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Step 5: Negotiating with your suppliers

Order goods and services after using these tips to make money-saving deals, says Nick Coleman.

By the time you reach the negotiating prices stage of the buying process, you should have decided which suppliers meet your expectations. Negotiating does not need to be time-consuming, but you must be prepared for some haggling.

Here are some tips:

  • The most successful deals on price are when buyer and seller each believe they have got the best of the bargain. If this is the case, both sides will strive to make sure the contract works. The last thing you want is a supplier unhappy about its profit margin, as it will be less likely to, for example, make that emergency delivery to you.
  • Your favourite phrase should be: 'If I agree to this, what will you do for us?' For example, if you commit to buying all the practice's medical consumables from the same supplier for 12 months, what will it do in return? Let the supplier come up with an offer as you could suggest a higher price that it would otherwise give you.
  • Silence is golden. Never undercut your bargaining position. When you do make a price offer, hold your nerve and wait for a response.
  • Prepare your negotiation strategy in advance so you are clear about what you want to achieve.
Buy wisely plan

STEP 1 Gather information.

STEP 2 Build a successful money-saving strategy.

STEP 3 Know the market and how to find the right suppliers.

STEP 4 Evaluate suppliers to ensure they can meet your expectations.

STEP 5 Negotiate on price.

STEP 6 Put your money-saving strategy to work.

STEP 7 Review the savings made and find out what you can do better in the future.

  • Nick Coleman is a director of healthcare sector procurement specialists ProCure Health Ltd

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