Single source supplier? Tips and Tactics for negotiation

Negotiating with a single source IT supplier can be very challenging. There have been several threads on this subject recently on LinkedIn and many suggestions put forward as to what buyers can do to mitigate the issues and still come out with a good deal. Combining some generic suggestions together with our own thoughts, we have listed below some tips  and tactics that may help you when faced with this situation:

  • Timing of the deal. Find out when your supplier’s financial year end and quarter ends are. Even single source suppliers have sales targets and deadlines, and this can be leveraged in your favour. 
  • Identify what goals your supplier’s salesman may have. It might be a certain level of spend, or a deal cut in a certain way that maximises their commission. Find this out and you may get some leverage over how much you spend and how.
  • Maintain a competitive spirit even though there may be no other option but to buy from the single source supplier. You always have the ‘do nothing’ option up your sleeve. But there may also be different ways of satisfying your business requirement without having to buy anything from the supplier that can be used to leverage a better deal. 

Some people call negotiating with a single source supplier a ‘buyers nightmare’. It need not be if you follow the above ideas and think outside the box.

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