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Within the uncertain regulatory landscape of 2017, buying healthcare equipment requires supply chain leaders to carefully consider clinical outcomes along with the economies of purchase. Due to the number of clinicians involved in negotiations, a dearth of market intelligence, and changing supplier-buyer relationships getting the best deal today is tough. For supply chain leaders, this means developing sharp negotiation skills as one key to maximizing the equipment budget.

In this 7-part series, OpenMarkets is pleased to share key negotiation strategies that are directly applicable for supply chain leaders when purchasing equipment.

Topic 5: The Good Guy Discount

‘This American Life’ is a public radio program that broadcasts non-fiction podcasts and interviews that are popular on various radio stations. One such podcast, titled “Good Guys,” featured a reporter who went around asking for a so-called ‘good guy discount.’ His approach was to first establish a good relationship and rapport with the salesperson, and then to request a discount on the product just because he’s a ‘good guy.’

While a majority of the attempts got rejected, the reporter was surprised to get discounts in multiple situations – usually when he felt a good connection with the salesperson and no other negotiation opportunities existed. The key takeaway from his learning was to let go of the fear of rejection. Many of us are leaving items of negotiation value on the table just because we are shy to ask. But once you try this approach a few times at the appropriate juncture, you develop a knack for utilizing the ask and getting the discount.

If you are a buyer, you should ask for a ‘good guy discount’ as a last resort once other approaches have been tried. Suppliers can creatively employ this technique for a new client by offering a discount or saying they’ve done everything they could as a ‘good guy’.

While supply chain leaders from provider and the supplier organizations do not have the time to go door to door asking for the ‘good guy discount’ as the reporter did, finding a simple way to streamline communication can make things easier for all.

The OpenMarkets Exchangewas designed for this purpose. For providers, it’s a simple way to search across 20,000 equipment products and begin negotiations with suppliers. This can keep things simple and streamlined for all parties as they evaluate product options. And for suppliers, the exchange opens doors for discussions new potential buyers.

Tom Derrick

Tom leads a range of core functions for OpenMarkets, including strategic partnerships and marketing. Prior to OpenMarkets, Tom served as a senior communications director for... More about Tom Derrick