A business letter is a very basic document. We all learn to write them early on when we start working and we keep using them throughout our professional lives. Nowadays, you might think that the business email is replacing the business letter. However, the business email has many things in common with the business letter. So learning to write one helps you to write the other well. Plus, there are certain times when a greater degree of professionalism is called for and those times require a business letter.
What Makes a Good Business Letter?
There are certain rules that need to be followed when writing a business letter, such as the placement of your company address, the name of the person that it’s going to and their address, the subject line, the salutation, the body of the letter and the closing. Plus, we all know that it’s a good idea to address the letter to a particular person who will be reading it, rather than “Dear Editor” or “Dear Sir/Madam.” Doing all these little things right makes sure that the person who receives the letter will be favorably impressed and therefore more likely to do what you want them to do.
Speaking to Your Correspondents on Their Own Terms
What happens when you get all the little details right when writing a business letter but, unfortunately, it’s in the wrong language? Are you trying to set up a business partnership with someone in France or Germany? If so, wouldn’t it behoove you to at least try to send them a letter in their language? It’s not as though you’re pretending that you know how to speak a language that you don’t. It’s just that you’re making an effort to speak to them on their terms.
Saving Your Correspondent the Effort of Translation
If someone receives a letter which gets everything right except the language, they’re going to have some trouble deciphering it. Chances are your French or German associates or customers aren’t as familiar with English as you are. You might be using phrases and idioms which are typically American without even realizing it whereas their knowledge of English might be limited to more basic words and phrases. So it would be a good idea to get a professional to translate business letters for you. This will save your business partners or customers the trouble of having your letters translated before they can read them.
Going the Extra Mile for Key Accounts
Once you start translating business letters, you’ll notice a spike in your business. Customers who receive letters in their own language are likely to be a lot more responsive. And if these customers are important to you, then it’s worth making the effort to get the letters translated.
A lot of companies now label certain accounts as “key accounts” to which they assign key account managers. These accounts might be more important because they bring in more revenue or maybe they just have high visibility, so they bring in new accounts. When you’re dealing with key accounts like this and the customer in question doesn’t speak English, it helps a great deal to get translation services. This is just another example of a company showing its key accounts that they’re willing to go the extra mile.
Improving Communication to Provide Services
Keep in mind that translating business letters is also going to help with communication. You need to make sure that you understand what your customer wants from you, so that you can give it to them. And your customer also needs to understand that you’ve understood. Once you get rid of the language barrier, communication becomes a lot easier.
Contact us for more tips on translating business letters to build partnerships and customer loyalty.