Any professional correspondence that you write will reflect on your business as well as on you. When you request something from another person in writing, the letter must be carefully drafted with appropriate wording and suitable professionalism. Some of these request letters may have a tone of being more demanding or even threatening in some cases, and your goal is to create a friendly, professional letter that helps you to achieve the end result. This may be information, payment that is due or something else. By learning how to write a business request letter that gets you the results you are looking for, you can protect your business image and generate results.
Choose the Right Format and Supplies
Some business correspondence today is completed through a digital format, such as email. However, when you are formally asking for something that you want or need, it is still a better idea to continue to use a formal letter on business letterhead. This will present your case with the strength of your business behind it. An email is less formal, and it may not appear as though you personally are asking for something rather than the business.
Select Your Introduction
In most cases, it is best to keep the introduction or salutation of the letter as formal as possible. This means addressing the person by their title, such as Mr., Mrs. or Dr. along with their last name. In most cases, a professional request letter will not go to someone who you are very close with. Otherwise, you may simply pick up the phone and make your request in a far less formal way. While you may have addressed this person by their first name in the past, the situation of formally requesting something in writing often demands a more formal greeting as well. This sets the tone of the letter, so you should give the salutation the attention it deserves.
Be Direct With Your Message
With a business request letter, it is best not to get overly flowing with your word choices or to go into a lot of background detail about the nature of your relationship with them. Instead, provide a brief explanation regarding the reason for the letter as well as for the request that you are about to make. For example, you may indicate that services were rendered on a specific date, and invoices where sent on prior dates with no response. Perhaps you were promised information or something else, and now you would like to receive what was promised to you. Rather than simply request what you want, it is important that you provide a clear explanation of why you are now making a formal request for it.
Include Your Call to Action or Request
You should end the body of your letter with a specific call to action or request. For example, you may need information sent to you by a specific date for a project you are working on. Perhaps you need payment by a certain date or the account will be turned over to collections. The tone and wording at the call to action or request should remain professional and civil, and it may even be friendly in nature. Avoid being threatening at all times, even if you are requesting a payment that is past due. You may accomplish this by offering a phone number for them to call you at to discuss the matter further, or you may offer to drive by their office to pick up information that you are requesting if that is easier for them. If you are requesting a payment or something that can easily be mailed, you may even include a stamped return envelope to make it more convenient for them to fill the request. Close out your letter with a formal closing and your live signature to authentic it.
Double Check Your Work
Before you send your business request letter, take time to proof read all of your work. If you are concerned about the tone or wording, you may ask a colleague to offer you suggestions for better word choices or sentence structures. There are times when you want to say something but are unable to structure an approach that is friendly and non-threatening. In addition, remember that typos and misspellings can often result in misunderstanding and confusion. You do not want to lose the meaning of your letter because of a small grammar issue or typo.
Preparing a business request letter is a wonderful way to formally ask for something that you feel is necessary or even owed to you. It can remain civil and professional, and it can even be friendly. Keep these steps in mind as you prepare a draft for your request letter, and you will be able to more easily and confidently make your request.
By Andre Bradley