Chief Operating Officer
In my opinion, I would begin by looking at the dollar savings versus the discount amount. I have been booted out of a customer’s door because I wouldn’t offer a 42% discount. I have been told Company XYZ gives me 42% and if you can’t beat that I am sorry. They were right. I couldn’t beat it. I wouldn’t open myself up to that game. On a $1,000.00 product, this individual was receiving a $420.00 discount. I was offering a very comparable product with stellar customer service, a quality product and quick turn at a price of $606.00. I was still $26.00 higher than his 42% discount, but I brought so much more to the table. Since I wouldn’t speak the same language and dive into that deep high discount pool, I lost the sale. I couldn’t get this individual to listen to reasoning. He was geared for discount percentage based negotiations. I’m sure a lot of us reading this are shaking our heads and saying yep. I have been that person.
I would like to challenge each of you to look at your vendors’ price lists, and recalculate what items are actually costing you. Come up with a dollar figure, not just a percentage. Then, on the cases with high dollar savings, ask yourself if the customer service, quality and delivery are acceptable. If they are not, it is costing you in your customer’s satisfaction. Then, look at the vendors with similar prices of the high discount percentage folks and evaluate their customer service, quality and delivery times. It may be worth the extra dollars to get a total solution that works for you and the families you serve. Often times, you get what you pay for.
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