Early in October I received an email headed URGENT INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR xyz INVOICE PAYMENTS. The following day I received a second email URGENT SUPPLIER UPDATE FROM XYZ. They let me know they were changing their invoice system from 1 November, and that the request was legitimate.
While it might have been legitimated from their perspective, from mine it was an unwanted intrusion and unnecessary pressure on my business for some problem the organisation had created for themselves.
With Stephen Covey beside me, I responded. ‘I have received two urgent emails from you today. I would like to let you know I object to an urgent demand from you for something you are implementing and have had control over the timeline.
Putting pressure on me and my small business to respond urgently to you with a change you are making beggars belief.
I have no pending invoices with you.
I respectfully suggest you create helpful relationships with your suppliers, not demanding ones.’
I receive an anonymous response from the purchasing team,
Thank you for your feedback, we have taken note of your concerns.
Please feel free to respond when it suits your time frames. As you correctly assessed the urgency is for suppliers with purchases from 1 November.
What would have helped is if this team had taken this approach in the first instance and kept supplier relationships on a more positive footing? I won’t be rushing to work with this group again.
How might you stand in the shoes of your customers and see things from their perspective to strengthen relationships when you communicate?
© Diana Jones