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Pricing with Confidence: 10 Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table Hardcover – February 25, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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, discount—resulting in less revenue and lower profits.

In Pricing with Confidence, pricing gurus Reed Holden and Mark Burton offer a radically different solution—one 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 pricing—no 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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470197579
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470197578
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff Lippincott on September 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I liked this book a lot. I thought it was well outlined and well written. The book's overall message is that the small business owner should link prices to the value delivered. The reader should be able to optimize pricing for her services or products after considering the 10 rules of pricing presented in this book:

1. Generally, don't let the customer talk you down in price
2. Price your service or product at a level that a customer is willing to pay if they understand the value of your service or product
3. Know which of three pricing strategies you are using and stick to it
4. It's OK to negotiate price with customers, but make sure you win
5. It's OK to lower prices, but only in order to increase profits
6. Expand your offerings so you aren't locked into one price for one product
7. Great pricing will often force your competition to react to your pricing
8. Your company's sales force has to be expert at why and how you priced your services or products
9. Set prices based on value - not on cost-plus
10. Always keep in mind you are in business to make a profit without leaving money on the table

I loved the instruction that the author provides regarding how an owner of a small business has to be willing (and able) to fire unprofitable clients and customers. Business people who compete on price are playing a fool's game. Smart business owners understand that value is the basis for business exchange and that to be successful at business one must FULLY understand value. This book puts forth a pretty good effort to help the reader fully understand value, or at least how to go about fully understanding value after doing a little investigation and research of the market.

Pricing goods and/or services is far from simple.
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Format: Hardcover
The American writer Alfred Kazin remarked that "One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time and in other's minds."

Well, Reed Holden certainly has had a place in my mind since I first read him back in October 1998. His book, co-authored with Thomas T. Nagle, The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing (STP) is a seminal work, adorning the bookshelves of anyone who takes pricing seriously. With this influential book, Holden and Nagle are probably more responsible than any other individuals for putting pricing on the organizational charts of companies around the world.

I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of Reed Holden and Mark Burton's new book, Pricing With Confidence, spending a couple of days after the New Year absorbing its many lessons. Of course, there is no possible way to do justice to this work in such a short space, so instead I will simply share with you some of the more brilliant insights that struck me like a thunderbolt.

In addition to a brief synopsis of the Ten Rules of Engagement, the Introduction starts out with a discussion of the pricing death spiral, a never-ending process whereby the buyer continuously gets the seller to offer more and deeper discounts. A process, the authors teach, with no winners, only survivors. The Ten Rules offered in the book are effective strategies to counter this trap--along with capturing more of the value a company creates.

The Introduction also contains a discussion on "What Is Your Pricing Purpose?" offering this advice: "In Reality, pricing is far from simple. Setting the optimum price is one of the most difficult decisions managers ever make."

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Format: Hardcover
Often books written by pricing consultants look at situations and tell the reader "what is possible". Many of these books should have a disclaimer saying "consultants not included" since many times the only way to get results is by hiring consultants.

While those books are rich on methodologies, analyses and frameworks, they are poor on answering the question "So what should I do first thing tomorrow?" That is where Pricing With Confidence comes in.

Reed Holden, one of the pricing community's thought leaders has authored a new book along with Mark Burton, co-founder of Reed's new consulting organization, Holden Advisors. General Managers and people in pricing functions will find this book valuable for several reasons.

First, the authors offer, as they say, ten ways to stop leaving money on the table. Second, the suggestions are immediately actionable without consultants. Third, they will bolster your confidence that, with some intestinal fortitude, change is possible.

The book chapters are devoted to each of the ten ways to stop leaving money on the table. The writing is down-to-earth and easy to read (and, even more important, easy to understand). For those readers who may want to skim the book, they would be well advised to read the introduction that contains an excellent summary of the ten chapters.

This book deserves bookshelf space for people who want to find ways to improve their company's financial performance and are willing to make the necessary incremental changes. There is no silver bullet or magic in Pricing With Confidence. It is a straightforward book that proves, once again, that 80% of success is just showing up (and doing a few things right.)
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