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  1. Whenever you can assume that your audience will be interested in what you have to say or be willing to cooperate with you, use the direct approach.
  2. The direct approach works well when your request is routine and requires no special tact or persuasion.
  3. The best way to begin a direct request is by introducing yourself.
  4. When making a direct request, you state what you want in the first sentence or two and then follow with and explanation.
  5. When making direct requests, you avoid such softening words and phrases as "please" and "I would appreciate."
  6. When a polite request begins with "Would you" or "Could you," it is always followed by a question mark.
  7. If the middle section of your request letter contains a series of questions, the most important question is saved for last.
  8. When writing a letter of request, avoid asking for information you can find on your own, even if it would take you considerable time.
  9. If you want accurate answers to your questions, you phrase them in a way that hints at the response you want.
  10. The middle portion of a direct request message explains why the request is important and persuades the reader to satisfy it. >
  11. A letter of request closes with a request for a specific response, an expression of appreciation, and information on how the writer can be reached.
  12. In the final section of a request message, thank the reader in advance for cooperating.
  13. Because of the potential amount of detail required, an order is considered a particularly complex type of request.
  14. Order forms from mail-order firms provide good models of what to include in order letters
  15. A completed, mailed order f form constitutes a legally binding offer to purchase.
  16. To avoid miscalculation, you always leave it up to the supplier to determine the amount you owe for an order.
  17. When ordering a nonstandard item, it is especially important to include a thorough and clear description.
  18. Because of their simple organization, routine requests require little tact.
  19. Writing routine requests is easy because tone and wording are not important in such messages.
  20. There is no reason to put requests to fellow employees in writing.
  21. Routine requests written to fellow employees can take a more matter-of-fact approach than outside correspondence.
  22. When you are writing a letter in response to an advertisement, it is a good idea to mention where you saw the ad.
  23. If you are requesting information from another business but not in response to an ad, it is best to use the indirect approach.
  24. Whenever you write to another business requesting information about its products, always include a preaddressed, stamped envelope.
  25. As long as your return address (or your companyís address) is on your mailing envelope, you need not include it on a letter as well.
  26. Routine requests for action written to people outside the company sometimes include several paragraphs of explanation.
  27. Even if past customers have no complaints, they will probably consider an inquiry urging them to use an idle credit account to be offensive.
  28. Dissatisfied customers rarely tell others about their displeasure.
  29. Most companies are reluctant to grant claims or make adjustments because doing so sets a bad precedent.
  30. A written claim letter is preferable to a phone call or visit because it documents the customerís dissatisfaction.
  31. The person in an organization who receives and reads claim letters is rarely the one responsible for the problem.
  32. When writing a claim letter, assume that a fair adjustment will be made.
  33. A claim letter or request for adjustment follows the indirect plan.
  34. When responding to claim letters, companies usually accept the customerís explanation of the problem.
  35. Itís best to back up all claims and requests for adjustments with invoices, sales receipts, and so on; send copies to the company and keep the originals.
  36. When writing a claim letter, focus on expressing your dissatisfaction and let the company decide what action to take to deal with your complaint.
  37. A request for credit always takes the indirect approach.
  38. Any business requesting credit from a supplier should be prepared to furnish a financial statement.
  39. A business wishing to buy on credit can usually make the request for credit when submitting its first order to the supplier.
  40. A request for credit does not mention the possibility of future business.


  1. When making a direct request, you begin with
    • an indication of the importance of your request.
    • a statement of who you are.
    • a clear statement of the main idea of your request.
    • a question.
  2. When making a direct request, you
    • use the inductive plan
    • expect a favorable response.
    • demand immediate action.
    • do all of the above.
  3. Which of the following is a polite request and therefore followed by a period rather than a question mark?
    • Which of these products do you prefer
    • do you still have the receipt.
    • is Henry Burris a well-qualified applicant.
    • would you send me your latest price lists
  4. In the middle section of a direct request message, you
    • call attention to how the reader will benefit from granting your request.
    • give details of your request.
    • ask only questions that are central to your main request.
    • do all of the above.
  5. When asking many people to reply to the same questions, itís best not to
    • word the questions so that they can be answered yes or no.
    • provide respondents with a form.
    • Ask some open-ended questions.
    • Include boxes for checking answers.
  6. When closing a direct request, you
    • thank the reader in advance for helping you.
    • mention your own qualifications or status.
    • request a specific response and mention the time limits.
    • indicate the consequences of a failure to reply.
  7. A good beginning for an order letter would be
    • Please send the following items.
    • Hi! My name is Louise Sjoberg and Iíd like to place an order.
    • Enclosed is a check for $62.40.
    • Do you offer discounts for quantity purchases?
  8. When ordering items from a supplier you have never used before,
    • always put the order in letter form; never use an official order blank.
    • remember that your order letter constitutes a legal and binding offer to purchase goods.
    • never include payment but do ask for a credit application.
    • do all of the above.
  9. When placing an order, providing complete identification of the item(s) you want
    • is necessary only when dealing with a new company.
    • is required by law.
    • is a good way to prevent errors in filling your order.
    • is a waste of time.
  10. When sending money with an order, you should
    • always send cash.
    • always use a preprinted order form.
    • mention your preference for COD orders in the future.
    • mention the amount of payment and explain how it was calculated.
  11. When ordering nonstandard items, you
      use the indirect approach.
    • use only the official order form.
    • include a complete description of the items.
    • call instead of write.
  12. Routine requests
    • need not be tactful if they are brief.
    • follow the inductive format.
    • may go to hundreds or even thousands of people and thus have major potential for creating a good impression or causing ill will.
    • are always made orally.
  13. When requesting routine information from others within your company, you should
    • use the indirect approach.
    • stick to oral communication.
    • avoid any mention of deadlines.
    • start with a clear statement of your reasons for writing.
  14. A well-written request in memo form
    • provides a permanent record.
    • saves time and questions.
    • tells precisely what is needed.
    • does all of the above.
  15. When responding to an advertisement, you
    • include a letter in addition to filling out a coupon or a response card.
    • include a stamped, preaddressed envelope.
    • indicate where you saw or heard the ad.
    • use the indirect approach.
  16. If your letter of inquiry is not prompted by an advertisement, you
    • use an indirect approach.
    • expect to wait longer for a reply
    • supply more details than if you were responding to an ad.
    • use a deferential tone.
  17. When writing a request to customers and other outsiders, it is a good idea to spell out
    • the consequences of failure to reply.
    • what information or action is being requested.
    • you companyís policy regarding direct mailings.
    • any abbreviations you use in the body of the letter.
  18. Individuals outside an organization might respond more readily to a request if they are told
    • how the request benefits them.
    • how many others have replied favorably.
    • how easy it will be to say yes.
    • why they have been selected.
  19. Businesses have found that making routine requests to former customers
    • antagonizes them.
    • worries them.
    • has no effect.
    • helps reestablish communication.
  20. Customers responses to routine requests can provide companies with
    • profit and loss statements.
    • insights into ways to improve products and services.
    • insider information.
    • none of the above.
  21. When making routine requests to individuals rather than businesses,
    • include a stamped, preaddressed envelope to encourage a response.
    • handwrite the envelopes so that the customer wonít think the letter is junk mail.
    • make the letter at least two pages long.
    • open with a flattering statement.
  22. The tone of a claim or a request for adjustment is
    • angry and belligerent.
    • firm and inflexible
    • humorous.
    • businesslike and unemotional.
  23. When writing a claim letter, the best way to begin is by
    • complimenting the company for past service.
    • providing a detailed description of the faulty merchandise
    • stating the problem clearly and specifically.
    • threatening legal action if you do not receive a favorable adjustment.
  24. The middle portion of a claim letter provides
    • any information that might help the adjuster verify your complaint.
    • a review of past positive experiences youíve had with the company.
    • a straightforward statement of the problem that prompted your letter.
    • hints about your plans for doing business with the company in the future.
  25. When asking for an adjustment, it is generally a good idea to
    • demand a written apology from the company for your records.
    • suggest specific and fair compensation.
    • threaten legal action if the matter is not resolved swiftly.
    • adopt a belligerent, no-nonsense tone.
  26. If you want to apply for credit from a supplier, you might
    • send a letter along with your financial statement and balance sheet.
    • write the store to request an application form.
    • order some merchandise by mail and include a request for credit.
    • do any of the above.
  27. A request for business credit does not include
    • the length of time youíve been in business.
    • the addresses of businesses where you have existing accounts.
    • details bout your personal finances.
    • any financial statement or balance sheet.
  28. Mentioning the possibility of future business in a request for credit is
    • a breech of business etiquette.
    • often a good idea.
    • never a good idea.
    • only a good idea if you know the merchant well.
  29. If you are applying for a job and need to supply your prospective employer with references, you could ask for a letter of recommendation from
    • a neighbor.
    • a close professional associate.
    • a casual friend.
    • none of the above would be an appropriate choice.
  30. Letters of inquiry normally follow the
    • indirect approach.
    • Persuasive approach.
    • Direct approach.
    • Informational approach.

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    Last Update: 9/07/01
    Web Author: Angie Chittick
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