How to Negotiate Your Way to a Better Price
Stuart R. Crawford / Stuart Crawford
According to a survey by Consumer Reports, only 48% of people attempt to negotiate for lower prices; however almost 90% of those who did, achieved positive results and saved money.
Most of us believe that prices are set and you can’t change them. As an MSP, you likely want lower prices as well. The following are some pointers to help you negotiate your way to a great deal with Ingram Micro, your cloud hosting company or any other vendor you work with:
- Escalation Script
When you’re negotiating, there’s nothing wrong with using a script for a bit of help. Ramit Sethi, author and personal finance expert, wrote a book called “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” providing word-for-word scripts for dealing with telecom providers, representatives from banks, or credit-card companies.
For example, if you’re asking about an overdraft fee and the bank refuses to waive it, use an escalation script. Say something along the lines of, “I’ve been a customer since 2001, and I’d hate to leave because of a simple $20 fee.” With that line, you have a 70% chance of getting the shipping fees for your distribution partner waived.
- Negotiate With the Right Person
There’s no point in trying to negotiate with someone who doesn’t have the authority to offer deals. An old-fashioned bargaining tactic involves approaching people higher up the corporate food chain. For example, negotiate with a supervisor or manager rather than a sales clerk.
- Consider Your Timing
On Monday, people are generally not in the mood to deal with negotiating, and customer-service reps don’t have an incentive to wrap things up. Take a moment to consider when you’re trying to strike a deal. If it’s at the end of the week, most people are trying to clear everything off their desks and out of the way, and they’ll be more likely to give you what you want so they can “close up shop.”
Similarly, consider the time of the month. At the beginning of the month, salespeople still have a lot of time to meet their sales quotas. At the end of the month, they’re looking to make deals in order to impress the boss and meet their quota. Many top negotiators consider the Friday before a long weekend to be the best day, because nobody wants to spoil their own weekend with unresolved business.
- Do Your Research
Asking for a deal is fine, but 80% of the work is done before you even step into the room or begin the conversation. The most important thing to do prior to negotiating is research, look for prices, and then look for competitor prices. Check out both companies’ policies, and see if they include anything about matching competitor prices.
- Be Prepared to Walk Away
If you must buy something, the vendor retains all the negotiating leverage. If you don’t need to buy the product, then you have the power. If the company refuses to budge on the price, walk away. Chances are, they’ll come to the conclusion that a sale is better than no sale.