A subscriber to PurchTips recently sent me the following message:

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“Normally we have been using a word ‘best’ for price negotiations with suppliers as in ‘Your price is too high, please quote your best price.’ and sometime ‘better.’ Kindly advise which is the suitable word for price negotiations, which as I understand that is ‘better.’”

Actually, when you are leading a procurement negotiation, I feel that you should use the word “lowest” rather than “better” or “best” when discussing price.

Think about it. The “best” price in the mind of the supplier will not likely be the “best” price in your mind, right?

If a supplier says “We gave you our best price” that may be true because the best price for them is the highest price. If the supplier is convincing, then you may believe that they’ve given you their lowest price.

But the best price for you is the lowest price. So ask for the lowest price, not the best price.

There are so many subtleties of the language that come into play in negotiations. Think about the words you use when negotiating and whether a slight tweak would make more sense.

To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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