, or referrals to others.In your lead, tell the person why you are writing to them (as opposed to others in similar positions) — in other words, why did you select that person out of all the others in his field? If you admire him or his work, or he is well respected or his organization is well respected, say so. Flattery doesn’t get you everywhere, but it’s a good start.Then go right into what you are up to and why you need his help in it. In a few concise sentences, make clear your venture or project, and what you hope he can help you with.Never ask for general help; such requests overwhelm the reader, and he may fear there will be no escaping you. Instead, ask for a favor that is limited, small, and specific.Another good idea is to thank him for the time he spent reading your letter, even if he chooses not to help you. The kind, sincere thanks shows you recognize how busy he is, but also may make him feel guilty enough to spend a few minutes on your request.There may not always be a benefit to the reader you can claim he will receive if he helps you, but usually there is. Think about what that might be and remind him of it in your letter.If this is not your first request, never criticize the reader for not responding to your earlier letter. He is busy, and while it would have been polite for him to respond, he is under no obligation to do so.
11General Rules Format: Typed. Business or personal letterhead. Style/Tone/Voice: Can be either informal or formal, depending on the request and the person you are writing to. Use active tone or voice.Structure: (1) Acknowledge that you are asking someone to give you something (his time, knowledge, permission),(2) Make the request and give details or circumstances,(3) Explain why the recipient is the best person for this favor,(4) Offer - if possible - to reciprocate the favor,(5) End with a show of gratitude.Handy Phrases: I have a favor to ask; Could you help us with a small favor?; Would you be willing?; Would it be possible?; Please let me know if you’d be able to; We appreciate your assistance; We look forward to hearing your reply.
12Sample Request LetterDear Fred: I read your article on the “Intellectual Property Protection Restoration Act” on the Web and was quite impressed. I would like to reprint it in my company newsletter. (I’ve attached a copy of the newsletter for your review.) We’ll be sure to send you several copies of the newsletter for your files. If this is okay with you, would you please sign this note and fax it back to me at ? If there are any changes, please let me know. Also, we will credit the article as it is bylined on the Web site, unless you have an alternate credit line that you’d like us to use. Thank you so much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Sam Duncan
13Tips for Requesting a Business Favor Remember that the reader does not owe you anything. Do not imply that he does, in any way.Acknowledge that he must get many such requests and be far too busy to respond to most of them, and that you understand that. Then give him a reason to respond to yours. This may be flattery or a benefit.Always ask. Never demand. Do not use the appeal “didn’t you wish someone would have helped you when you were starting out like me?” It falls on deaf ears and only serves to alienate the reader.As a show of appreciation, you may want to offer a gift, such as a free membership, free product, or free service as an incentive. The reader will probably not accept the gift, however, especially if taking advantage of it takes time.If you have had positive personal dealings with some of the recipient’s peers, mentioning their names may help warm the recipient to the idea of helping you.