Among Internet based brokers and agents the LOI is commonly advanced as a leading inquiry document. This protocol is utterly incorrect, and misuse of the LOI is often seen by experienced Exporters as a mark of an amateur. Letters of Intent are not standard international business documents, though they do legitimately pop up rarely, much less often than most brokers believe.
But intentions are not binding contractual conditions. Nor need they lead up to binding contractual conditions. Moreover a letter expressing intent, in its form, does not adequately suggest what the appropriate response should be. Whereas a Request for Quotation / RFQ quite literally is a Request. For a Price Quotation. Hence the document's name, it meaning is expressed by it's name. Hence an appropriate response, for a vendor or supplier, is issuing a a price quote.