As an entrepreneur, there will come a time when you pick up the phone to negotiate your supply costs. Every business relies on a careful flow of supplies to keep their company running. Sometimes, it’s simple office supplies like stationery. In others, these supplies form the backbone of their product. In this case, it’s crucial that you keep costs down.

If you’re looking to negotiate the price on your components and supplies, look no further. We’ve been in this game for a while, and we know how to make those numbers add up! We know that you’re working to a budget, and we’re here to help. Some people like to play the hard game, others adopt a friendly approach. We’ll look at both angles, so you can find a method that works for you.

Build a relationship

The first key point is to create a strong relationship with your supplier. They’re not just a computer system selling products. There are real people behind the company. Get to know them, and learn more about their business. Visit their office, and sit down with the business owner. The stronger your relationship, the easier it is to pick up the phone and ask for a discount. That simply friendly connection goes a long way.

Understand the product

When you’re on the phone negotiating the deal, you need to know what you’re talking about. It’s particularly useful when dealing with complex components and product parts. The experts at CCTY Bearing tell us it’s very helpful when customers can talk knowledgeably about bearings and bushings! It really helps to understand the jargon and the lingo. You gain respect from the supplier, and it’s another route into asking for a discount.

What can you do for them?

One of the biggest mistakes when negotiating is focusing entirely on your side of the deal. Remember, your supplier is running a business too. If you want a cheaper product, you’re going to have to sweeten the deal. Think about what you can do for them to help the process along. Can you guarantee them your next major contract or project? Can you buy a bulk amount or pay the entire cost up front?

Get multiple quotes

You should always go into the phone call with a number of quotes on the table. Get quotes from a variety of other suppliers, before calling your preferred company. Now, you can easily give them competitor figures, and ask them to match it. It works particularly well when trying to convince the better supply companies to knock down the price.

Pay on time

It seems like such a simple piece of advice, yet many businesses rarely follow through. Nothing angers suppliers more than late payments and unpaid invoices. Always prove yourself as a reliable and trustworthy customer. Pay on time, in full. When you do pick up the phone and ask for a discount, they’re much more likely to give you one.

Negotiating cheaper supplies is a key part of business. Haggling doesn’t come easily to everyone, but try these techniques. You’ll be surprised how well they work.

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