As an assistant to the vice president of sales for Atlanta-based Home Depot, you attended the Home Depot’s biannual product-line review held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Also attending were hundreds of vendor hopeful, each eager to become one of the huge retail chain’s 25,000 North American suppliers. During individual meetings with a panel of regional and national Home Depot merchandisers, these vendors did their best to win, keep, or expand their spot in the company’s product lineup.
Vendors knew that Home Depot holds all the cards; so, if they want to play, they have to follow Home Depot’s rules, offering low wholesale prices and swift delivery. Once chosen, they’ re constantly re-evaluated—and quickly dropped for infractions such as requesting a price increase or planning to sell directly to consumers via the Internet They also receive sharp critiques of past performance, which are not to be taken lightly.
Home Depot is always looking for a variety of products to please its customers’ changing tastes and demands. If selected, vendors get immediate distribution in more than 1700 stores. If not, Home Depot is always willing to reconsider at the next product line review.
YOUR TASK: You must draft a rejection letter to a faucet manufacturer:
Ms. Pamela Wilson, operations manager
133 Industrial Avenue
Gary, Indiana 46406
REASONS TO INCLUDE IN THE LETTER:
SUBSTANDARD PLASTIC HANDLES
DESIGN NOT LIKELY TO APPEAL TO HOME DEPOT CUSTOMERS
The tone of this message is just as important as the format. Do not apologize, say you are sorry, or use words like unfortunately. You must change the wording of your reasons to be positive. Example: INSTEAD OF “substandard plastic handles” USE “ Home Depot customers value sturdy metal handles for their faucets.
FORMAT: This needs to be in a block letter format with a Home Depot letterhead.
You are being graded on the INDIRECT APPROACH FOR NEGATIVE MESSAGES (You can find this information in your textbook, the chapter on Writing Negative Messages):
1st paragraph - BUFFER
Middle paragraphs – REASONS AND EXPLANATIONS
AFTER ALL THE REASONS – THE MAIN IDEA:
(UNABLE TO USE YOUR PRODUCTS AT THIS TIME)
Last paragraph – COMPLIMENTARY, ENCOURAGING AND FRIENDLY CLOSE
INDIRECT APPROACH EXAMPLE: UNION BANK
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