The whole price list discussion is a really sensitive topic for medical manufacturers. And you can kind of see why it would be. Lower prices are about the last thing they’re going to want to talk to you about.
But it’s good to negotiate these things. You want to make more profit (just like they do).
So how do you do it? How do you get that delicate pricing conversation started? And then how do you not mess it up, once you’re talking about it?
Well, usually manufacturers start everything off by saying that “row material is increasing, and things aren’t so simple anymore, and so we just can’t offer any discounts on orders.” Or something like that.
They’re not completely wrong – things are harder than they used to be, in a lot of ways.
On the other hand – and they won’t say this – these manufacturers want to increase their business like you do, and hit bigger targets next year … so deep down, they’re not going to be completely unwilling to negotiate.
This means you’re not asking for something unreasonable, in the big picture. You don’t need to worry whether it’s “right” to be asking them for price reductions. Of course it’s right – as long as you do it right.
Think about it this way. In business the idea is to try to make everything into a win-win situation. Make everything you do an attempt to find an arrangement that will benefit both, you and the other party.
And you can do it if you keep to 3 guidelines.
And here’s what they are – here’s my advice:
be transparent with your tender results. Share them. Show your competitors’ prices, and show why you win or lose. This builds trust. Your manufacturer will start to see that you’re a reasonable person, trying to do a reasonable business. He won’t think you’re trying to keep secrets, or trying to bluff him. It kind of humanizes you in his eyes. He’ll be a lot more willing to try to find a price solution that works for you. (In the end, remember, they actually do want something to work out. they want sales in the end too.)
Don’t always ask for discounts on prices
You can do other things, like ask for sponsorship of some sort of activity that’s related to your manufacturer’s product range. This is a great way to get your costs down, and a lot of people don’t even think of asking about it.
Consider asking about a step-price list
What does that mean? It’s setting prices according to quantity sold. It’s like asking them to run a sale. Sure, they’ll charge less per unit, but they’ll sell a lot more units. See how it benefits you both? It’s good business logic, and hey, it’s fair! They are going to like that – and so will you.