Trade Show

Negotiate like a Pro at the ATA Show

Smooth talk your way to a successful Show.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Scott

#ATA2019 offers some of the best deals and prices in the archery and bowhunting industry. However, there might be additional wiggle room. Here’s how to negotiate with exhibitors to get the items you need at a price you can afford.

Negotiation doesn't have to mean tricking someone. It's okay to ask for reasonable deals. Photo Credit: ATA

Be Honest and Ethical

“Negotiation is not trickery; it’s coming to a mutually agreeable solution that will benefit both parties,” said Candy Adams, a writer for Adams said negotiation is about developing relationships based on ethics, truth and honesty. “Don’t get greedy and don’t make demands,” she said.


Do Your Homework

If you want to negotiate, you must know and understand your profit margins. Use the sales data from your fall inventory count to help make good business decisions. Knowing what margin you need to become profitable helps you effectively negotiate with a vendor.

Not getting a deal on the actual product doesn't mean you've lost. The vendor may be able to help you out with other aspects of production, such as shipping cost. Photo Credit: ATA

Discuss Prices

It doesn’t hurt to ask, right? Right. But according to Kurt Smith, ATA’s director of industry relations, there’s a politically correct way to ask.

Instead of saying, “I don’t want to pay that much,” explain your reasoning and open the lines of communication for negotiation. Try something like, “I need to make a “X” percent margin to be profitable, can your products give me that margin?”


Talk About Your Options

If a vendor is unable to negotiate on price, they might be willing to work with you on freight costs, additional services or promotional opportunities.

Ask for free shipping whenever possible. It’s an easy way to save money. Or, make sure your orders meet minimum quantities for free freight. Many companies also have marketing teams who strategically market products to boost sales. Obtaining access to those materials – whether they’re fliers, brochures or window decals – might help you sell products more easily.

Make sure you don't need to rely on a particular deal. Leave yourself some wiggle room. Photo Credit: ATA

Have a Back-up Plan

If you can’t negotiate an acceptable deal with a vendor, be prepared to look for alternate options. Perhaps you can get a similar product at a better rate? Or, maybe you could splurge on the product on the Show’s last day if you have leftover money in your budget. You could even buy a limited quantity to see how the item sells and connect with the vendor later in the year to order more product.


Use the Big Buck Tags Coupon Book

Every archery retail shop gets a Big Buck Tags coupon book. The book is filled with 114 coupons from Show exhibitors. Some coupons offer free products or free shipping, others offer chances to win prizes and raffles, and many of them offer additional discounts and Show specials you can only receive with a coupon. Take advantage of these offers to capitalize on the best product pricing. No negotiations necessary!


Final Tip

Smith said it’s important for Trade Show attendees to look for products that will make them a profit.

“Products that are new or really cool and exciting are great, but buying a ton of hot products at the Show that won’t make you money does not equal a successful show,” he said.

If you have questions about the Show, please visit the Information Booth in the “My ATA Area” located between the North and South wings.

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