How to ask for payment-term concessions in the age of the coronavirus

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As the coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc around the world, the crisis has already left a major mark on societies, politics and business.

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The outbreak has disrupted supply chains and led to the idling or slowdown of operations in North America (and across the world).

With shelter-in-place orders instituted in many places throughout the U.S. and lingering uncertainty — even as the U.S. Senate voted this week to approve an over $2 trillion stimulus package — the climate is ripe for some potentially awkward conversations with suppliers about payment concessions.

Over at MetalMiner’s sister site SpendMatters, Jason Busch outlined techniques and strategies that can be used when approaching suppliers about concessions on payments.

“Disruption from the coronavirus outbreak is forcing some tough conversations about payments,” Busch wrote.

“It’s never an easy topic, but asking suppliers for concessions on a call or video chat in an empathetic manner — or even pre-empting the discussions by socializing ideas early — is far more effective and conducive for relationship-building and joint development than sending out emails, letters or other methods.”

Busch suggests laying the groundwork for these types of potentially tricky conservations by humanizing the discussion and being prepared to counter with empathy and open-ended questions.

“It’s even possible to get them to volunteer a solution, without yielding ground, rather than being confrontational and demanding,” Busch wrote. “These approaches are likely to be more effective, and result in better relationships, while also surfacing information you would not have otherwise discovered in the process, and that information may help you reduce risk and/or improve your negotiating position.”

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Read the full article at SpendMatters.

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