Every business needs to pick up the phone and negotiate with suppliers once in a while. It’s an essential and natural part of business. We all need the office stationery or the extra stock. And, it’s someone’s job to negotiate with suppliers on the best price. After all, the cheaper you get your supplies, the cheaper you can sell your product. Or, the bigger your profit margin! But, how many times have you picked up the phone and found yourself talking to a brick wall?
“No, I’m afraid that’s the price, take it or leave it!” It’s an all-too-familiar phrase for many. Fortunately, we’re here to show you the tricks and techniques that will knock down that wall! In fact, we spoke to the suppliers themselves and asked how to get the very best deal. Here’s what they told us.
1. Build A Relationship
Suppliers love it when you reach out and actively build a relationship with them. Just like any other business connection or network, there are real people behind the company. Meet your regular contact for a coffee, and get to know a bit more about their business and products. Find a way to connect on a personal level too. That means you’ll instantly strike up a friendly tone when you call them up to negotiate. Remember, networking is the best way for your business to improve. Plus, we prefer to do business with people we like! Build a relationship, and you’re much more likely to get that discount you’re looking for.
2. Know Your Stuff
A lot of suppliers provide highly technical products, and ordering from them can be tricky. We spoke to CCTY Bearing, who supply a variety of bearing products. They said it’s refreshing when customers know exactly what they want. When companies can speak the language, and understand the intricacies of each product, it’s easier to do business. When you’re talking to a like-minded person, you’re much more likely to make a connection, and get a discount.
3. Find The Mutual Benefit
Here’s the biggest mistake you’ll hear all day. Most buyers call the supplier with only one interest: what the supplier can do for them. Well, here’s the kicker. Suppliers are businesses too! They have agendas and goals of their own. What are they? How can you help them? Make sure you find that area of mutual benefit when you call up. What else can you offer them to sweeten the deal? Can you guarantee them the next big project at your company?
4. Always Pay On Time
This advice is blindingly obvious, yet some companies still fail to pay their suppliers on time. When a company doesn’t pay up, they get a big black mark against their name. Next time they call, there will be no negotiation on price! Show your suppliers that you are trustworthy and reliable. Pay the invoice immediately, and always have a healthy deposit waiting for them. When you’re known as a reliable company, the supplier is much more likely to cut you a deal.
That’s all there is to it! Remember suppliers are real people with their own business goals. Use that to negotiate the best possible deal. Good luck!