Unit 4 Status Enquiries Teaching Objectives: Knowledge Requirements: 1 To enhance students awareness of the effective channels to make status enquiries 2 To enable students to become familiar with structural parts and main contents of status enquiries with the specimen letters given Competence Requirements: To skillfully write or translate structural parts of English status enquiries with the important words and expressions for business writing.
Part One Channels To Make Status Enquiries Status enquiries are traders request for information respecting the other firms financial position, credit standing, reputation and business methods. In business, it is of utmost necessity and importance for importers and exporters to investigate the credit standing of the counterparts and obtain all the information possible concerning the firm with which they are about to conduct any formal business. But how could traders secure all the necessary information about a brand-new business counterparts financial position, credit standing, reputation and business methods? There are various ways of getting such information. Usually they may apply to the following channels for such information (see the following table):
Trader may resort to the above sources to research a prospective partner. And the services they offer can be cited respectively as follows: International Banks have access to vast amounts of information on foreign firms and are usually willing to assist corporate customers. The Commercial Counselors Office of most foreign embassies has directories of firms located in their countries. Chambers of Commerce, Industrial & Trade Guild issue trade directories which may offer reference. Enquiry Agencies & Business libraries provide credit reports on foreign companies, sector publications list and many regional and country directories of qualified international firms as well. Traders may also turn to Established Business Connections or Partners for credit information of potential business partners.
However, whatever channels traders may resort to, the information obtained from a bank or from The Commercial Counselors Office of most foreign embassies or from a chamber of commerce, is generally considered most reliable. Its often most desirable for traders to attain the necessary information from a bank through their own bank. Status enquiries are generally headed Confidential or Private and Confidential. These words are also written or printed on the envelope. In addition, a self- addressed and stamped envelope is usually enclosed for the convenience of the information supplier. Some large firms make their enquiries on specially printed forms containing the questions they would like to have answered. Therefore, it goes without saying that status enquiring letters are somewhat stereotyped.
Your reply to an enquiry of this nature should always be headed with the words Private. Using the firm concerned, the said firm or the firm in question instead of mentioning the name of the firm under investigation, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially when the reference report is discouraging or unfavorable. Apart from giving a true account of facts and offering advice, the reply usually contains such words as the information is given without any responsibility or the information is given to the best of our belief, and we must ask you to treat it in strict confidence and without any responsibility on our part so as to avoid any possible trouble. Traders asking for information must remember that they are asking for a favor and therefore should write in polite and appreciative terms. When the information is received, no matter whether it is favorable or unfavorable, a suitable letter of acknowledgement and thanks must be sent. This is no more than common courtesy.
Part Two The Structure & Main Content of Status Enquiry Letters & Replies In writing to the above-mentioned channels for necessary information about the financial standing and credit rating of a prospective trader, what should we mention or emphasize in the letter? Analysis of status enquiry letters & replies may help reinforce and strengthen your impression and understanding of the structural parts of status enquiry letters and those of its replies.
2.1 Structural Parts of Status Enquiry Letters & Replies Analysis of Specimen Letters: Exporters Enquiry about Importers Status & Bank Replies (See the following tables) Specimen Letters: Exporters Enquiry about Importers Status & Analysis Specimen Letter: Reply to Exporters Status Enquiry Letter & Analysis
Upon the above analysis, we may come to the impression and conclusion that: Structural parts of status enquiry letters consist of the following four sections: Section 1: Indicate clearly the importance of the business & your intention for information on the credit status & financial standing; Section 2: Provide detailed contacting information about the firm; Section 3: Promise & assure the recipient that everything will be kept in strict confidence; Section 4: Express sincere thanks for the help & cordial expectation for a prompt favorable reply. Sometimes the status enquiry letter indicates importance of the reference by submitting the details of the first business and future transactions. And it is important to offer some kind of incentive when asking for a favor of this kind.
While structural parts of replies to status enquiry letters can be sketched as the following sections: Section 1: Acknowledge receipt of the enquiry; Section 2: Submit a specific reference concerning the 3 Cs of the firm in question or its esteem or reputation; Section 3: Make requirement to the recipient to keep it secret and its liability or irresponsibility declaration.
2.2 Skills for Writing Structural Parts of Status Enquiry Letters The following statements might facilitate your understanding and writing of structural parts of status enquiry letters from a comprehensive perspective:
e.g. Messrs. Schneider & Kern have given us your name as a reference respecting their financial standing. Will you please inform us, in confidence, of the extent of their resources and also as to their reputation? Will you please be good enough to obtain for us all the information possible respecting the financial standing and modes of business of (companys name)? As we have not done any business with them in the past, we would like to know if you could provide us with any information concerning their financial and credit status. We would be obliged if you would inform us, in confidence, whether your business relations with them during the past would lead you to advise us to allow them 3 month credit, without security, to the amount of US 50,000. Section 1: Indicate clearly the importance of the business & your intention for information on the credit status & financial standing or the alike.
Section 2: Provide detailed contacting information about the firm. e.g. Will you please be so kind as to furnish us with details, as exact as possible, as to the credit which may be safely allowed to the firm whose name is given on the attached slip? Enclosed please find the address of the above firm.
Section 3: Promise & assure the recipient that everything will be kept in strict confidence. e.g. Any information you can furnish as to their capital and reputation would be greatly valued and treated in confidence by us. You may rest assured that any information you may provide will be treated as strictly confidential. It goes without saying that any information you may obtain for us will be treated as strictly confidential and without any responsibility on your part.
Section 4: Express sincere thanks for the help & cordial expectation for a prompt favorable reply. e.g. We shall most grateful for any information you can obtain for us. We shall appreciate it if you will let us know their financial position. It would give us great pleasure to be able to render you a similar service should opportunity occur. We assure you of our reciprocating your courtesy at any time.
2.3 Skills for Writing Structural Parts of Replies to Status Enquiry Letters The following statements might offer you respective reference to your writing of corresponding structural parts of replies to status enquiry letters:
Section 1: Acknowledge receipt of the enquiry letter. e.g. Upon receipt of your letter of 22nd December, we made enquiries respecting the firm you mentioned and have obtained the following information In rely to your enquiry of November 24 concerning the firm in question, we would recommend a policy of caution. We have completed our enquiries concerning the firm mentioned in your letter of 4th April and regret that we must advise you to regard their request for credit with caution. In reply to your enquiry of the 1st inst., we inform you that our business relations with the firm have hitherto been most satisfactory. Replying to your enquiry of 10th inst., we inform you that we have no personal knowledge as to the standing of Messrs. Chitian & Co., of our city. Replying to your letter of yesterdays date, we are happy to inform you that the house referred to in your letter enjoys an unlimited credit.
Section 2: Submit a specific reference concerning the 3 Cs of the firm in question or its esteem or reputation. e.g. With a considerable account of capital, it has carried on business in this city for many years and held in the highest esteem, as far as our information goes, both for his business ability and for his reliability in punctually meeting obligations. Thus, we believe that your business transactions with the said corporation will prove satisfactory. They command considerable funds and an unlimited credit, and the executives are thorough business men. Of late, payments have been quite irregularly made, and more than one occasion we have had to press for them. We regret our inability to tell you anything positive concerning the firm mentioned in your letter of the 30th ult (Short form for ultimo). We are informed: The Company is a newly-formed corporation, having been chartered in September of 1946 with an authorized capital of $50,000 with only $500 recorded as having been paid in.
Section 3: Make requirement to the recipient to keep it secret& its irresponsibility declaration e.g. Though the information is given to the best of our belief, and we must ask you to treat it in strict confidence and without any responsibility on our part. Any statement on the part of this bank or any of its officers as to the standing of any person, firm or corporation, is given as a mere matter of opinion for which no responsibility, in any way, is to attach to this bank or any of its officers. This is without obligation on my part, though I am fully convinced that you will find my information borne out by the fact. We shall be pleased to render you any further services, and we ask you to consider this information as given in strict confidence. We accept your assurance that the information we have given will be treated in strict confidence and regret that we cannot be more helpful.
2.4 Specimen Letters for Status Enquiries & Replies Letters for Status Enquiries
Specimen Letter 1: Dear Sirs: Titan Trading Co. Ltd. of your city, wholesalers of spare parts for car wheels, has placed an order with us in an amount of US 5,000. Since they ask payment to be made by D/P, instead of L/C at sight as usually accepted by us, we would be glad to know if they have any record of default and if it is safe to comply with their request. Since they have given us your name as their trade reference, we are therefore, writing to you with the request that you would obtain for us any information about the company. It is understood that any information you may supply us will be considered as confidential and without any responsibility on your part. It would give us great pleasure to be able to render you a similar service should opportunity occur. Yours sincerely,
Specimen Letter 2 Dear Sir, The Kaykey Inc The subject company is now offering to represent us in the sale of our Machines Tools, and has referred us to your bank for detailed information about its credit standing, business capacity and capital. Since this is the first transaction between us, we shall appreciate it if you would furnish us with your frank opinion on these points regarding the company. It goes without saying that any information you may obtain for us will be treated as strictly confidential and without any responsibility on your part. We assure you of our reciprocating your courtesy at any time. Yours respectfully,
Specimen Letter 3 Dear Sirs: We would like you to enquire into the financial and credit status of a firm in Shiyan on our behalf. The firm is Wonderflying Trading Co. Ltd., Shiyan, Hubei, distributors of spare parts for cars. We would like to know their general financial reliability. In particular, their trade with us will involve a sum of USD50, 000 initially, and perhaps a monthly credit of USD5, 000 will be required. We should be pleased if you would let us know whether this credit is justified in view of their record in meeting payment dates. Is there a record of bad debts? We need to know this if we are about to extend credit to them. You may rest assured that any information you may provide will be treated as strictly confidential. Looking forward to receiving your early reply, we are. Yours sincerely,
Replies to Letters for Status Enquiries
Specimen Letter 4: a Favorable Reply to a Status Enquiry Dear Sir, RE: Status Enquiries We have received your letter of August 3, in which you ask us to inform you something about the credit standing of the corporation referred to in your letter dated June 11. We welcome this opportunity to assure you of our complete confidence in the said corporation. It has carried on business in this city for many years and held in the highest esteem, both for his business ability and for his reliability in meeting obligations. We ourselves have been doing business with him for over six years. He has always paid his accounts promptly on the set date. On the whole its reputation is good and sound. Though the inform...