Business cash flow is one of the most important aspects of running a business and one way of improving this is by changing your payment terms with your supplier.
Here are 6 helpful tips that will give you a better chance of getting an improved payment term from a supplier:
Find Ways to Develop a Stronger Relationship with Your Supplier
Don’t be just another email in your client’s inbox.
Exert a bit of effort and interact with your supplier in other ways. Pick up that phone, have a quick chat about what’s going on with the business, and then relay your order. If possible, meet with them face to face to discuss a few details of your order or business. This will allow you to have a more personalised experience with your supplier. See to it that you respond to messages in a timely manner.
These little steps can make a whole lot of difference between your relationship with your supplier. You’re showing them that you are easy to deal with and you are a responsible client. When the time comes you need a more flexible payment term, don’t be surprised if it’s granted without a shadow of a doubt.
Consistently Pay On Time
Not just once, twice, or several times — but pay on time every single time.
Aside from the fact that it is fair to both parties involved, it also shows that you respect your business relationship with your supplier. Paying the exact amount on the dot clearly indicates that you value the services or goods they provide. Remember that in all business dealings, it is always a two-way street.
This kind of treatment shouldn’t be limited to just one supplier or business relationship but to all. However, it would be especially helpful when you have intentions of changing payment terms in the future.
Explain the Benefits
Let your supplier know how a change in your payment terms equals good news for the both of you. For example, you can say that your projected sales will look much better in the quarter and this means more orders. You may be expanding your business into a particular niche that requires more expensive goods and would need to be sold over a longer period of time. As long as you can clearly point out how a change in payment terms will affect your business relationship positively, then you pretty much have it in the bag.
Talk to Other Suppliers
As much as you would want to stick to a supplier you know and trust, it wouldn’t hurt to ask around and see what other suppliers have to offer to you especially when it comes to payment terms. Having this kind of information can help you negotiate when your initial request isn’t granted. If they know how to value good clients such as yourself and they don’t want to lose you, then they just might accommodate your request to change payment schemes.
Minimise Your Expectations
Be realistic about your expectations, and take into consideration that you are not the only client they are handling. Be modest about your proposal, not lofty. Also, think about the size of your business. If you are operating a relatively small business, going from net-30 to net-45 is more acceptable than aiming for net-90.
Set a Meeting with the Person in Charge
If you don’t know who makes financial decisions within the supplier’s company, make it a point to find out who. Try to get to know this person and when it is finally time to present your proposal, be prepared for any objections or negative reactions. What’s important is that you are transparent and honest about where you want your business to go to and you believe that having them along for the ride will be of great benefit to all involved.
These simple tips will hopefully help your chances of getting a better payment scheme from your clients. No one wants to deal with a difficult client or supplier and it is up to you to show that you mean business every single time.