Business & Technical Writing/Email


Hi Warren,

I would appreciate if you could review the email below and recommend any changes?
I want to use this as a standard email to follow up a phone call and try and get a meeting with a prospective client.


Hi John,

Further to our conversation last (insert day), please find attached COMPANY’s Capability Statement.

The attached document demonstrates our experience and capability across a vast range of sectors, including government projects.

I believe that the nature and type of work JOHNCOMP is involved in reflects COMPANY’s experience and capability. We would appreciate the opportunity to be considered for future projects with JOHNCOMP.

We have the experience and resources to deliver any new construction or refurbishment project up to and around $50 Million in value with particular strength in the health, aged care and education sectors.

If you prefer, one our directors, Jan Doe, and I could meet with you to discuss how you might use COMPANY's extensive experience and expertise to add value to your projects.

Kind Regards

As a general rule, Mersina, I don't do free consulting work. That is why I limit my activities to answering questions.

In this case, let me give you some recommendations:

1. Avoid one-sentence paragraphs.

2. Check your punctuation, including capitalization and comma splices.

3. Read your writing aloud. Our ears hear things that our eyes will never see.

4.  Your writing is stilted and off-putting, but I doubt you talk that way. Remember, business writing is a conversation, so write the way you talk. But you're not alone: When most people get a keyboard in their hand, they sound like someone other than who they are.

5. Never use the phrase "please find attached." That makes my hair hurt. And "up to and around" is about as bad.

6. Be careful with certain words. For instance, what something "demonstrates" to you might "demonstrate" something quite different to your correspondent. Respect that person and don't assume anything, esp. when it comes to mental processes such as "proof," etc.

In the future, I hope you will remember that other people comb the archives of in hopes of finding exchanges that will provide them with guidance. The key to whether they can find something or not is the title of the conversation. Your use of the word 'Email' as the title of this dialogue needs more detail. Please see what I have added in the 'key words' area.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


Addendum: Mersina, I neglected to mention that I am willing to review and comment on a rewrite of what you sent me. Ahead of that, I would appreciate it if you would give me some feedback in terms of ratings, please. Hope to hear from you. - Warren  

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Warren D. Miller


I believe I can answer nearly any question about business writing. That goes in spades if the target audience is a lay readership. I make my living writing and speaking. N.B.: I DO NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS MARKED 'PRIVATE' because I believe that knowledge should be shared, not hoarded. I also believe such questions are likely to be submitted by people trying to cheat. In addition, don't waste your time asking me to write something for you. You don't learn anything if I do that. I'm happy to critique something that YOU write, of course. That's the best way for you to learn how to write well.


My profession is business valuation, which means appraising businesses whose shares are not publicly traded. This requires in-depth knowledge about a number of disciplines, including economics, finance, strategic management, accounting, anthropology, statistics, and psychology. The left-brain part of me must conduct rigorous research and financial analysis. The right-brain side must then separate what matters from what doesn't and then explain it all in writing (and in everyday English) to people (usually business owners, but sometimes judges and juries) who do not have the expertise that I have been lucky enough to acquire over the years. I love what I do and consider myself fortunate to live in a country where I can do what I love doing and make a nice living doing it. I am glad to help with writing issues, but NOT, please, with any valuation, business consulting, or other non-writing questions.

CFA Institute, American Society of Appraisers, Strategic Management Society, Academy of Management, Culver Legion, National Association of Scholars.

Besides two published books (search for "Warren D. Miller" on Amazon), I have written for the Harvard Business Review, American Fly Fisher, Business Valuation Review, CPA Expert, Academy of Management Executive, CFA Digest, Valuation Strategies, and others.

MBA - Oklahoma State U. (1991); BBA - U. of Oklahoma (1975); Chartered Financial Analyst designation (2006) Accredited Senior Appraiser (2006) Certified Public Accountant (1992)

Awards and Honors
Business Valuation Volunteer of the Year (2001) - American Institute of CPAs Winner - Oklahoma Humorous-Speaking Contest - Toastmasters International (1971)

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