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Pricing with Confidence: 10 Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table Hardcover – February 25, 2008
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From the Inside Flap
Face facts: Customers have never met a price they liked. And they will use every trick in the book to get you to lower your prices and give up profits. The typical business response is to discount, discount, discountresulting in less revenue and lower profits.
In Pricing with Confidence, pricing gurus Reed Holden and Mark Burton offer a radically different solutionone that actually builds revenues and profits without lowering prices. The key? Linking prices to the value delivered. The real trick is to bring people from marketing, product development, sales, and senior management into the process of discovering and defending the value you create for customers.
Holden and Burton show you how you can get everyone in your firm to feel 100% confident in your pricingno matter what customers are saying or how fierce the competition. By following the ten simple rules outlined in Pricing with Confidence, you will be able to hold steady or even raise prices while your customers experience increased value for every dollar they spend. The result is increased revenues and profits.
Pricing with Confidence is a road map for senior leadership in sales, marketing, finance, and pricing to work together to outperform the competition. Pricing with Confidence is organized into ten simple and practical rules to help senior leaders tackle rampant price discounting, negotiate with poker-faced customers, and protect the value a company works so hard to create.
From the Back Cover
Pricing with Confidence
Pricing is hard. If you get it wrong, you lose profits, revenue, or both. This book is your road map for getting pricing right. Here is a sampling of the rules you need to follow if you want to stop leaving money on the table:
Rule One: Replace the Discounting Habit with a Little Arrogance
Who says you have to discount? See how one company kicked the end-of-quarter discount habit and increased revenue seventeen percent and profits thirty-seven percent, grabbing $300 million off the poker table.
Rule Two: Understand Your Value to Your Customer
Your customers are eager to tell you. Are you ready to listen? By focusing on value delivered, Phillips garnered twenty-five percent of the price-competitive lamp market. See how Phillips did it.
Rule Three: Apply One of Three Simple Pricing Strategies
One of these three simple strategies will work for you. See how Dell stumbled with the wrong pricing strategy and how it recovered.
Rule Five: Price to Increase Profits
Revenue is good, but profits are better. Southwest Airlines and JetBlue have figured this out and avoided "dumb-bell pricing." Here's how you can, too.
Rule Eight: Build Your Selling Backbone
Use the first seven rules to add confidence as you sell to tough customers. Find out how a supplier of commodity electronics grabbed an extra $12.5 million off the table in a tough customer negotiation.
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set pricing and offerings
establish list prices and base agenda
actual transaction prices
rules for negotiations
holding to earned legitimate discounts, alignment with street price
They give you a model of change how to go in small steps from:
value enhanced cost plus
better market driven to
There is also lots of meat there for the in-the-trenches salesperson with a surprising (to most sales managers ) metric showing that you can expect maybe 38% of your prospects to be price driven, with the rest being relationship or value driven. They also show you how to best deal effectively with all purchasers including the poker playing purchaser . The case studies are good and easy to emulate. This is an easy to read, easy to use book. My only concern is that its been around for 3 years and I could have used it all the time. Put it on your Kindle and keep reading it over and over.
I found the content of the book to be extremely informative, and it provided me with a number of new perspectives on the area of pricing. I have commenced implementing a number of the ideas I obtained from this book in my business, and feel more confident about how I approach pricing my services.
On the issue of reading this book on a Kindle, I'm afraid my experience was less than satisfactory. The Kindle version of the book does not appear to take advantage of the various features for navigating an electronic document which are available and which I have used on other Kindle books. This, in and of itself, was only a minor inconvenience. A greater annoyance was the difficulty experienced in reading the many charts, diagrams & sketches. Most of these were unreadable on the Kindle without altering the orientation of the page and/or text size, all of which settings had to be changed back in order to continue reading the remainder of the document. In addition the sketches & diagrams were often located a number of pages away from the position in the text where they were first referred to. This is understandable in the context of a printed document, however for an electronic document it would not be unreasonable to find sketches/diagrams located closer to the relevant text.
I highly recommend this book to business owners who wish to learn more about pricing their products or services, in particular those of us who have entered the business world without any business or management education/training. I would, however, recommend that the hard copy be purchased over the electronic version.
What distinguishes this text as a pricing reference for any organisation selling in business markets is its ability to be understood, acted upon and profited from.
Pricing can be hard. And its confusing. Too often the seemingly healthy pursuit of sales, growth, share, or even cost recovery cause pricing and then profit to suffer. Customers want to ensure they extract full discounts. Competitors seem intent on destroying industry profits through aggressive discounting. And a response out of exasperation and no better alternative, only serves to throw fuel on the fire..
Optimal pricing is dependent on good strategy, segmentation, marketing, product development, sales, competitors, processes, controls, tools, metrics and incentives. And then committed leadership needs to create the right culture in your organisation to stick to the plan.
There are many technical (and very good) books on pricing that provide excellent instruction to pricing functions; however, this book transcends the pricing function and is accessible to executive, management and selling staff. The authors have managed to reduce the complexity of the price challenge into ten simple rules - simple to understand, simple to act upon, simple to get a quick and lasting improvement from - yet, at the same time, rules that form the necessary foundation from which your organisation can add its own unique approach to pricing.
Don't expect a detailed, technical description of how to execute the most complex new pricing structures. While providing an overview of how these structures have been effective for some organisations, this book deliberately keeps it simple - focussing on the most profitable opportunities. Adopting the latest risk-reward or hybrid pricing structures may be exciting; however, it may well be discounting creeping in through the back door. Holden and Burton simply explain the situations when increased sophistication may deliver benefits and the reasons why.
The authors concentrate on the mindsets, understanding customer value, the reality of business buyer behaviour, competitive strategies, and approaches to negotiation that underpin success. Once a solid foundation is in place, organisations are much better placed move to fancier pricing structures if they will create advantage.
Because the book concentrates heavily on organisational mindsets and because the authors choose their words very carefully it is deceptively profound. I find myself rereading to sharpen my thinking and to extract more clarity.
Not your standard pricing text.
Note to readers: I have been fortunate to work with Reed and Mark; however, submit this review unprompted.
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