Business Correspondence Letters Write it as you would say it.

Forget about starting a letter with "Pursuant to yourrequest" or "Enclosed herewith"-at least ifyou expect your readers to get beyond the first line withoutfalling asleep. The same goes for cumbersome phrases like"would like to take this opportunity," "along thelines of" and "in view of the fact."

While "write it as you say it" sounds easy enough, itcan be surprisingly hard to pull off, particularly if you'retrying to use stuffy, overblown language-also known as50-cent words-to impress a potential customer. If youintimidate or fail to impress your customer, the only sure thingyou pull off is losing that customer.

One of the most important things to remember about businesscorrespondence is you don't want to sound arrogant. Instead,think about being conversational, about how you might start if youwere actually talking to that person.

In the beginning, improve correspondence by taking a look atevery sentence in your pitch letter. Nine times out of 10,you'll be able to take out wasted phrases. For example,"at this point in time" and "in view of thefact" can be replaced with "now" and"because" to make your message more concise.

So be concise . . . and active. For example, never end yourletter with passive phrases such as "hoping to hear fromyou," or "thank you in advance." Be proactive. Tellyour customer you'll call to follow up and when you plan to doso. Then, of course, do it.

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