The paper “ Business Correspondence in International Trade" is an affecting example of an essay on business. International trade has always formed the crux of the global economy. Since time immemorial, civilizations have engaged in trade with one another and even though that continues until today, the methods of communication have changed. This essay aims to look at one of the most potent weapons in the arsenal of the modern-day businessman, the business letter and will talk about its importance in conducting everyday trade, especially on an international level. For a business letter to be exemplary, it must adhere to certain guidelines.
First and foremost, it must reflect the interest of the businessman in conducting trade with the recipient of the letter, instead of being generic enough to be applicable to anyone. A way this could be done is by invoking certain aspects of the recipient’ s local culture and utilizing them in the letter in a way that signifies that you respect the trader’ s culture. For instance, in some cultures, people prefer to use first names when corresponding with one another since they consider it to be a sign of familiarity and friendship.
However, in different cultures, this could be seen as a sign of disrespect. Therefore, before writing a letter to a trader in a corner of the world you are not familiar with, it is usually beneficial to consult a person who is accustomed to that local culture. Secondly, keep the ‘ niceties’ to a minimum and get to the point for some of the local expressions that you use to express your feelings will probably get lost in the translation if your correspondent is not fluent in your language.
However, a cordial tone of language is necessary at all times. Finally, business letters need to be concise and yet, contain all the necessary information for the recipient to make up his or her mind. As Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts writes, ‘ get to the heart of the matter’ without bandying about. Any business letter that adheres to these basic guidelines should receive a warmer response than a generic ‘ circular letter’ that could be mistaken for ‘ spam’ or ‘ junk mail’ .However, not all business letters are to be written in the same way.
The tone of the business letter is as much dependent on the above factors, as it is on the stage of the business transaction. A letter for an inquiry will be much more to the point than a letter for a counter-offer (due to the simple fact that the latter requires some convincing). Similarly, placing an order requires not a lot of sweet-talking or persuasion, which is not the case when making an offer where you might have to start off on the defensive.
I personally have experienced the use of business correspondence in real life by using the letters in the right manner. I was involved in the international trading department of the organization I worked in and used business correspondence to my advantage to strike out deals. At one instance a business deal was almost being written off when I was told to write a business letter to persuade the other organization for the deal. It was here that I used this correspondence to my advantage and persuaded them by writing down the facts in that letter.
The facts helped our organization to strike out a deal with the organization. The business letter holds the most important in international trade for personal meetings are rarely to be had. Furthermore, despite the ability to hold video-conferences, some businessmen prefer to use the power of the letter when conducting their business. When doing so through email, care must be taken to treat the email as if it was a paper-letter replete with the company letterhead and proper use of grammar/syntax so that it may be treated with the seriousness it deserves.
When it comes down to it, a businessman who conducts international trade must think of this simple question; ‘ in a market replete with buyers/sellers like myself, what do I have in my repertoire that differentiates me from the rest? ’ In such a scenario, where a face-to-face conversation is impossible, the business letter might be the decisive factor that tips the business deal in your favor.