My mum went on a negotiation training course last year and acquired just one new habit – asking for a discount every time in every place! Since then she has saved thousands of dollars by just asking the simple question “Is that your best price?” and waiting in uncomfortable silence. If SHE can do it – you can do it.
- SAVE YOUR WAY TO PROFIT
Rich people are tightwads. Most rich people got rich one way – they made their money and they KEPT it. An old proverb says – “Collect fast with two hands and pay out slowly with one”. In these turbulent times every dollar is important and every dollar you SAVE is one dollar of extra profit. Deal making is the highest paying activity you can do. You can learn to save thousands of dollars in minutes with better negotiation techniques.
- START NEGOTIATING NOW
Many business owners have made significant savings by putting time and effort into doing a better deal on the following highly negotiable business costs. Start with the buying basics that are easier to negotiate – Waste Management, Electricity, Telecommunications, Office Supplies, Hygiene Services, Chemicals and Cleaning supplies, Toilet Paper, Printing & Packaging, Bank fees & Merchant Fees and Signage. Go harder and save more!
- BUY IN BULK. USE MULTIPLE SUPPLIERS & PAY MORE ATTENTION
You can better control your costs by working with more than one supplier in the highly variable areas of Insurance and Uniforms purchase. Make sure that you get what you pay for and have agreed to. Inspect what you expect! Take advantage of deals, bulk buys, and specials at different times – try a visit to Costco. Where your attention goes – money flows!
- LOOK AROUND & SHOP ONLINE
Larger one-off items are another area for potential savings, shop online and drive around for best prices on Fixtures, Furniture & Equip, Office Equipment, Motor Vehicles, Photocopying, Computers & Software, Vending. Newer suppliers tend to be keener and hungrier to buy their way into the market and can offer better prices than more established brands. Do you need really a new one or would a good second-hand or reconditioned one do the job?
Online auction and importer sites are terrific! The Web can help you find better products and source better suppliers: Do your research and go direct if possible. Here are a number of useful sites for online buying and purchasing ideas.
- alibaba.com – Sourced from China
- groupon.com.au & www.catchoftheday.com.au – group buying specials
- reassign.com.au – Purchasing assistance and training
- GET SERVICE AGREEMENTS FROM YOUR PROFESSIONALS
The buying of services and financial advice is a more complex area. Ensure you get what you are paying for – ask for service agreements and assurance on response times. Look at things such as Professional Services, Advertising & Promotional Services, Building & Trades Repairs, Security Services, Courier/Freight/Delivery, Postage & Mail, Maintenance Contracts and Debt Recovery. Have a look at www.guru.com and www.elance.com for buying professional services online like web, marketing & graphics etc.
- GET USED TO BEING UNCOMFORTABLE
Be PROUD to be a tight-wad – always ASK for a better deal. The more comfy & easy-going the relationship between buyer and seller, the more likely you are to be ripped-off or taken advantage of. Practice being uncomfortable and be more assertive. Use regular tender re-negotiations and always ASK for more for less.
The more uncomfortable conversations you have the more success you will get!
- ASK FOR MORE & ASK FOR EVERYTHING YOU CAN GET
Practice asking for a better deal – type up and practice using the following phrases – put them on the wall in front of the admin office:
- “What specials and deals are available?”
- “Tell me your BEST price” – “Is that really your BEST price?”
- “That sounds a little high”
- “You’ll have to do better than that!” + (use uncomfortable SILENCE)
- “What would I have to do to get a better price?”
- “If you include X & Y you have a deal”
- “Can I have better terms?” or “I want better terms!” (settlement discount, credit days)
- “Would that be less expensive if…?” – “How much for cash?”
- “Could I get a lower price if….?” – fewer rep visits, off peak delivery, less packaging
- “What’s the “off-peak” price?”
You’ll find that EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE – not just price. Make sure you ask about getting other things included like better terms, conditions, more/less time, bonus inclusions, exclusivity, service, training provided, marketing help and subsidies/sponsorships (co-promotion), sales target rebates and other assistance required (OHS help).
LOVE YOUR NUMBERS
Pay more attention to your spending & financials and watch your profits grow. Meet with your accountant more often and look at the new cloud-based accounting software options – XERO and MYOB CLOUD. These can provide easier bookkeeping and better visual financial feedback and benchmarking. Remember – Where your attention GOES – More money FLOWS!