If the reader is not expecting your letter, then it is more difficult. In this case, following these four guidelines will be helpful:
State your purpose
List your questions or requested action
Offer something in return to encourage action
Follow up with a thank you note, e-mail, or phone call to the person who helped you with your request
This type of letter is often written to suppliers you have not done business with before. Such a letter often asks for a brochure, catalogue or price list. It is sometimes considered useful to give some details of your business, and also where or how you heard of the supplier's name and address.
You should always address your letter “Dear Sirs”, “Dear Sir or Madam” – in this way you are writing to a company. If you address it to an individual, it may mean delay if the person is away or ill.
It is important to recognize that a well-written letter of inquiry is crucial to securing funding for your project.
The letter of inquiry should be brief—no more than three pages—and must be a succinct but thorough presentation of the need or problem you have identified, the proposed solution, and your organization's qualifications for implementing that solution.
The letter of inquiry should be addressed to the appropriate contact person at a foundation or to its CEO and should be sent by regular mail.
Calle Estoril 1701
Standart Office Furniture Ltd.
London, SW4 9HX
Great Britain 12 Oct., 1998
We have read an article in “Office News” about your range of visible record system filing cabinets. We are interested in introducing a modern filing system in our main office. We also wish to install an electronic system for the storage and retrieval of data.
Please send us price list and catalogues of your manual and electronic data processing systems, quoting your price f.o.b. London if possible. We are particularly interested in type TW37, so we would be grateful if you would enclose more detailed information about this particular model.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Inquiry generally are 2-3 pages;
oftentimes, the foundation will indicate a page limit.
Do not go
over that limit!
This should inform the reader that this is an enquiry or request
The introduction serves as the executive summary for the letter of inquiry and includes the name of your organization, the amount needed or requested, and a description of the project. The qualifications of project staff, a brief description of evaluative methodology, and a timetable are also included here
Please send me...
Could you please send me...
(for things that the organization offers to send)
I would be grateful if you could tell me…
(for things that are not normally offered)
I am writing to enquire whether…
I would be grateful if you could…
(to see if something is possible)
I would especially like to know…
Could you send me more details…
( + a more detailed request)
Could you also…
I would also like to know...
Could you tell me whether...
( + an additional enquiry or request)
This paragraph tells the reader why you are contacting his or her organization, and gives further details of the enquiry
I saw your advert in the HK Daily on Wednesday, 13 June 2007.
Your company was recommended to me by Ms. Elsie Wong of Far Eastern Logistics.
With reference to your advertisement (ad) in...
Regarding your advertisement (ad) in ...
This paragraph should contain a polite expression and/or an expression of thanks to the reader. The degree of politeness (and therefore the length), depends on how unusual or difficult your request is. Possible language includes:
Thanks. (For a very informal and normal enquiry or request)
I look forward to hearing from you.
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your assistance.
Thank you very much for your kind assistance.
I appreciate that this is an unusual request, but I would be very grateful for any help you could provide. I look forward to hearing from you.
If you think the reader might have further questions, you can suggest that he or she contact you.
Thank you for your letter of Thursday, 14 June 2007 regarding making copies of the sample battery you sent us.
I have investigated the situation and found that your specifications are exactly the same as the design of a proprietary camera battery manufactured by a large Japanese electronics company.
We feel that it would not be in our interests to supply this type of battery.
However, I would like to thank you for considering our company as your supplier.
I look forward to doing business with your company in the future
David Choi Distributions Manager
the following terms of delivery frequently used in business letters:
F.o.b. – free on board – means that the seller bears responsibility for the goods until they are delivered to the port and placed on board the ship, which will further deliver them to the port of destination. Accordingly, the price, which the buyer pays, doesn't include transportation and insurance in transit.
C.i.f. – cost, insurance, freight – means that the seller bears responsibility for the goods during all the way to the port of destination – charters the vessel, organizes loading and insurance payments – everything up to the final point; all these payments are, of course, included into the price paid buy the buyer.
Ex-works – free from the factory – means that the seller bears no responsibility for the goods after they leave factory gates.
c.a.f. – cost and freight paid
f.a.s. – free along side boat
They are all enumerated in a document called “Incoterms” which is issued every several years.
Unless otherwise indicated by the foundation, the contents will generally follow this format:
__________Better Widget Makers, Inc.__________
5555 Widget Avenue
Silver City, CO 80456
September 26, 2003
Mr. Russ Hamilton
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Golden Bread Company
123 Loaf Street
Silver City, CO 80451
Dear Mr. Hamilton:
Construction on the new employee cafeteria at Better Widget Makers, Inc. is nearing
completion and I am looking for a supplier capable of fulfilling our weekly bakery needs.
Do you have an information packet that would help me project the cost of doing business
with your company? We will need daily deliveries of pastries, pies, dinner rolls and
sandwich bread. Our facility operates 24/7, Monday through Friday, with a flextime
workforce of 1,500 employees. To complete my operational budget I will need the
• Wholesale price sheets
• Quantity cost breaks
• Annual contract discounts
• Delivery and or any other service charges.
To submit my proposal to the finance committee at their October 20th meeting I will need
to receive your information by the 10th. I will also need to meet with you after reviewing
the requested materials. Please call me for an appointment at your earliest convenience.
My personal extension is 216-8080, # 29.
In keeping with long-standing policy we would like to place this contract locally. I look
forward to working with you and am hopeful that the Golden Bread Company can fulfill