8.1 What’s a letter of inquiry?A letter of inquiry is a letter of request. An inquiry is sent when a person wants advice, names, directions or some information (especially about the supply of goods, catalogues or samples, a quotation or prices, terms and discounts, availability of goods, delivery times and deadlines, a method of transport, insurance).
8.2 What types of inquiry letters do you know?There are two types of inquiry letters: solicited and unsolicited.
8.3 What’s a solicited letter of inquiry? Give examples.You write a solicited letter of inquiry when a business or agency advertises its products or services. For example, if a manufacturer advertises some new goods and you can't inspect it locally, write a solicited letter to that manufacturer asking specific questions. If you cannot find any information on a subject, an inquiry letter to a company involved in that subject may put you on the right track. The company may supply much more help than you had expected.
8.4 What’s an unsolicited letter of inquiry?Your letter of inquiry is unsolicited if the recipient has done nothing to prompt your inquiry. If you read an article by an expert, you may have further questions or want more information. You must construct the unsolicited type more carefully, because recipients of unsolicited letters of inquiry are not usually prepared to handle such inquiries.
8.5 Are there any differences in the style and tone of these two types? What are they and why is it so?There aren’t substantial differences between style a tone of these 2 types. Questions must be both courteous and straightforward. Be specific and brief. List questions or information needed in a clear, specific, and easy-to-read format.
But in closing an unsolicited letter, express gratitude for any help that the recipient can provide you, acknowledge the inconvenience of your request, because recipients of unsolicited letters of inquiry are not ordinarily prepared to handle such inquiries.
Do not thank the recipient "in advance." In an unsolicited letter, tactfully suggest that the recipient will benefit by helping you (for example, through future purchases from the recipient's company).
8.6 What are you to identify in an unsolicited letter of inquiry?In an unsolicited letter, identify who you are, what you are working on, why you need the requested information, and how you found out about the individual. Also identify the source that prompted your inquiry (a magazine advertisement).
8.7 What compensation can you offer in your unsolicited inquiry letter?In an unsolicited letter, try to find some way to compensate the recipient for the trouble by offering to pay copying and mailing costs, to accept a collect call, to acknowledge the recipient in your report, or to send him or her a copy of your report.
8.8 What do the structure and contents of inquiry letters depend on?The structure and contents of a business letter of inquiry will depend on three things:
· how well you know your supplier;
· whether your supplier is at home or abroad;
· the type of goods or information you are enquiring about
· What are the parts of an inquiry letter?opening lines: tell your supplier what sort of firm you are, how you heard about the firm or obtained your potential supplier’s name.
· indicating the state of the market: you should indicate the demand in your area for the goods which the supplier produces..
· asking for information (body)
· closing sentences: 'thank you' is enough to close an enquiry; you could mention that a prompt reply would be appreciated; you can also express a hope for the further successful cooperation.