It's time to buy that shiny new device—the very same one your colleagues can't stop raving about and that your patients have been asking for by name.

Congratulations, but before you sign on the dotted line, remember that everything is negotiable. And by everything, we mean everything.

You've Got The Upper Hand

Some reasons for concessions may be immediacy of delivery, which allows the salesperson to move onto the next customer quickly; the amount of inventory the manufacturer has—because if there is abundance, you are in the driver's seat and/or internal pressure to hit a quota.

As to how much you may get off the initial asking price, the sky is the limit. The greater the percentage of markup, the more you can get off of the list price. (Trust us, we do this for a living!)

Remember that cash is king, as everyone always needs cash, including the manufacturer.

Always Play The Long Game

Don't get caught up in purchasing the new device by the end of a trade show because of a “show special.” Vendors are constantly at a show. If you miss one show, the special will be there at the next one and the one after that. You may even get a better deal down the road. The best time to negotiate is at the end of a quarter or fiscal year, especially if the company is publically traded and needs to satisfy shareholders.


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Let's Play Ball

Among the top items to negotiate are:

Consumables. A reduced cost for additional tips, grounding pads, or other consumables will all result in a lower cost per procedure.

Marketing materials. Many vendors include marketing materials or marketing dollars in the purchase price. Some include additional external educational training at an offsite location while others bring in third-party contractors to train staff as well.

Shipping. This is usually done through a third-party transportation company so it is more difficult to negotiate, but it's not impossible. Your vendor may reduce the cost of the machine itself to compensate for the cost of the shipping.

Warranty. Try to negotiate for either an extended maintenance agreement above and beyond the standard terms or a discount on additional terms.

The Worst That Can Happen

Your initial contact is usually the salesperson who is either a manufacturer's representative or an actual employee of the company. They are usually commission based, so it is not in their interest to give you the best deal. It's OK to ask to speak with a supervisor at any time during the buying (negotiation) process.

It never hurts to low ball. The worst thing the seller can say is “No,” and then you are no worse off than when you first started. Don't be afraid to walk away from the deal if you don't feel like you are getting the best opportunity. You can always come back to the negotiating table, except on “Shark Tank.”

If this type of negotiating isn't in your blood, consider hiring a consultant who can help you get the best deal on that new device and more.

Mara Shorr, BS, CAC II-XI, serves as the vice president of marketing and business development for Shorr Solutions. She is level II-XI certified aesthetic consultant, utilizing her knowledge and experience to help clients achieve their potential. She is also a national speaker and writer.

Jay A. Shorr, BA, MBM-C, CAC I-XI, is the founder and managing partner of Shorr Solutions, assisting medical practices with the operational, financial, and administrative health of their business. He is also a professional motivational speaker, an advisor to the Certified Aesthetic Consultant Program, and a certified medical business manager from Florida Atlantic University.