Finding the Best Prices for B2B Buyers: And how negotiation, sampling, and quality play pivotal roles.

A paramount requirement of businesses in the B2B space, is the sourcing of quality products and components at competitive prices. In a marketplace as competitive as today’s, optimizing costs is part of maintaining a profitable operation. Of course, price isn’t the only consideration for B2B (business-to-business) buyers. And part of a good procurement process is the sampling of the product, and quality that translate to finding the best value for a investment / bulk purchase. In this piece, we’re going to look at how B2B buyers can find excellent prices, while emphasizing on the quality of the product.

A critical factor in product procurement is understanding what you’re buying. A product on a technical level has a host of specifications that perhaps very few people would actually understand.

For example, the bed linens that hoteliers buy have specifications such as thread-count, sateen weave, percale weave, striped/non-striped, sanforisation, mercerisation, and so on. The thread-count on a fabric, tells the buyer the number of threads per inch on a fabric. To the non-expert, and to many people this translates as a higher quality. However this is not always the case.

Rather, a 300 thread-count sheet that has been sanforised, mercerised, and is 100% cotton, woven with the sateen method of weaving would give the sheet a more luxurious look and be cooler, than a sheet that is sanforised, mercerised and is 100% cotton but of the percale weave. Therefore, technical specifications in products can play a pivotal role for decision makers.

This means, prior to purchasing any product at just about any price, the intelligent procurement specialist should perhaps begin with expert product and market research, and skilled negotiation.

We can therefore initiate the break down in purchasing process as follows:

Research & Negotiation

Securing excellent prices like we said always should start with understanding the product. Some verticals of research would therefore include:

  • Market Research – Understand market conditions, industry standards, product/service technicalities, and the pricing ranges and structures. Identify at least 4 potential suppliers and understand their offerings, preferably with the help of an expert procurement specialist or product consultant for said product or service. – Hire an expert by posting a request here.
  • Supplier Assessment – Evaluate potential suppliers based on their reputation, their track record and credibility, and how long they’ve been in the field manufacturing or providing that said product or service. Make a list of reliable suppliers and understand who you’re working with. Honesty and integrity do matter.
  • Request Quotes & Samples – Part and parcel of the procurement process is requesting quotes. Alongside quotes, it is vital to study multiple samples from the various vendors. Products with the same apparent technical specifications from two different vendors may still appear different to the touch and feel. Further, if it is a product such as textiles, it’s a good idea to run it through a multiple tests, including a wash test which will help understand shrinkage, dye-run-off, shedding and so on. Also, be clear about the requirements, quantities, and other specifications.
  • Comparison – Compare the quotes you receive, not just on the factors of price, samples, and product specifications, but also on the terms and conditions laid in the deal, the delivery timelines, payment structures, conditions for the return of goods, and other related factors that can affect your decisions post-purchase.
  • Negotiation – This is a skill that people may sometimes mistake for begging for a price reduction. There’s always room for negotiating price reductions. But a skillful negotiator will also be focused on obtaining favourable terms on the long run. Pricing in B2B purchasing is a critical factor. But a long term strategic trading partner is likewise intelligent. For example, a company based in KSA looking to source product may consider 2 manufacturers. One in Saudi Arabia, and one in China. The product from China may be less pricier with the same specifications. And the product from Saudi Arabia may be costlier. However, if the company in KSA is looking to bring added value to consumers in KSA, the KSA product can claim “Made in Saudi Arabia” to consumers, thereby adding value to a consumer’s purchase. So negotiation isn’t always about price.

Bulk Purchasing and Long-Term Contracts

B2B buyers can often secure a better deal with a good pricing structure and payment plan by making a commitment to purchasing a large quantity, or securing a long-term contract. When trying to find the best price for a product, suppliers will likely want to offer discounts and other incentives like private labeling and so on, to buyers who can commit to providing consistent business. For a supplier to better understand the buyer’s capability, it’s a good idea for a procurement specialist to have a suitable web presence for the represented company, that gives the supplier the confidence of a good buyer. This approach can lead to substantial cost savings, and better terms.

Leverage Technology and Platforms

Leveraging technology can significantly aid B2B buyers in finding the best prices and products. From utilizing e-procurement tools, online marketplaces, and procurement software to streamline your sourcing process, to compare prices, and identify cost-effective suppliers. These platforms can provide valuable tools for conversation and communication, supplier performance metrics and insights that aid decision making. Here on SupplierValley, one of our flagship tools like the Buyer Requests feature, allows Merchants to respond directly to Buyer Requests, opening the door to direct-to-business B2B communication and transparency.

On the other hand, the simple Job Board feature on SupplierValley allows Buyers to find procurement specialists and experts in particular fields. Whether it be procurement specialists based in China to assist foreign businesses with procurement and product sourcing, or finding experts in textile manufacturing to aid in procurement decision making. The Job Board allows Buyers to simply spell out their requirements for people with specific skillsets and experience in particular fields.


We spoke a bit about Requesting Quotes and Sampling above in the Research & Negotiation phase. To expand on that, sampling can be a very critical aspect to some if not all B2B purchasing decision makers. Procurement specialists especially when dealing with physical products, will need to see if the product or service aligns well from function to finish. Some of the top reasons sampling is an essential part of the procurement process is,

  • To ensure the quality of product, as sampling allows purchasing departments to verify and validate the quality and consistency of products before committing to a large purchase. This helps to prevent or minimize costly mistakes down the line.
  • An intelligent decision made means that waste can be lessened or avoided. When large quantities of subpar products don’t enter the supply chain, this can reduce product call-backs or returns to a huge level, which can sometimes otherwise be costly and time-consuming to rectify.
  • Sampling can help ensure compatibility and functionality of products for businesses looking to integrate them into their existing processes or machinery.
  • And in a product development process, sampling helps a business to test integrations in prototypes, to make necessary improvements, and give feedback to the suppliers for a modification and adjustment requirements.

Quality Assurance

Quality is perhaps a non-negotiable factor in B2B transactions. Buyers cannot afford to compromise on the quality of products or services they purchase. Although certain scenarios would require the purchase of sub par products/services depending on the use case. Here’s why quality is crucial:

  • Reputation and Trust – Consistently delivering quality products or services helps build trust and a strong reputation, both of which are essential part of the fabric in a good B2B relationship.
  • Risk Mitigation – Quality assurance measures can mitigate potential risks associated with product defects, service disruptions, and other costly issues that could later come to light.
  • Customer Satisfaction – Without a doubt, quality directly impacts the end-customer. Satisfied customers are likely to become loyal, repeat buyers. Even if the price of product is slightly more expensive, the relationship built is an important factor in making strategic purchase decisions.
  • Cost Savings – High-quality products can often have longer lifespans and may require fewer repairs or replacements, resulting in cost savings over time.

So there you have it. Finding the best prices for B2B buyers requires understanding supplier, product, negotiation and leveraging technology. Yet, the quest for lowering costs mustn’t overshadow the crucial factor of product sampling and quality. Start by adding a Buyer Request here, or finding verified Merchants / Suppliers here, then request prices, samples, and other technical details to ensure compatibility and functionality. You can also look for procurement specialist or a product consultant / expert in a particular field to help you with your purchasing decisions.

Ready to get started? Submit a Buyer Request.

What are great ways to generate quality B2B leads?

3 major phases. For every B2B business. And pretty much any business.

  1. Engineer Awareness.
  2. Effect Leads.
  3. Engage Prospective.

Engineer Awareness

The first is of course to engineer awareness in circles related to the business.

Awareness. Awareness. Awareness. If nobody knows your business, there’s no reason for you to get sales.

Here’s a long list of places/techniques for generating awareness:

  • List the business & products in the several global B2B trading portals
  • Open company/brand social profiles across the internet
    • (For publishing articles related to your industry)
    • (For publishing articles related to your industry)
  • Launch your company/brand website (designed for the target customer)
    • Get a professional agency to help you out: – Professional, helpful, and very good at what they do. (And reasonably priced.)
    • Find a freelance web developer instead on,,…
  • Publish articles on your website related to your industry (to help you get found on search engines)
    • You can find professional copywriters on those websites to write for you, or you can also work with a professional agency like Yes them again.
  • Invest in strategically placing advertisements of your website/company/brand in popular websites and blogs. Try
  • Invest in good Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Exhibit your products in B2B exhibitions – Find an exhibition.
  • Create link backs to your website from the articles that you write. A live example is this post you’re reading right now, that’s linking to all the helpful websites. You can do the same.

Engineering Awareness also involves describing your business and it’s products clearly. The keywords and phrases that people popularly search for, is what should be included in your product name and descriptions, and there’s techniques for finding out what people search for. One of the ways to find the right keywords, is to use Google Keywords Planner.

Effect Leads

Leads grow on trees.

When the fruit is ripe, it’s ready for picking. But if it is too high up the tree, the chances of it being picked is lower.

Every website, every customer facing mechanism needs to make it very easy for customers to reach out, or take action.

Imagine a website without a telephone number, an email address, a contact form, and any other contact details. Imagine if all these elements exist, but are hidden away somewhere on the website that the customer isn’t going to bother searching for.

To effect leads, you need effective customer portals. Effective websites, effective advertisements, effective call-to-actions…

“90% of consumers want to message directly with businesses (think SMS, WhatsApp, Messenger), but 81% say it’s too difficult.” –

On, the developer built a brilliant product inquiry system, that allowed customers to inquire about a product directly via WhatsApp.

Engage Prospectives

This is up to your sales skills. When the prospective customers filter through the awareness stage, through leads stage, and ecoming prospective customers, it’s pretty much up to you to ensure that they receive a good experience.

Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is meant to greatly help you record prospectives, follow up on them regularly, and finally close a sale. Try‘s CRM.

With WhatsApp being one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, one the easiest ways for many prospective customers to reach out to you, is via WhatsApp. Don’t forget to reach out to a developer, and get them to code and implement a WhatsApp mechanism for your website, or product page. Try


..and so that there is the blueprint of the digital business world. Not only for B2B businesses, but also for B2C, and P2P businesses.

Engineer Awareness. Effect Leads. Engage Prospectives.

Next Stop: Colombo, Sri Lanka

In an amazing write-up, the editor at draws up a picture of Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, and how it holds lot of promise for budding entrepreneurs.

Colombo, IS truly a city that combines sights and cities, with primarily, cities, being more of the sight.

To entrepreneurs, business people, expats, and just about anyone, here’s something that’s worth your readership.

Read more:

13 Sources that tell you whether you should invest and start a business in Sri Lanka in 2018

Are you thinking of investing, and starting a business in Sri Lanka? Are you looking for investment opportunities? Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical country that is steadily upgrading itself with the people and technologies that help you “move mountains”.

Famous for it’s tea, rubber, scenic landscapes, wildlife, and a shifting “just right” to “too humid” to “cold” climate, Sri Lanka blooms with tourism, entrepreneurship, and amazing business opportunities.

[Read more on the most exported products in Sri Lanka]

However, the beautiful sunny country that attracts tourists, investors, and international figures, also has quite a dark side that looms and fades with the constantly changing political minefield, and sponsored and unsponsored (sometimes caused by ignorance) racial tensions that give way to terrorism, or weigh heavily upon the economy.

Here we’ve pulled together 13 online sources that will help you gather a greater idea about the country, it’s economy, and it’s strengths and weaknesses, and understand it from several perspectives.

You wish to invest in beautiful Sri Lanka? Here’s where you should start.

NEWS - Typography#13. – News Outlet

With it’s famous slogan “We Report. You Decide.”, is a leading news outlet which has a long standing reputation in the country, with a few blemishes here and there. holds an Alexa (website rank) ranking for Sri Lanka, of 229.

#12. – News Outlet

This is also a prominent news outlet, famous in the country, holds an Alexa (website rank) ranking for Sri Lanka, of 115. The lesser, the higher the technical website ranking online is.

#11. – News

If you’re accessing this website from Sri Lanka, please do note that the site is banned in the country. News that sometimes may be suppressed by the big brand news outlets, will sometimes find its way out here. But be aware, this site sometimes picks into the nitty gritty irrelevant detail, and churn quite a bit of rhetoric that can cause unrest to communities.

#10. – Country Profile

BBC - LogoBBC, the infamous British Broadcasting Corporation has a neat looking profile done up on Sri Lanka. This would definitely be a must read for businesses and investors.

#9. Lanka Business Online (LBO) – Business News

lankabusinessonlineAn established and well recognized entity, Lanka Business Online (Pvt) Ltd. was launched in 1998. They are also a “…media & marketing services company…”.

A “pioneer and leader in online business and economics news in Sri Lanka”.

#8. Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) – Business News

“…is a national organisation which promotes young people to start their own business and transition from being job takers to job makers. YBSL supports young entrepreneurs by delivering training on critical business skills, matching them with business mentor, and providing access to funding.”

#7. – Business News

The Business Today magazine, founded in 1996, features insights into the latest local, and international business prospects, and currently distributes over 6000 copies nation-wide. Some of what they cover include interviews with top figures who impact commercial, corporate, and economic sectors of the country.

#6. – Tech News - has been around since 2012, focused on bringing “…the latest news, insights and unparalleled features into the Sri Lankan TechScape”.

#5. – Statistics - is the official website of the Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka, that provides information on inflation, population, education, health, income & expenditure, poverty, and so on. The DCSSL is focused on providing “…accurate timely statistics, more effectively by means of new technology, and utilising the services of dedicated staff under a strategic leadership…”.


#4. SLTDA – Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority – Statistics

Tourism - January 2017The Research and International Relations Division at the SLTDA is responsible for the collection of research and statistics. It carries out continuous and comprehensive market research, carries out studies, identifies gaps, and tabulates that information. Some of the data points would include visitor arrivals, domestic movements, and monitoring of product and service facilities.

The SLTDA’s Research and International Relations Division is responsible for the efficient collection of research and statistics. Moreover, work involves carrying out comprehensive market research continuously, carrying out studies, identifying gaps and tabulating the information for the relevant departments.

The SLTDA also publishes a statistical bulletin monthly, and an Annual Statistical Report, that includes tourist arrivals, employment opportunities, hotel occupancy rates, and so on.

#3. Sri Lanka Export Development Board – Statistics

Comparison of exports, 1980 and 2016Sri Lanka Export Development Board ( provides statistics which shows an overview of the import/export markets, including market growth and market share. This data can be used for market research, and market selection.

Further, SLEDB maintains important data and reports, useful for stakeholders for preparation of position papers, and development plans.

#2. World Bank Open Data – Statistics

WorldBankWorld Bank Open Data boasts of “Free and open access to global development data”. Most of the data is obtained from systems of member countries, where the reliability and quality of this data relies upon how best these national systems perform.

The World Bank also works closely with agencies including the likes of the United Nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in “assembling, analysing, and disseminating data online and in print.”

The Development Data Group (at the World Bank), coordinates statistical and data work, and maintains a number of macro, financial, and sector databases.

#1. – From The World Bank Group – Statistics

doing business in sri provides graphical chart, statistics, by crunching, analysing quantitative, comprehensive data it gathers.

It offers benchmarks, and is a resource for academics, researchers, journalists, and others, “interested in the business climate of each economy.”

Reports cover subjects like the ease of doing business, rankings, and advise to improve performance in each of the indicator areas.


And that, is just to get you started.

Would you like to recommend another source? Do share it with us in the comments below!