1. Ask if there are any ways of getting a discount
e.g., you may be able to get a discount on your car insurance if you take an easy online defensive driving course, or by giving them the details of the college where you received your degree.
Companies won’t offer these discounts until you ask!
2. Sign up to be a member of an organization that has prenegotiated discounts with the company you wish to purchase with.
This is outsourcing the process of negotiating the discount to the organization who has already negotiated it. For example, you can sign up to the Freelancers Union for free just by giving your email address. You’re then able to get discounts on Geico insurance among other perks. Once you know what you want to buy, Google around for organizations that have negotiated discounts with that company.
3. Show evidence of a better alternative offer.
If you can show evidence of another company’s offer you should be able to get the company you want to work with to match or beat that offer, provided that all the terms are similar. Sometimes you can get a company that offers better terms, offers, or perks to match a competitor’s offer. You get the price and the extras you want.
4. Get something extra thrown in.
If there is something you would need to buy anyway, you may be able to get this thrown in with your purchase, which is in effect a discount. Come to negotiations armed with things you are going to need to buy that could be included in your package by the supplier.
For example, someone who is selling you the filing cabinet should be able to throw in a box for files for you. Think about what additional items you would need to purchase immediately to make your purchase usable.
5. Do your research online first.
Car buying is a completely different experience these days because you can do all your research online, see who has the car you want available, and the play these dealers off against each other. Go in knowing the price you want to pay. If they will still make some profit on the deal, it’s in their interests to do the deal.
6. Just flat out ask.
For example, “Can I have a loyalty discount? I’ve been with this company for X years.” Or, emphasize your desire to do future business. Be specific i.e., I’ll be ordering again next month if we can agree on a price.
“Can you give me the wifi for free?” – This actually works at hotels I’ve found!
Sales people are experts in their jobs and you shouldn’t underestimate them. Wherever possible don’t go into situations without information about what discounts it’s possible to get. However when this isn’t possible, ask cold and hope you get lucky with a salesperson who is willing to work with you.
Always questions any assumptions you have about services where it might not be possible to get a discount. However also take care to not give service providers the impression you’re going to be e pain in the butt to work with.
photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via photopin CC