The Negotiation Before The Negotiation, Part III

What Can You Ask Your Supplier Before Negotiating?

PurchTips Edition #421

In the previous two editions of PurchTips, I introduced you to three things you need to know about your suppliers before beginning a negotiation with them. In this final installment of this series, I will give you specific questions you can ask of your suppliers to extract this information.

Again, I must emphasize that you should ask these questions in person, not in writing. Communicating in writing during a negotiation gives your supplier too much time to prepare answers intended to influence you rather than providing you with the truth! These questions are only examples to be used as a guide and are not mandatory. Use your own judgment to decide on questions – these ones or your own – that are appropriate for your specific situation.

  • What are your organization’s sales goals?
  • What is your organization’s #1 sales priority?
  • How is your sales performance measured?
  • What are the benefits of accomplishing your sales goal?
  • What are the consequences of failing to accomplish your sales goal?
  • If we discuss some terms, who decide if they are acceptable to your organization?
  • How will the details of our discussions reach the decision-maker?
  • How likely is it that we can pull the decision-maker into the discussion if we come across an opportunity that you are not authorized to agree to?
  • Are there any significant dates related to changes in your production capacity?
  • How often do you have to internally report your sales numbers?
  • Is there a particular date by which you’d like to get this deal done? Why?

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Copyright 2018. This article is the property of the Next Level Purchasing Association and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of the Next Level Purchasing Association. Click here to request republishing permission.

By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3