Examples of situations where a business letter may not be the best communication channel.

I have received so many request from my readers asking me to help them write or provide samples for situations where a business letter is not the best option.

I now believe this is the biggest problem most people face. A business letter or email is a good way of communication, however, it is not necessary the best form of communication.

One of the biggest disadvantage of a letter is that it is not personal. As much as you can try to make it personal, it is just not the same as a phone call or a face to face chat.

The following are actual question and answers I have given to my readers. They all were asking for advice on different topics, but my ultimate answer is the same. Pick up the phone, go talk to the person or have a meeting.

Use the letter as only a follow up.

How to ask for help from a experienced business person

by Ryan Mulligan
(Victoria, BC Canada)

I am trying to start up a business and charity foundation that I believe truly in my heart it will work.

I have suffered from some medical problems that keep me away from work on short periods. I just can seem to save the equity I need to qualify for the loan.

I am trying to write a letter to someone I consider a hero who is the brightest person I know to help me in obtaining the financing I need by recommending people, marketing firms, and potential investors that can help make my dream come true.

She is way above my level and much to busy to take time to advise me and I am hoping to write a letter that will touch her heart and consider recommending some options for me to start this dream of mine.

There are to many people out there just looking to take advantage of people and I trust her with all my heart.

How can I win her over to potentially give me some advice?

Hi Ryan,

First of all, congratulations on going after your dream. Not many people have the guts to do that.

Being in business myself, I get a lot of people asking for my advice. The thing we learn very fast when we start to give free advice is that it is pointless. People will listen and nod their heads and then not do anything with it.

I believe this is where she is coming from as well. Also, what is your relationship with her? People in business generally only help their good friends (people the like) or people who can help them back in return.

So, I don't think the letter will help.

I would suggest you join a local entrepreneurs club and learn from them. Also I would recommend buying 21 Great Ways to Start and Build Your Own Successful Business By Brian Tracy to learn more about starting a business.

Once you learn a bit more about how to start and run a business, you may not need her help.

If you still want her help, you can talk to her again. Figure out a way in which you can help her. When she knows you have taken proactive steps (and understand how business works) she may choose help you.

Good luck and wish you all the success.

Dax Cheng

I don't want lose business contract

by Shekka
(Dallas, Texas)

I don't want to lose a business. How do I write a letter?

Hi Shekka,

First of all, I don't think a letter is the best medium in this situation. What you need to do is find out what is the reason why you are losing the business in the first place and then see if you can offer them something to keep the business (verbal then follow up with a letter).

The following example was written after finding out that the customer is trying out a new supplier that offers better price. Note, in this example, the only reason is price, but in reality, it is usually multiple reasons (quality, service).

Thank you for being a long time customer of ours. We really appreciate your business and we hope you appreciate our service and quality.

As I understand it, you wish to terminate our services and engage ACME Forgery due to their low prices.

Since you have been a long standing customer, we would like to retain you as our customer. As such, we are offering to match ACME Forgery prices for you. Do keep in mind or our superior quality and service.

Thank you.

Dax Cheng


by Sandhya

How to write a letter to inform my staff regarding my leave & if any information required during that period, ask me to contact over the phone.

Hi Sandhya,

First of all, I think it would be better to tell your staff personally. If you cannot for any reason, I would write an email similar to the following:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I will be on leave starting tomorrow and will be back to work next Monday. In my absence, Joe will take over some of my responsibilities. However, if you need me, you can call me on my mobile.

Dax Cheng

Motiviation Letter to company after a big layoff

by Lori Smallwood
(Hong Kong )

Our company recently had to let 15 staff go. I would like to send out a memo to all existing staff regarding the reasons behind the layoff and their future with our company, etc. etc. - something to motivate and make them feel good.

Hi Lori,

As I have said many time in this site, a letter is only one form of communication. Is it the best form of communication? This all depends on the situation.

In your case, I do not think so. I think the best thing to do in this situation is to have some sort of a meeting with your employees where you can explain the situation of the layoff and maybe a question and answer session after that.

In terms of motivation, it all depends on the situation of the layoff and since you did not give me the details; I am not able to give you specific advice on how to motivate your employees.

A letter can be a good follow up after the meeting where you summarize the contents of the meeting.

I hope this helps.

Dax Cheng

Change/Revision in Salary Structure format

by Komal
(Mumbai,Maharshtra, India)

Please let me know how to write letter to the managers for Change in Salary structure format (change in the bifurcation like Basic, LTA, HRA, Petrol, variable cost, Professional tax, Provident fund deductions etc) in the company so that they can accept the changes in their own salary structure format.

Hi Komal,

If I understand you correctly, the company is changing almost the entire salary structure of the company. This sounds like a big change and I would not advice sending only a letter to explain this. Instead, management should hold a company wide meeting to explain the changes.

One of the company I worked for had such a change and they sent out a email to all employees about the changes. Needless to say, it caused a lot of confusion and worry. The top management ended up having multiple meetings to explain the new structure.

My advice: Send a letter or email announcement regarding the changes but leave the details for the meeting. An example of the letter you can send is as follows:

All full-time regular employees are invited to attend a one-hour town hall meeting on the new Salary and Benefits Plan.

ACME Explosive Tennis Balls is committed to regularly reviewing all elements of our employee compensation programs to assure that all employees are treated fairly and equitably.

The session will be held at 2 P.M. on Thursday, June 12, in the ACME Conference Room. After the conclusion of the session, a streaming video and transcript of the session will also be available on the corporate intranet.

Dax Cheng

Send a reminder letter to the Management

by Ronald Caldeira
(Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan)

The letter I actually need is that two years before I'd sent in a letter to my Management to work for the sale department but they did not reply, so this is my first reminder to them.

Hi Ronald,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your guts and commitment to change your career.

In order for you to get the position in the sales department, simply writing a letter is not enough. In fact, I wouldn't even consider writing another letter. You might consider doing the following:

Talk to your immediate supervisor. Tell him/her that you like the company and want to stay but would like a change in your roles. Let him/her know that you want to move forward in the company in the sales department.

Learn about the positions that you might be interested in (in your case sales). learn and know what they do on a daily basis. When there is a vacancy in the position, you can then show how you would be a good fit for the job and are able to perform the required tasks that are brought on in that position.

Keep an eye out for openings within the company. Most large companies have a corporate intranet or website in which you can find out about current job postings.

Get to know the managers (your future bosses) in the department you want to work for. Let them know you are interested in working for them. Try to learn as much about the job as possible and offer to help out.

You will want to follow your companies procedures correctly on how internal candidates can apply for openings within the company.

Be prepared for an interview. Internal candidates are no different from an external one in most hiring managers eyes. When I am looking to fill a position, I am looking for someone who can do the job. I do not care if you are already working for the company. This is where getting to know your future boss play a key role. If I already know you, you have an edge over external candidates (provided you can actually do the job).


Permission for industrial visit

by Kady
(Pune, Maharashtra, India)

I'm a student & I want permission from a company for industrial visit to the company with my friends.

Hi Kady,

I would assume this industrial visit is for a school or university project.

In this situation, I would advice against sending a letter.

A lot of companies get this kind of request all the time especially factories. Some companies even have scheduled tours of their factory. My advice is to call the company to see if they have one of these scheduled tours. If not, then tell the receptionist why you want to visit and ask him/her to connect you to someone who can help you.

Hope this helps.

Dax Cheng

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Hi I'm Dax...

I’m an entrepreneur, mentor, consultant and I was a global IT service manager for one of the largest multinational in the world.

I'm here to help you write better business letters.

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