Mon 8 Dec 2008
Negotiating a Better Deal with Vendors
Part of running a successful small business is learning how to negotiate both with your customers and with your vendors.
There is a fine line between asking for a deal and asking for too much. Just as you would not want your customers to make unfair demands about price, you should not make such demands of your vendors.
That being said, there is nothing wrong with trying to negotiate a better price, especially for items that you purchase on a regular basis.
You hope that vendors are giving you their best price up front, but that doesn't mean that you might not be able to find a little wiggle room - particularly if you are a good customer.
Below are some tips to help you negotiate with vendors.
Do Your Homework
Learn what other vendors are charging for similar products or services.
You are not doing this homework as a way to threaten your current vendor, but rather so you'll have an idea about whether your request is reasonable or not.
The Big Ask
You'll never know if you can be granted a discount if you don't ask. Don't simply call the business and ask whoever answers the phone.
Instead, you'll want to talk to your representative - a.k.a. the one who is likely making a commission from your purchases. That is the person who will be most motivated to make you happy.
Take No for an Answer
You can ask and negotiate, but if the answer is no, then accept that. If you think you are being treated unfairly then it's certainly your prerogative to find another vendor.
If, on the other hand, you are happy with the service, keep the current vendor and revisit the issue of a discount in a year or two.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you been using the same vendor for several years with no price increase, you should consider that a sort of discount. New customers coming in now are likely paying a higher price.