Tutorial for “Offer a Suggestion to a Supplier or Retailer”

Tips

As with all suggestions, keep your tone helpful rather than critical. The probability that a reader will take your suggestion seriously is much greater if it is clear from the outset that there is a personal benefit to be gained.

Steps

1. Open with a statement that will motivate the reader to continue. Commenting on the benefit the reader will gain is helpful.

Sentences

  • I believe I have an idea that will benefit us both.
  • As the holidays approach, opportunities to market your new line of winter apparel will increase.
  • Miscommunications in scheduling seem to be the biggest problem our companies have faced in joint ventures. I have a suggestion that may reduce the wasted time and frustration we have both experienced over the past year.
  • We know from experience that early orders pay large dividends.
  • I have a suggestion that I think your company would like to hear.

Phrases

  • as the holidays draw near
  • both of us will benefit from
  • came up with a promising idea
  • due to such conflicts with
  • early orders pay large dividends
  • have a suggestion for your consideration
  • I have an idea that may prove
  • know from experience that
  • many companies have faced similar challenges in
  • marketing opportunities will increase when
  • might alleviate much of the frustration if
  • new winter line will expand to include
  • opportunities to market
  • over the past year we
  • seem to be the largest problem
  • think your company would like to hear
  • think I have a suggestion
  • will help us all
  • would like to offer a suggestion

2. State your suggestion briefly, maintaining a helpful tone.

Sentences

  • Giving skill tests to applicants before interviewing them would give some assurance that they can perform at the level they claim.
  • With the upcoming holiday season in mind, we have designed some ads that fit with your sales promotion strategy.
  • Would it be possible to send a confirmation of each delivery date?
  • As a result, we suggest you send us next year's order as soon as possible before the holiday rush hits and we are faced with back-up orders, delayed deliveries, and unsatisfied customers.
  • Your catalog frequently arrives two weeks after those of other suppliers. Since we attempt to process all orders at once, it takes extra effort to place an order with you, and sometimes we just don't wait. If your catalog arrived with the others, we would be more likely to send you larger and more frequent orders.

Phrases

  • arrived at in consultation with the others
  • as a results of months of
  • at the level they feel appropriate
  • be able to perform at the level of
  • before the holiday rush hits you
  • expedite back-up orders
  • have designed some ads
  • I believe you would benefit from
  • implement as soon as possible
  • keeping the upcoming holiday season in mind
  • may want to use
  • meet each delivery date
  • more likely to send larger and more frequent orders
  • reduces delayed deliveries
  • sales promotion strategy is
  • sending out your catalog earlier
  • sometimes we fail to recognize
  • suggest you send us next year's order
  • takes extra effort to place an order with
  • tend to process all our orders at the same time
  • testing applicants before sending them to interviews
  • think I speak for other retailers as well

3. Add any information the reader may need to follow your suggestion. Be sensitive to the reader's circumstance.

Sentences

  • I know you cannot test each individual in every skill area, but I believe you could test them on a handful of basics. You might also check the applicants' references as another way to determine their skill levels.
  • Enclosed are ads we have written that you might consider using. The only thing missing is your logo and business information (telephone number, address, and business hours). If you would like, we can fill in the information.
  • These could be written or telephoned. Either way, a simple check would catch any discrepancies in our records.
  • Enclosed is a copy of your orders over the past three years. I hope they will help you determine how much you will need for this next year. We have also enclosed an order form for your convenience. Fill out and return the form and we will process it as soon as possible.
  • I know two weeks is a lot of time when dealing with any kind of project, but I think the benefits to your company would outweigh the temporary inconvenience.

Phrases

  • any discrepancies between our records
  • as part of your sales promotion
  • before they cause any problems
  • believe you could test them on
  • can easily fill in the missing information
  • checking applicants' references
  • consider the benefits your company would receive
  • could be written or telephoned
  • could then be cleared up
  • dealing with any kind of project
  • enclosed is a copy of
  • enclosed are possible ads
  • every individual in every skill area
  • handful of basic skills
  • have also enclosed an order form
  • hope they will help you determine
  • how much you need for the next year
  • if you decide to use them
  • just fill it out and
  • know two weeks is a long time
  • might also consider that
  • only thing missing from them is
  • outweigh the temporary inconvenience
  • over the past three years
  • return the copies to you
  • return it all to us
  • simple check would catch
  • will process it as soon as we can

4. Use a friendly closing, encouraging the reader to use your suggestion and respond promptly.

Sentences

  • I hope this idea will be useful to you.
  • If you decide to use the ads, let me know. We can have camera-ready copies for you within a week.
  • I hope you will agree that a little extra effort spent on confirmations will save us valuable time and reduce our anxiety. I will plan on making confirmations from now on, unless I hear otherwise from you.
  • Ordering early will save you time and frustration, and if customers receive the product on time, they will undoubtedly be more satisfied.
  • I hope this suggestion will be of some use to you.

Phrases

  • appreciate your commitment to excellence
  • be of some help to you
  • believe this suggestion will help us both
  • can have copies to you within a week
  • customers will undoubtedly be more satisfied
  • eagerly await your response
  • hope this idea will be useful to you
  • hope this suggestion will help
  • let me know if you decide
  • look forward to hearing from you
  • ordering early will save frustration
  • receive the product on time
  • think a little extra time spent on confirmations will
  • unless I hear otherwise from you
  • will save a lot of time
  • will be pleased if you decide
  • will be mutually advantageous to
  • will move ahead with this in mind
  • without having to wait

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