Tip 1: The art of the deal-reg
Whenever you buy ICT equipment in volume, or undertake a larger project, the likelihood is that the first supplier you contact will “deal-reg” the opportunity with the manufacturer and/or distributor of the product they’re hoping to sell you.
Deal registration enables that supplier to get the best standard pricing for them – but not necessarily for you. I say “best standard pricing” because most manufacturers have a pricing table that includes a deal-reg price – a fixed discount that won’t be offered to other resellers (unless under exceptional circumstances). Placing a deal registration with a manufacturer should mean that your reseller gets a bigger discount than anyone else you might go to later. This doesn’t mean that you’re getting the best price. For example:
You want to install a new wireless network. You’ve asked around to see what others have, and they all tell you that Brand X is the best. Fantastic – it’s not always that easy, but you already have a winner, without sitting through demo’s, listening to webinars and carrying out endless tests to see what works for you. Knowing what you want from the start is always easier.
You ask your friendliest reseller to quote, because you want them to get the business if possible, but you have to do due diligence on a big investment, so you ask 2 other resellers to quote on the same product. Oops! Reseller 1 has deal registered the opportunity and secured the aforementioned “best standard price”. Reseller 2 and 3 then also try to deal reg and are told by the manufacturer that they can’t get deal reg pricing. They may quote, but may also tell you they can’t, try to switch-sell you to another brand, or walk away.
The manufacturer isn’t going to move on price, because as far as they’re concerned, you’ve asked 3 different resellers to quote their product – you’re clearly very serious about it – so the sale should be in the bag.
You’ve probably worked out the answer by now, but just in case:
Get Reseller 1 to quote (if they supply the product you want)
Get Reseller 2 to quote on the same product (just to make sure they’re as friendly as you think)
Get Reseller 3 to quote for a competing product and tell Reseller 1
a) keeps your reseller honest
b) convinces the manufacturer they’re in a competitive situation which means bigger discounts – your reseller should do this for you
Obviously, if you don’t have a brand of choice, or you’ve sat through various demo’s, you can just get quotes on 3 products and make a choice based on your usual criteria (price, technology or value). Please remember – every enquiry you make or demo you have may well be deal registered immediately. If you see something that interests you – ask your friendly reseller first. If not, they might not be able to get you a competitive price.