How to Win Buyers and Succeed in Overseas Markets Part V - Mind Your Language

Writing professional English does not require master degree in literature or special grammatical skill. Simple short sentences that communicate your message is what the doctor prescribes. Avoid flowery words in obsolete cumbersome sentences. Put yourself in recipient's place and evaluate your letter - does it make sense ? Read it out to your friend or spouse - test their comprehension. These are small things that can really help you improve your writing style and win customers' confidence.

Here are some examples of obsolete words and phrases that has no place in a lively professional communication:

  • We would like to introduce ourselves....Communications that use the word "introduce" in the opening paragraph are in fact screaming "I'm a boring sales letter!" Avoid use of unnecessary words like "introduce", "present", 'It is a great pleasure..' etc. in opening paragraph - it could be an immediate turn off. 
  •  I would like to take this opportunity... Another example of cumbersome beginning - just start your sentence with "Thank you for..."
  • Would you be so kind to... Instead of such a long statement - simply write "Please"
  • We acknowledge receipt of Very formal - need not be used with customers you frequently communicate. Instead write 'Thank you for..'
  • I am in receipt of / We are in receipt of Obsolete use - just say "I have received"
  • advise Avoid this word - instead use "say", "tell", "let us know" etc. 
  • as per Avoid - instead, use "as", "according to" etc. 
  • due to the fact that Useless expression that are absolute pain (you know where) for readers. Use simple words like "as", "because", "since" etc. 
  • enclosed please find Simple use of "enclosed" or "here is.." communicates better.
  • duly  Do not use the word at all !

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Source: FAIDA - Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad Vol: 3, Issue 28 October 31' 2002

Author : Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development, MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of his own. He may be reached at )

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