You already have a lot on your mind when it comes to forging relationships with your customers. However, they’re not the only audience you have to work with. As a business owner, you also have to forge productive and cooperative relationships with your suppliers. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy – your suppliers have a profit to make, while you have a budget to keep in mind.
If you’re interested in getting the best deal possible, follow these five tips.
1. Do Your Research
Don’t take your suppliers’ prices at face value. Remember, they’re not just selling their products to you wholesale; rather, they’re trying to make a profit. Research every products’ true value and compare it to your suppliers’ asking prices. When you know how much an item is actually worth, you’re able to go into negotiations well-armed, knowing precisely how much room you have to knock a price down.
2. Build a Real Relationship
Your supplier isn’t some faceless entity; it’s a company staffed by real humans. Building connections with those humans can make a big difference to the outcome of your negotiations. If you and your suppliers have a personal relationship and a solid rapport built on trust and understanding, then you’ll both be well-prepared for negotiation sessions. This will open up new avenues for you to work together to create win-win situations.
3. Sell Yourself
While you’re laser-focused on running your business, it’s important to remember that your suppliers are running their own companies too. They need to make sure that before they sell you their product, you’re going to be a good investment and make the sales they depend on. Pitch yourself on your ability to make a profit and demonstrate how you’ve already done so in the past. If you have any objective metrics such as sales figures or web traffic, be sure to show the data to your suppliers so they know you’re not just spouting empty words.
4. Shop Around
Don’t limit your options when you’re picking suppliers. Instead, recognize that you have a wide variety of options to pick from. Be sure to assess your industry to see who else is supplying your desired products and compare them with each other. Aim to gather a list of at least three separate suppliers and talk with each one. Be sure to let them know that you’re assessing other suppliers; doing so will let them know that your business is competitive and that they should offer you their best prices if they want you on board.
5. Be Selective
Your business is valuable. While it might be exciting for a supplier to make your first offer, you shouldn’t accept it immediately. You should be selective in determining who your supplying partner will be. Only opt for the deal that’s best for you and your business. Once you receive an offer you’re happy with, take some time to assess your alternatives. Are any other options available? If so, how do they stack up to this one? Once you make these comparisons, then you’ll be on track to get yourself the best deal possible.
When a supplier makes you an offer, don’t take it at face value; instead, recognize it as the first step in a larger process. By following these tips for maximizing value, you can ensure that you’ll come away with major savings from every negotiation.