I often hear small business people complain that they are unable to compete with larger competitors , because they are just too small to get the right prices from their suppliers. If only they were just a little bit bigger, or could just buy a little bit more from the supplier , then they too would be able to get better deals, and would be able to compete against their bigger competitors.
Sure , in some cases, economies of scale do play a important role in getting you the best deal from your suppliers, and major retailers like Walmart and IKEA have made it the basis of their buying strategy. But for the rest of us, i am here to tell you that the biggest businesses dont always get the best deals.
The businesses who know how to negotiate , get the best deals. When i started off in business, we were competing against companies 100 times bigger than us (in terms of revenues), and yet we were able to get as good a deal from suppliers as our bigger competitors, if not even better deals.
The secret? Use your small size as an advantage.
Say things like “I am small and growing, and you can grow with me.” or “I am willing to make your line/product very important to us.”
Here are 7 negotiation tactics that will help you to negotiate like a pro :
- Meet with the decision maker : Make sure that you are negotiating with someone who has the authority to negotiate. Ask. Many times, sales reps will be more than happy to introduce you to their boss, especially if it means them bringing in more sales.
- Dont take no for an answer : Everything is negotiable. Suppliers will almost always tell you that the price is fixed. Yet when you ask them if their is a discount for buying 1000 pieces instead of 100, the reply is “I am sure we can make a plan…”. The thing is , everyone will negotiate in the right situation.
- Talk up your strengths : Dont discount them. There are reasons that the supplier would want to do business with you. This could be anything from you being in an area where they dont have a account, to business being bad, and they need the sale.
- Be likeable : In business as in life, people give up their negotiating strengths to those they like. So be as likeable as possible. For more tips on being likeable check out my post : How to get people to like you
- Make a concession : Then get one back. This tactic is something that has always helped me. This is how it works – “I will do this for you , if you do that for me. I will agree to pay that price, if you can give me item X at a discount, or two of item Y as a discount.” Your suppliers always love to talk about win/win relationships. Put them to the test.
- Make sure you know what motivates the other person : Don’t assume that you automatically know. I had a supplier once, who was more concerned about not upsetting other customers , than he was about the size of the order. He was willing to discount prices , only if we would promise not to cut prices.
- Ask for what you want : Often the simplest way is the best way in negotiating. Don’t be afraid to ask your vendor “Where will you compromise?” or “What do i have to do in order to get the price i am looking for?”
Here are some of the Key Ideas for you to share:
- Make sure that you are negotiating with someone who has the authority to negotiate. Click To Tweet
- Everything is negotiable.The thing is , everyone will negotiate in the right situation. Click To Tweet
- Talk up your strengths. Dont discount them. Click To Tweet
- In business as in life, people give up their negotiating strengths to those they like. So be as likeable as possible. Click To Tweet
- Often the simplest way is the best way in negotiating. Click To Tweet