5 ways to negotiate a better price

One thing that our world has lost is the art of negotiation. You hear about it all the time in “big business” when there is a deal on the table. Two groups will get together and haggle through the details. It may be for a service, product or player contract but there is a back and forth. Both parties know that they want to work with each other and want to strive to get the best deal for both parties.

Enter fixed pricing.

With the pop up of boxed stores and set pricing most of us are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with negotiations. We don’t like the idea of bartering for a better price, we simply want to find out who has the best sale and buy there.

We are always being asked for quotes on our products and the prices are clearly laid out on our pages for most of our products.

What most people fail to realize is that there are ways to negotiate a better price.  

Just Ask

Sometimes it is as simple as starting a conversation with the business owner. This is a big reason why you should seek to work with smaller businesses. Small business owners are not tied to corporate policies allowing them to make deals on products and services, sometimes all you must do is ask.  If there is a legit reason for your ask, then you may have an opportunity.

Have a Budget

Specifically, if you are looking at a service based product you will have the opportunity to strike up a negotiation. The key thing is to have your budget set out. It is hard for a business to quote on a project without knowing what your limits are.

In this case I must use the analogy of a house. If you go to a construction company and ask for a house, they can give you a price, but without knowing your budget they have very little chance of providing you with plans that actually fit your pocket book or your needs. You need to set a price range so that the business could present you some options within that price range. Most small businesses would be willing to work out some solutions that fit your needs.

The Art of Barter

Another great way to negotiate a better price is to trade services and products as a part of the deal. Many times, business owners need each other’s services. If you can trade those instead of using real cash as a part of your deal, then you can negotiate a better price fulfilling the needs of each other’s businesses.

For example, our business needs someone to cut our hedge on a regular basis. If a landscaping company were to come to us and say, “We would like a website and for part of the annual fee we will take care of maintaining your hedge.” we could work out a deal, thus reducing their cash fee.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Similarly, many community groups have sponsorship opportunities in place that allow for some advertising opportunities. We have many local community groups that we provide web design services for and part of the fee is covered with a sponsorship. This allows the group to minimize the actual cash that they are paying while giving us another advertising opportunity.

If you are a community organization, do you have sponsorship opportunities built into your group? If you have prepackaged plans that you can present to businesses, you would be surprised at the number of opportunities that are out there to receive more help for next to no cost to you as a group.

In the end in comes down to being creative and having those conversations. Chances are you will not be able to walk into Walmart and demand a better price on toothpaste, but you can walk into any small business and strike up a conversation.

How to negotiate with a small business

If you are ready to negotiate here is the blueprint.

First, know what your budget is. How much cash can you afford.

Second, what supplementary offerings do you have? Do you have services or products to barter with to reduce the price?

Third, do you have any advertising opportunities? Write down or create your packages.

Forth, work out who the business owners are and ask to have a conversation with them. Explain the product or service that you are after, the budget that you have and the other offerings that you have.  

Fifth, bring value to the table. The goal of these negotiations is not to be like The Liquidator and squeeze every penny out of each other. The goal is to build up both groups so that both parties succeed.

Two groups working together in a mutually beneficial relationship will succeed for years to come.

What ways do you negotiate a better price on products or services?


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111 Centennial Dr., Dauphin, Manitoba, R7N 2W8