What To Do When Your Supplier Ignores Your Emails?

What To Do When Your Supplier Ignores Your Emails?

What To Do When Your Supplier Ignores Your Emails?

Is Your Supplier Ignoring Your E-Mails? How Do You Guarantee A Response?

Don’t you hate it when a supplier just doesn’t respond to your e-mails? How many days should you have to wait until you follow up again? And why can’t they just answer your questions?

Many people struggle with this when working with suppliers. In this article, I’ll share 3 tactics to increase your chances of getting your supplier to respond.

1. Use A “Sting” question…

Let’s face it, the supplier may have field e-mails from many important customers. Your e-mail may never even get opened. And it’s sure that you’ll never get a reply if your supplier never even opens your message.

The easiest way to increase your e-mail opening rate is by changing the subject line to a “sting question.” That’s right; make it sting just a little:


“Don’t have time or don’t care?”

“Have you decided to give up working with us?”

“Are you walking away from a huge business potential?”

Simply put, by using a sting question, you provoke the supplier to get their attention. The goal to increase the chance of them opening your e-mail.

Using these sting questions as the subject line is a bold play, perhaps even slightly uncomfortable. That’s why we’re going to soften it a bit.


2. Slap and Soften

It’s my opinion, and I’m sure you’ll agree, that it’s disrespectful when a supplier ignores their own customers. When we follow up, we do so as calmly as we can:
“I am still waiting for you response for my last e-mail. Can I please get a reply?”

Unfortunately, this message just won’t work if your supplier doesn’t care. To get these suppliers to respond, you to flex a little muscle.

You can try what we call a slap. A slap is simply pointing out something they don’t want to hear – the negatives, the consequences…

But to use a slap effectively, you have to know how to soften the slap (unless you’re walking away from this supplier).

Here are some examples of what a good “Slap and Soften” might sound like:

    • Slap: “You don’t care to answer our e-mail, or have you not had time?”
    • Soften: “You may have been overwhelmed by customer inquiries in the last few days. We do hope that is the case. Please send a quick reply so we know you are not giving up working with our company.”
    • Slap: “Do you like your job at all? Your lack of response make you look like you don’t care. The way you are ignoring our e-mails is seriously damaging your customer’s trust in your company. Should we let your boss know?”
    • Soften: “Don’t get us wrong; we really want to work with you to develop the business. You might have some personal challenges on your side so you have not had the time to take care of us. Hope everything is OK. Let us know what is going on; a simple reply will do.”

3. Positive Ending

How to Guarantee a Response from supplier

Remember, the last impression is the lasting impression.

To this end, you’ll need to make sure that the end of your e-mail provides a clear call to action, and leaves your supplier with a positive message.

Consider ending your message like this:

“You work hard to help every customer on daily basis. We appreciate your hard work. Look forward to hearing from you!”

“We are actually a bunch of fun people to work with. We would love to work with you on this exciting project. Look forward to your reply!”

“Is there any other information you need to help move the project to the next step? Let us know. We are here to help you to grow more business! Look forward to your message!”

Summarize: 3 Tactics to Get Supplier to Rely Your Message:

    • Lead with a “Sting Question”…


    • Slap with a “they don’t want to hear it” message, then soften the blow…


    • End with a Positive message that encourage action!


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About Yuping Wang

The passion for sourcing runs deep in my blood otherwise I would not have done it for 20 years. My suppliers would say these 3 things about me: Yuping is a tough negotiator, a strong relationship builder and a tenacious profit finder.

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