Top Tips For Supplier Relationships

Expert strategies to influence and negotiate the best prices with your suppliers.

March 6, 2018

Expert strategies to influence and negotiate the best prices with your suppliers:

  • Know the difference between your bid price and buy price.
    • If you’re awarded a project, go back to the supplier and ask for the buy price. It is likely there will be more room to negotiate at this stage.
  • Decrease their risk & increase sales volume
    • Will they do long term contracts?
    • Mention foreseeable repeatability, if you win this project, will it lead to more for this GC or Builder?
    • Buy in bulk – learn more on our recent blog post here.
  • Relationship Building
    •  Be professional and responsive.
  • Customer Loyalty
    • Do they think you’re just shopping around for the best number?
  • Prompt Payment
    • Can you offer credit references? I.e. A different supplier or industry partner verifying that you have a history of paying on time and continuing business loyalty
  • Offer referrals
    • You will help spread the word about their great service and product availability


The supplier isn’t the only who should benefit from your relationship – ask what’s in it for you?

  • What are their delivery times & rates?
  • Discounts? Is the pricing ever based on volume?
  • Difference between price flexibility for low margin & high margin items?
  • How long will a pricing offer stand? What if the job gets delayed?
  • What’s their backorder percentage?
  • Return policy for damaged product?
  • How quickly can they get pricing back to you? (they obviously don’t want to be shopped either)
  • Can you leverage competitor price matching?

By: Liz Zofka


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