Example Letter #1
I wish to advise you that I will not be attending the August convention in San Francisco, and will consequently be unable to participate as a member of the panel on insurance for businesses. I have been ill and will require daily treatments for the next two months.
I regret my inability to assist you, but do look forward to working with you on other projects. In the meantime, Suzanne Johnson or Jane Doe of Doe Corporation should be able to assist you in your planning. I am sure they can also offer suggestions for someone to take my place on the panel.
I look forward to future collaboration and will be in touch with you as soon as I am up to speed again.
Example Letter #2
This will confirm my telephone call advising your secretary that unexpected work responsibilities necessitate my traveling abroad for three weeks. I must therefore ask you to postpone my tax audit that was scheduled for July 2. I will contact your office when I return and will then reschedule our appointment.
My bookkeeper has reviewed all my documentation to be sure it is complete, and I anticipate no further delays. If you need to get in touch with me, please leave a message on my home answering machine and I will return your call as soon as possible.
Example Letter #3
I am sorry that I must cancel my appointment to see the Governor at noon on December 21. My mother has been hospitalized for heart surgery and it is important that I be with her at this time. I anticipate that I will be in Boston for the next three months.
Before I return home, I will contact your office to reschedule my appointment. Please send the information I requested to my home address. My mail will be forwarded to me in Boston.
Example Letter #4
I regret that I will be unable to keep our 10:30 a.m. appointment next Friday, March 6. Our front office has just announced a new policy canceling all employee travel for the next six months. Until this restriction is lifted, I will have to conduct all our business by telephone, fax, or e-mail. While I will miss our personal work sessions, please be assured that I will continue to service your account as effectively as I have in the past.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Tell the reader why you must cancel or postpone the appointment. Be sure to identify the particular appointment by date, time, and place.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- I regret having to cancel our appointment for next Tuesday, but my daughter is scheduled for surgery that day.
- I am afraid I must postpone our April 24 meeting at the Hotel Doe. I have been asked to clear my schedule that day for an urgent meeting.
- Unfortunately, I cannot keep our September 6 appointment. I have been reassigned and my new project will take me out of the country for that week.
- We must reschedule the May 17 board meeting. We were unaware of the regional conference on that day.
- I appreciate your dinner invitation for February 9, but I will have to take a rain check on it. I had forgotten that I will be out of town on business.
- I regret that will not be ready to meet with you on June 3, as we planned.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- am sorry to say that
- am obliged to cancel
- an unexpected complication has arisen
- as we had planned
- because of unforeseen difficulties
- didn't realize that
- find it necessary to
- have been asked to
- have to cancel our
- necessitates a delay
- need to postpone
- on that day
- regret that I will be unable to
- regret having to cancel
- suggest that we postpone our
- unavailable at that time
- unfortunately slipped my mind
- was unaware that
- will have to reschedule
- will take me out of the country
- will not be in a position to
- will be unable to
- will prevent me from
- will not be ready to
- will be out of town
- will have to take a rain check
- won't be able to keep
- would hate to waste your time
- would it be possible to postpone
2 If you wish to reschedule, propose a new time and/or place, or invite the reader to get in touch with you.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- I will be in town in November and will call to schedule another appointment.
- If convenient for you, I could reschedule our appointment for the same place on November 21, at 3:00 p.m.
- I would still like to meet with you. Please call me so we can set up a new time.
- Would it be okay to meet the next day at the same time and place?
- When I have a better idea about the status of the project, I will call you to reschedule the presentation. You can expect my call within two weeks.
- Please get in touch with me at the end of July to reschedule our meeting.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- arrange another meeting after
- call next week and reschedule
- can we change the time to
- contact me again next
- could reschedule for
- could you give me a call
- give me a call
- if convenient for you
- if you would still like to
- if it is possible for you
- let me know if
- let's plan for later that same week
- please get in touch with me
- please note that
- please mark your calendars
- same time and place a week later
- see if we can work out
- set up another appointment
- set up a new time
- should be back by
- unable to meet with you until
- when I have further information
- when the situation changes
- will get back to you
- will call you when I
- would you be so kind as to
- would it be okay to
- would be happy to reschedule
- would Monday work for you
- would still like to meet with you
- would it be convenient for you to meet me on
3 Close on a positive note.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- I look forward to meeting with you.
- We look forward to meeting you and learning more about your proposed project.
- I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, and I look forward to hearing from you.
- I apologize for the short notice, and hope we can get together soon.
- Again, we apologize for this change of plans, and look forward to hearing from you.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- am still interested in
- appreciate your cooperation
- do apologize for
- for this inconvenience
- for your understanding
- for your patience
- for this change of plans
- for the inconvenience
- hope you will forgive me for
- look forward to
- meet at your convenience
- sorry about the change in plans
- thank you for
- to seeing you soon
- to meeting with you
- to hearing from you
- to learning more about
- to establishing a
- value the opportunity to
- will do my best to