Vendor communication best practices and sample letters
Small businesses need your help to survive business challenges brought about by the COVID-19 situation. Effective communication is the key to success.
We have created a mock action plan and sample letters that you can share with your clients to help them communicate with their landlords, lenders, bank institutions, insurance companies, vendors, suppliers, and others.
To help them, you may want to advise your clients that they may be able to obtain a reduction in their rent, outstanding loans, and other expenses simply by reaching out and requesting relief.
Below, please find suggested wording you can share with your clients (an action plan for them to take). These materials are intended to help you. They don’t apply to every business or client’s particular situation, so please review and seek legal advice where necessary.
Vendor communication best practices to share with your clients
Use these points below, in your own words, when you are advising your clients.
- The COVID-19 situation might affect your ability to pay rent, bank loans, insurance premiums, utilities, or vendors on a timely basis. If you are unable to pay these items, open a line of communication with the company you owe.
- If you communicate honestly, there is a chance they might defer payment or lower their interest rates, and maintain your relationship in good standing.
- When writing your letter, use a polite and professional tone, and ask for understanding and time to remedy the situation.
- Keep it simple and concise. Do not write the same thing twice and edit out any unnecessary information.
- Stay familiar with up-to-date information about federal, state and local COVID-19 relief ordinances, and provide any required documentation as an attachment to your letter.
- Sign and date the letter in blue ink. This makes it easier to spot an original letter from a copy if you send a physical letter.
- Send the original letter to your landlord, bank, lender, or vendor as soon as possible via email or postal mail, and give them a call. Clear communication will help show that you are committed to being an ideal partner.
- Include copies of any documents that may support your request, such as hospital paperwork, financials, or job/employee termination notices. Make sure to remove or redact any personal information the recipient does not need to see.
- Keep a copy of all your letters, as well as any correspondence between you and the landlord, bank, lender, utility, or vendor. You might attach copies of your communication as part of future requests.
- Your landlord/bank/lender/vendors are under no obligation to work with you on delinquent rent/loan payment/premium/other financial obligations. However, they may extend courtesies to you given the current situation that you would not receive otherwise. Communicating early will help them understand your situation.
Be proactive and communicate with all parties involved. The objective of communicating timely is to start a conversation with your business partners.
Effective communication starts now!
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