Know Your Vendor: How to Negotiate From Their Perspective

Offer Valid: 03/31/2022 - 04/30/2024

Many young negotiators approach suppliers with the aim of clarifying their own position. It is important that you choose a vendor who can meet your business needs and that they are aware of those needs before an agreement is reached. Simply laying out your expectations, however, is not a way to convince your counterparty that they should do business with you. 

If you approach the negotiation instead by laying out their needs and how you stand to meet those interests, your counterparty is incentivized to work with you. This can lead to a better deal. There are two steps to successfully arguing from your vendor's point of view. 

Do Your Research

Your supplier's offer will be informed by their unique costs and concerns. Read over their conversations with you, study their website, and reach out to their previous clients to learn more about how they typically operate. Consider your vendor's place in the industry — are they a large player with lots of brand recognition or a small, specialized manufacturer? How many competitors do they have? What is the current economic climate and how might that be affecting them?

It's important to understand your counterparty's position and use that understanding to argue your merit as a potential partner. If you know that your supplier is struggling with brand recognition, for example, you may receive a better offer from them if you suggest that your company could provide marketing opportunities.

Use Your Knowledge

Perspective-taking is not necessarily about empathy for the other party. Instead, apply your research during a negotiation by presenting options that are mutually beneficial. If you understand their reasons for asking you to pay a higher price or manage more upfront costs, you're less likely to react from emotion and more likely to find a solution that will meet their needs while preserving your interests. It's important that you're able to take their position without sacrificing important benefits in the interests of making them happy. 

You can impress your potential vendor by focusing on the quality of your agreement rather than the content. A highly professional contract is one way to make your vendor's life easier without making any concessions in the actual deal. Make sure any contracts look amazing and are simple to read. 

Use a JPG to PDF converter to transform the contract into an accessible file sharing type. Small details like paragraph spacing can make the document easier to read and more appealing to look at. Remember that your supplier will have to read through the contract more than once. Providing a good experience here can help you stand out. 

Do Their Job For Them

During a negotiation, your supplier is attempting to work out whether you will be a good business investment. By doing thorough research and using that research to present enticing offers, you can show them that you are. Consider your counterparty's needs and pay attention to detail so you can create an agreement that supports your business for years to come. 

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This Hot Deal is promoted by Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce.