How to be successful while negotiating with suppliers? As a wholesaler or retailer you may get stuck at a dead end because you lose sight of some basic principles when negotiating financial terms of a contract. That is why we asked some insiders from the gaming industry to share their experience. Here’s what we’ve found out.
1. Show the advantages of your company
At the outset, your offer may work to your advantage. The very fact that your company represents highly-esteemed values in the industry bodes well for your business. Instant delivery, responsive customer support, customer complaints reduced to a minimum – these features make your brand recognizable, encouraging your potential partners to do business with you. Psychologically, being aware of your assets boosts your confidence as a negotiator.
2. Be prepared to approach your supplier
First, do market research. This goes without saying that you need to get some insight into the industry. What is the demand for a given title? Will you be able to sell games with the profit margin you set? These are the questions you have to consider. Before you start negotiating, it would also be recommended to check whether a given title is easily accessible on the market. Another question is the demand for a given game. If it is low, it may be unreasonable to go for an exaggerated price. If it is high, you can buy at an even higher price and sell quickly. Second, use social media. Whether you already have business partners or you are at the point of getting them, you should make the most of social media and the internet in general. To reach more customers switch between communication channels. Get to know your partners’ preferences and opinions. Also, do some research on their career achievements and background. Now is the right time to collect information that you can refer to during face-to-face meetings, e.g. gaming industry events.
3. Appeal to an introverted supplier
Keep in mind that people in the gaming business are not like the majority of business people – aggressive and pushy. Rather, the opposite is the case – they seem to be reserved and withdrawn. You need to get a good grasp of their introvert disposition. How to approach alienated individuals? Praise them, make them feel important and appreciated. Show that you appreciate their work and, first and foremost, talk about their hobbies and achievements. As a result, they will become more relaxed and approachable.
4. Stay in touch with your business partners
You cannot let your partners forget about you and your unique offer. Make them think of it even subconsciously by chatting with them on a regular basis or sending news critical to your business. Depending on the degree of familiarity, you can start a more informal conversation with your partner via messengers. Such actions develop and strengthen bonds, creating a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. This, in turn, may help you acquire the main supplier.
5. Keep an eye on the details of a contract
Remember that what you’ve agreed to in the process of negotiations has to be present in the contract. The most important elements are financial terms and payment time. In case of a game release it is crucial to agree upon the distribution region, languages available, quantity and delivery time. Also, consider distribution restrictions regarding some countries. Once you have all the details specified, you can sign the contract.
6. Adjust your communication style to various cultures
Before you approach the negotiating table, bear in mind cultural differences across nations. Representatives of Japan, Austria, Germany, Switzerland are considered tough negotiators. It takes time to establish a rapport with them. The Japanese appreciate group spirit that is they prefer to work in groups rather than individually. The Germans negotiate following the agenda strictly and aim for definite outcomes of meetings. The hardest thing is to convince all members of the group instead of one. Britons and Americans, on the other hand, are deemed the best negotiators. As
British culture is impregnated with making hints, British people get their message across without talking about the issue directly. Their interest in reaching a mutual agreement and concern with
preparation of binding commitments are what most of business people greatly appreciate.
7. Think in win-win categories
Professional negotiators claim that understanding your opponent’s priorities is as important as understanding your own. Whether it is a big or small business partner, you should be ready to make concessions provided that this brings long-term effects to your company. Yet such an attitude does not exclude aggressive negotiations, which are definitely recommended to more experienced negotiators.
Remember that negotiating is a psychological game in which both sides have equal prospects for being the winner. With in-depth research about the supplier, you will surely increase your chances of success as a negotiator. Tune into the needs of your partner and do not opt for all-or-nothing solutions.
About the author
- Gamer and marketer. Knows how to sell video games. B2B e-commerce educator.