Despite economic conditions, businesses still need services and still need to pay maintenance fees. Budgets are being cut, but many needs remain the same, prompting IT folks to scramble and figure out the best course of action. Here are some quick tips for negotiation that should help you get the most from your vendors:
Don’t send in the accounting person – non-technical people should not do the negotiating; and don’t have your lawyer do it alone, either. The person that should be interfacing with your vendor should have technical knowledge of the systems being used AND understand contract terminology. Otherwise, the vendor has the upper hand.
Play one vendor off another – just the mention of the premise that you are “shopping around” is enough to get a sales person nervous. Use it to your advantage, especially when it’s the end of the sales quarter and they need to hit their numbers. It also should be said, you should shop around! See what’s out there.
Try the Resellers – many times you are better off going to a reseller versus direct to the vendor. They often have more incentive to get you a good deal and may offer you more one-on-one attention than the vendor.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a better price, and ask again, until you get what you want. They need you just as much as you need them – remember that!