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Posted by: sarahbonanno | October 11, 2010

How To Write Follow-Up Letters

When to Write a Follow-Up Letter

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In a general Follow-Up Letter, refer to the key idea (the meeting, your last letter, the unacknowledged gift) and mention the reason for writing the present letter (“as I hadn’t heard from you” or “I wanted to remind you”). If you are asking your reader to do something, say so clearly (“Please call me,” “Let me know if it arrived,” or “Send your payment now”).

When following up a telephone call or face-to face conversation, begin by referring to your meeting or telephone visit. Recap the conversation, repeating accurately the details of your talk: what decision was made, dates, times, quantities, plans, costs, people involved, and so forth. Ask the person to verify that this was the substance of your discussion. State what you expect next of the other person. Express appreciation for their interest or pleasure in the forthcoming meeting.

When you must write a Follow-Up Letter to an unanswered request, query, or letter, repeat your original message (or include a copy of it, even). You may want to go into a little more detail this time on the need or importance of the person’s response and what consequences for you or for the other person might arise from a failure to respond.

When following up a Sales Presentation, your letter is primarily a good sales letter, but you also thank the person for the time and opportunity to explain your product or service and you emphasize the one or two features that the person seemed most taken with during your presentation. Express your appreciation of their business, office, plant as well as your pleasure in the possibility of doing business with them.

When a meeting or event has been scheduled many months in advance, it’s sometimes necessary to send Follow-Up Notes reminding people. Repeat all the information along with a pleasant remark about hoping to see the person.

Grammar Tips Just For You

What NOT to Say:

Avoid implying that your reader is thoughtless, negligent, forgetful, or impolite when writing about an unanswered letter or unacknowledged gift. There is always the possibility of mail going astray. Even if they have been lax in responding, they won’t like you any better for pointing it out to them! Try to keep your irritation and frustration from showing through.

• A Follow-Up Letter should not be a simple repeat of an earlier communication (except in the case of confirming an oral agreement or discussion). It should have some specific (even if thin) excuse for being written – to confirm receipt of something, for example.

 

Punch It Up

Tips on Writing

When you receive no response to a Sales Letter and you send a Follow-Up, you begin by referring to your previous letter (“I wrote you several weeks ago to tell you about…” or “Did you receive the certificate we sent you, good for…?”). The rest of the letter is primarily a good sales letter but should emphasize a different benefit or aspect than your first letter did (tell them something new). This letter should also be shorter or perhaps, longer than the first and with all likelihood, a different tone, all together.

When a customer requests product information or literature, you fill the request and write a good sales cover letter to accompany the material. It is customary to write a Follow-Up Letter several weeks later. Refer to the earlier letter, thank them for their interest, offer further information, and then either mention a representative who will call on them, give them an order blank with a first-order discount offer, urge them to call a toll-free number to order, or make some other action-oriented proposal.

Too often, communication ceases once the customer has paid for the product or service. However, aggressive businesses will keep in touch with such customers, sending Follow-Up Letters to see how things are working out, to inform customers of new product lines, to remind them that you appreciated their business in the past and hope to serve them, again.

Also See Article: Follow-up Letters

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Posted by: sarahbonanno | October 11, 2010

Follow-Up Letters

“Don’t fill more than a page and a half with apologies for not having written sooner!”

(Lewis Carroll, Eight or Nine Wise Words About Letter Writing)

 

A Follow-Up Letter (postal or via email) refers to an earlier letter, conversation, or meeting and is a graceful way of tying up a loose end, reminding someone to carry through on a promised action, building on something that went before, or spreading goodwill. This little personal touch, which takes three minutes, makes an enormous impression. The ones who do it regularly in business are such standouts. They’re the ones who jump ahead.

 

Write a Follow-Up Letter When

 

• You have not had a response to a letter of yours and you need to remind someone that you are waiting for answers, information, confirmation, or merchandise.

 

• Your telephone messages have not been returned.

 

• You wish to remind someone of an appointment, meeting, favor, request, inquiry, invitation, payment, or work deadline.

 

• A Sales Letter or Product Literature has not produced a response.

 

• Your initial sales letter brings a response (order, expression of interest, request for more information) and you want to amplify the material in your first letter, encourage the customer to order or to buy again, and to keep in touch with the customer for goodwill reasons.

 

• You want to follow-up on a Sales Call or demonstration.

 

• You want to verify with a customer that a shipping problem or missing order has been settled to their satisfaction.

 

• After business lunches, dinners, meetings, or other hospitality you want to express appreciation and acknowledge what was accomplished.

 

• You wish to sum up what was accomplished in a meeting or interview so that there is a record and so that your estimate of what went on can be verified by others.

 

• You need to confirm a meeting date, a telephone or other oral agreement, a message left with a third-party.

 

• A gift you sent has not been acknowledged and you want to know whether it arrived.

 

• You have visited a school, university, or college as a prospective student, or have attended a meeting as a guest and potential member, and wish to express your appreciation and impressions.

 

• Someone has visited your school, university, college, or organization as an applicant and you wish to express appreciation and the hopes that they are interested.

 

• You want to send omitted or supplemental material or to revise an earlier correspondence.

 

So, now we know when the right time is to send a Follow-Up Letter but, how about HOW to write that letter?

Read More Here: How To Write Follow-Up Letters

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