I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Supplier control

Sometimes suppliers and clients don’t agree on the  best way to do something – that is natural and understandable. But if the client is paying for the work, I believe that the client has the deciding vote.

I have had situations where a client has insisted I do something a particular way against my better judgment as a professional writer. A few times, I have done what the client asked for and an alternative version the way I think it should be done and given both versions to the client. In all these cases, once they have seen it in context, the client has agreed with my version. Other times I have just done what the client asked.

But what happens when a supplier decides their way is correct, or at least better, and just implements it without even telling the client they are making that decision?

For instance, if a client asks for certain paragraphs to be in italics in a brochure their designer may disagree and not use italics. The client, trusting the designer to do as asked, doesn’t notice this omission until after the brochures are printed and is rightly upset because those paragraphs were quotes and need to look different.

A much more professional approach from the designer would have been to say “I don’t think italics is a good idea as they are harder to read” and then discussed it with the client.

Clients do not appreciate loosing control of their own projects, nor the suppliers who take that control. And once you do something like that, the client is likely to double check everything you do for them which is a waste of their time and goodwill – and not likely to get you more work or any referrals.

As a supplier, you can disagree with a client but you should never presume to control the project contrary to your client’s request. Remember, if the final result is not up to your standard because the client insisted on doing things a certain way, it reflects more on the client than you – their name is on it, not yours. Just don’t add the project to your portfolio!

Know who you are emailing

A hand receiving a letter via emailWriting an email (or letter) request may seem very simple, but it needs care and attention to get it right. A poorly written request is much less likely to get the results you want so the effort is worthwhile.

Probably the main thing is to do some research beforehand so that you know who you are writing to. This includes using the name of the person, and probably even their business. By knowing a bit about the person/business, you can save yourself from looking ignorant.

For example, many website owners receive emails saying something like “We would like to have a link to our website from yours and we will then add a link to your site on [our site]” However, they ignore the fact that the site only takes paid listings or does not have a links page.

Sometimes, these emails go further by asking for additional promotional activities from the business owner – again, not noticing whether these details are listed on the site or if the site even offers any sort of promotion to others.

The end result? The website owners disregard the email and the sender does not get any new links to their site.

And frankly, for the best results in a search engine, you should be selective about who you link with, rather than sending a standard email to every site you can think of in hope that some will accept your offer. But search engine rankings is a whole other subject!

Once you know a bit about the person/business you are writing to, you can aim the email directly to them.

To use the same example, asking for a website link exchange, a better request could be “We see you have a links page on your website. If you would like the benefits of another link to your site, we would like to suggest a link exchange.”

If you are writing a request email/letter, my tips on how to encourage someone to do something may also help.

* Image courtesy of 123RF