As a buyer, the way you negotiate to get the best prices on goods and services determines your success as a purchasing professional. Over a period of time, through trials and tests with various suppliers, you learn a few hacks but what if you are new to the business without a Godfather? For you, we have six purchasing negotiation tips to aid your success through every deal.
The Good Guy/Bad Guy is a popular negotiating technique in which a person (good guy) is with you negotiating a deal appearing to agree to your offer but then can’t call the shots and has to march off to the manager (bad guy) for approval who in turn disapproves the deal and sends back the “good guy” for renegotiation. To turn the scenario in your favor, this is one of the six negotiation tips that recommends you to inform the salesman that you wouldn’t appreciate the good/bad guy technique and would only talk to the authority who can offer you the final negotiated value without further to and fro. This way, you’ll disarm the salesman of any rehearsed strategy.
In this scenario, your boss wants you to finish a certain procurement as early as possible and at a best bargain. Of the six negotiation tips, here’s the second one which dares you to walk away from a negotiation that seemingly appears a great offer as the supplier says it is the lowest price bided for you. The supplier is ready to sell you their merchandise but how do you know your supplier is being honest because in business a conservative appreciation is also for numbers. So if you master the art of walking away, you establish an authority thereby influencing the pricing in your favour.
Avoid situations in which the salesman isn’t giving you an exact price but a sliding range in which you’ll not receive the BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) advantage. Usually in this kind of negotiation, a range of prices is offered of a product buyer is looking to buy and it often results into a price on the higher range. They start the negotiation on a higher price range so that you can only negotiate so far. So, the tip is to avoid any sliding price and ask for the lowest a supplier can offer at the very beginning.
Now you might think what if a supplier is clever enough to quote a price implicit of the sliding range. Good question. In this case you should know that you are not negotiating with one singular vendor, and your supplier should be informed of the fact that there are other suppliers who quoted lower than them. Just because a salesman offers a price after you’ve countered it once, doesn’t mean the negotiation is over. The attempt to drive down the price can go on till a contract is signed.
This is probably the most important negotiation tip for a buyer who might fall victim to the salesman’s manipulative skills wherein they try to meddle with your emotions. A seasoned salesman may try to get into your personal space and use your personal emotions to your disadvantage. So keep your facts and objective ready and let not the discussion take any other stream other than purely professional. You can still make it fun and build a rapport but do so mindfully so that you always have the competitive advantage and the salesman is aware that he is dealing with no fool.
Compromise in a business deal is as old as trade itself. It is necessary that there has to be some level of compromise in the negotiation and that you are not going to settle in for the initiating offer in any way. So as discussed in Point 4, it is important to emphasize it so you know you too have alternatives but with evidence so that you can’t be dismissed by a seasoned salesman. Here, it is the salesman who has to compromise on the purchase to be in business with your market goodwill. After all you are the buyer, remember!
Learn More: e-Purchasing
End of the day, it is important to remember that a salesman will do anything that they can to sell their services at a higher price, but you as a buyer; you can neither compromise on quality nor pricing. Tomorrow if a sales man agrees to your pricing offer, be sure to emphasis that this should have no bearing on the quality of the product or service you are buying.