When your work week gets busy, you have deadlines, and the stakes are high, it’s easy for vendor relations to fall low on the priority list. But don’t let it. Looking for red flags could save you a lot of money. Here are a few tips on what to look for and what to do if you find you’re overpaying your vendors.
Keep an eye out for upcharges
Vendors sometimes add upcharges here and there in ways that often go unnoticed. For example, AT&T continues to add a few dollars to their taxes and fees section on their bills. There is often no explanation for these increases. After months or years of these upcharges your monthly bill could go up considerably (we’ve even seen bills double).
Products and service charges could go up due to inflation, but often times, when confronted, vendors don’t always have a reason behind these upcharges. It is acceptable to ask your vendors where these upcharges came from, and specifically why they are on your invoice. Asking for a simple explanation is a good place to start.
Request swift solutions when issues arise
Another red flag is if your vendor begins making mistakes, and doesn’t offer solutions to fix these mistakes – along with a discount. Certainly, your vendors aren’t required to offer you discounts, but you won’t know until you ask.
Either way, whether you’re a longtime customer, a brand new customer, or anything in between, you should be receiving quality service throughout the entire vendor agreement. If issues do begin to arise with your service, it could be due to any number of common issues. The cause could be related to new vendor ownership, a change in management, staff overturning, or even simple human error.
If and when these things happen, there should be some level of transparency. If your vendors start to give you excuses instead of an apology and a solution, perhaps it’s time to begin shopping for alternative providers.
There are always opportunities to negotiate discounts
You are missing opportunities (read: overpaying) if you don’t negotiate discounts or take advantage of promotional deals. There are always more ways to save. Of course like you, your vendor is a business and they need to make money. But discounts, deals and other perks should be part of a good, long-term vendor-customer relationship.
Work with your vendor to find ways to save. For instance, maybe there are ways to save on shipping and handling costs occasionally, or deals on bulk purchases. Over time, small discounts add up. By negotiating deals, you let your vendor know that you’re engaged in the business relationship and are paying close attention to invoices.
If you don’t have the time, don’t feel comfortable having these conversations, or just don’t know where to begin, Silverback is here to help. The Silverback experts specialize in vendor relations, contract negotiations and making sure you are never overpaying for operational costs.
Contact us today to get started.