An enquiry letter should clearly state what the information required is. If the buyer has a particular article or service in mind, he should spell it out clearly. The letter should have clarity. It should also be complete. All details regarding the product, its quality, price, the quantity that can be supplied, the mode of despatch its cost etc., should be enquired into. Sometimes, the potential buyer may not have any idea on the purchase that he intends to make. The technical features that will satisfy his requirement may not be familiar to the writer. Then the buyer should clearly state the service that he expects from product and request the recipient to suggest alternatives that will provide the required service. The buyer should word the letter cautiously so that the seller, under some misperception, does not treat it as an order. He should indicate at the beginning itself that it is just an enquiry.
a) We will be glad if you can send us the catalogue / brochure / price list….
b) We require some information on…
c) We are planning to buy……
d) Please provide us with information on…
Some of the above beginnings act as a caution to he receiver and will prevent hasty conclusions that it is a firm offer to buy. So, an enquiry letter should be drafted carefully so that it is not misunderstood. The concluding portion of an enquiry letter should clearly state that the buyer is seeking only information on the product / service available with the seller in unmistakable terms. Te letter should also imply that an order would follow if terms are favourable.
Points to be Remembered while writing a letter of enquiry
a. Give a detailed account of the exact type of product / service required. If the writer is not conversant with options available, he should not hesitate to ask them from the seller / dealer.
b. Probable quantity required and the time-frame for the supply of the product / service.
c. The seller’s terms on credit, discounts, transit, packaging etc., should be enquired into.
d. Opening sentences to indicate the reasons for the enquiry.
e. Closing sentences to request an early reply for the enquiry to be transformed into an order in future.
f. Care should be taken to prevent the recipient from misconstruing the enquiry as an order in future.