You have a list of the supplies you need to replenish your dental practice storage. You know some vendors or manufacturers who you can buy from. Your next step is to reach out to them, place your order and try to negotiate for a great price. So how do you negotiate the best price for your next and future dental supplies purchase for your practice?
Learn how to negotiate pricing with suppliers and what you can do to get the best deal for your next dental supply purchase with this guide!
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Can You Negotiate With Dental Suppliers?
Yes, you can. You can purchase your next dental supplies at a lower rate than you used to and pay less than you do now for gloves, anesthesia, crowns, and other dental supplies.
However, it doesn’t end with dental supplies. Whether you’re buying from a vendor or from the manufacturer, you can also negotiate better pricing for dental equipment.
Benefits of Negotiating Pricing With Manufacturers and Vendors
Here are four benefits of negotiating pricing with dental supply manufacturers:
Stops Back-End Cash Bleed
Especially if your dental practice is new, you don’t want to spend more than your practice earns.
Apart from paying your staff, paying rent, and paying for the technology you use to run your dental practice, supply purchase is another area of your practice where a heavy outlay of cash hurts your cash flow and your profits. Negotiating pricing with your supply manufacturers can help you stop back-end cash bleed, ensure you run a lean budget, and help you save on hard and soft costs.
Improves Your Bottom-Line
Reducing your expenses improves your bottom-line and profitability.
Here’s the interesting part about cutting down on your back-end cash bleed. Unlike revenue, any amount you save from spending on supply purchases goes straight to your bottom line.
Except for heavy equipment, you generally purchase supplies every month. This means you can set your practice up for wider profit margins month-over-month by cutting down on the cost of purchasing supplies.
For example, if you apply the tactics we explain in the next section to your supplier negotiation process and saving $2,000 per month in dental supplies purchases for the next 12 months would be $24,000 in savings in a year. Imagine what that extra money every year can do for your practice.
Makes More Cash Available
Negotiating for better pricing with dental supply manufacturers helps you reduce your cost of operation and secure more cash for other aspects of your practice.
For example, you can direct the thousands of dollars you save per year from negotiating better deals for your dental supplies toward paying your staff and implementing your growth plan.
Improves the Quality of Your Spend
Developing the habit of looking for the best deals for your practice helps improve the quality of your spending month-over-month.
How does this help your practice? Improved spend management reduces wastage and misuse of funds and ensures every dollar spent is spent well.
How to Negotiate Price With Dental Supply Vendors and Manufacturers
As you’ll discover, negotiating prices for your dental supplies is similar to how you’d negotiate for a better deal when buying a new house, a piece of new furniture, or a new car. Here are 10 strategies to negotiate the best deals for your next dental supplies purchase.
1. Source Multiple Vendors
Start by searching for multiple vendors for the supplies you need to purchase for your practice. Ensure you select at least three vendors.
You can get in contact with more vendors through a quick search on the internet. You can also get referrals from other dentists or orthodontists in your professional network. You can even source dental supply vendors easily through a purchasing platform. Just remember if you do choose to rely on an internet search, do your homework and ensure you’re dealing with a reputable vendor.
Sourcing multiple vendors provides you with different price points to choose from and helps you compare prices between vendors. Having different options helps you build a sense of competition among vendors to cut down prices and get the best deal for your purchase.
On the other hand, reaching out to only one vendor will not give you enough bargaining power to get the best deal. Speaking to one vendor reduces your options and blinds you to better prices you can get from other vendors, and puts the vendor in the driver’s seat.
2. Gather Enough Information on Each Item
For each item on your list, gather information about their market prices. There are different ways you can gather pricing information on your supplies purchase:
- Look at past purchases: You can consult your previous purchase history to know how much you paid in the past for each item so you have an idea of how much you’d be expected to pay.
- Look to other customers: Ask past and current customers of your target vendors to gather recent pricing information from them. For each vendor you reach out to, you can simply tell them you’re trying to gather enough information to enable you to work with them and ask them to refer you to their best customers. You can also reach out to your professional network to know how much other dentists and orthodontists pay for each item.
- Look at data from Method: Method’s platform allows you to quickly and easily compare pricing across vendors as well as request quotes from dental product suppliers, so you have an accurate idea of how much you might have to spend and which suppliers offer the most competitive pricing for your products.
Gathering enough pricing information helps you create a budget for your supply purchase. It also helps you understand the price ranges for the supplies you want to purchase, letting you find the best position to negotiate prices and ask for a better deal with vendors and manufacturers.
3. Request Quotes From Vendors
Reach out to all the vendors on your list and request quotes or proposals. You can do this through Method.
Here’s how you can build up negotiating power while requesting quotes. First, in your request for proposals, ensure each vendor knows you’re also reaching out to and receiving proposals from other vendors, and you’d be going with the vendor that offers the most competitive offer.
If they know that they’re not the only ones you’re talking to, and you may have other options, they may provide competitive pricing in their quotes to try to gain your business.
4. Evaluate the Price on a Per–Item Basis
When you receive the proposals from the vendors or manufacturers, evaluate the prices of each dental supply on a per-item basis. In the quote section of Method, you can easily compare the prices offered by different vendors.
How will this help you get a better deal for your purchase?
Consider this example. A box of dental probes can contain different brands and kinds of probes with different individual prices. So evaluating the price on a per-item basis can help you uncover opportunities to cut expenses compared to looking at it as a box.
Drilling down to the per-item price may help you uncover additional accessories, features, or services included in your purchase that you may not need.
Extend this to every supply you want to purchase, and you can discover a lot of opportunities to cut costs.
5. Counter the First Offer
Most dental practices accept the first proposals sent to them as the final proposal.
When you accept the first offer sent to you, you leave a lot of money on the table and miss out on opportunities to get a better price for your purchase. Instead, follow these steps:
- Sort through the proposals you receive from each vendor and drill your list down to the top two vendors that offer the best price for quality products.
- Send a counter-proposal to each vendor individually based on the pricing information you gathered on each item.
- Ensure each vendor you send a counteroffer to knows you’re also in buying conversations with other vendors.
6. Reach out to Individual Vendors for a Discount
when putting together your counteroffers and asking for a discount for your purchase.
This is where all the information you’ve gathered on the items you want to purchase will become very useful. You may need to have some frank discussions and provide some transparency on where suppliers stand and what they need to do to gain and retain your business.
Request discounts from the vendors on your list on a per-item basis and again, ensure they know you’re also receiving offers from and are in buying discussions with other vendors.
7. Position Your Practice as a Customer Worth Keeping
Vendors and manufacturers want to clear their shelves and sell off their products faster.
Positioning your practice as a source of large-volume purchases or future sales can increase your chances of getting a good deal and increase your bargaining power. This is because vendors would not want to lose business to their competitors and would be more open to lowering their price points to keep your account.
Here’s something else you can do to increase your bargaining power and improve your chances of getting a discount from a vendor. You can promise to purchase all your supplies from the vendor instead of spreading your purchases across different vendors.
If you’re a new practice and do not currently order a large volume of supplies, you can show vendors your growth projection for the next few years and how much your demand for their products will increase. This will show them your long-term value to their business. With this, they’d view giving you a discount as an investment for more sales in the future.
You can also offer to transport the products yourself for a discount. And, if you’re a member of a large network of dentists, you can offer to promote the vendor in your network if they provide a better deal for your purchase.
Consider displaying attributes that will make vendors do all they can to get more of your business, as well. For example, paying higher deposits, paying on time, and providing referrals and honest reviews for vendors can position your practice as a customer of choice. This increases your chances of getting a better deal from vendors.
8. Negotiate on Different Fronts
Sometimes, you will succeed in getting a price discount for the dental supplies you want to purchase. Other times, vendors may be set on their price. When this happens, you can take your supplier negotiation to the next level.
For example, you can negotiate better deals on shipping fees for an increased volume of supplies. You can also ask for faster shipping without paying more, longer warranties for your supplies, or less upfront payment when there is no price reduction or extended payment terms to help ease your cash flow.
Another option is to try and negotiate a volume discount or recurring purchase discount. For example, if you commit to reordering from the supplier every quarter, see if it will offer you a discount on your purchase. With Method, you can track your inventory and determine what reordering schedule will work best for your practice.
9. Use a Polite and Professional Tone
Whether the negotiation process is over the phone, via email on a dental inventory, or through a procurement platform, always communicate with vendors politely.
Ensure you present your requests in a conversational tone and request and share information with vendors in a polite manner. When vendors see that you’re courteous, they may be more willing to listen to your requests for a better price. They’ll also feel more eager to work with you again in the future, meaning they may be more encouraged to lower prices now.
10. Honesty Is the Best Policy
While it can be tempting to try and negotiate a lower price on a product or service by claiming that another supplier is offering the same for less, resist the temptation. Trying to pit suppliers against each other based on price is considered unfair and bad business practice.
If you want a lower price from a supplier, ask for it plainly and simply. If the supplier can’t agree to the price you want, look to other suppliers to see what they can do for you.
How Method Can Help
The first step to negotiating prices for your dental supplies is reaching out to multiple vendors, and Method helps you source for vendors, see costs and negotiate prices in one place.
As an end-to-end dental inventory and purchasing platform, Method makes it very easy for you to:
- Find vendors for the dental supply you want to purchase
- Select from over 500,000 different dental and medical products
- Source from numerous vendors and compare prices in one place
- Get and compare prices with vendors with a few clicks
- Save costs in supply purchases month-over-month
Start Negotiating Better Deals With Method
Kick-off your next dental supply purchase process with Method to enjoy significant product price reduction and improve your bottom line.
Contact us today at 1-800-742-2100 to discuss your purchasing needs and request a demo to see how Method can help you source vendors and buy dental supplies at the most competitive prices.