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Getting Your Pricing Project off the Ground

Football coach Lou Holtz once said, “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”

If you are initiating a pricing project that you believe will be worthwhile, you are almost guaranteed to encounter some resistance. It seems like every organization has at least one person who either “just doesn’t get it” or who sees pricing initiatives as a threat to his or her own power. And in some cases, you will encounter multiple people or even entire departments who are determined to maintain the status quo in regards to pricing.

Since you know that resistance is likely, you should prepare ahead of time to meet it. In fact, we recommend planting the seeds that will help you overcome potential challenges very early in the process of getting your project going.

Every situation is different, but here are some tips that other pricing practitioners have found helpful in overcoming pricing naysayers:

  • Tackle the negatives head on. Anticipate the possible objections to your project and address them upfront. If you can get ahead of the possible arguments, you steal your opponents’ thunder.
  • Start the education process early. The earlier you start explaining the reasons for the pricing project to the rest of the company, the better. It sometimes takes time for people to warm up to new ideas, so don’t try to spring a big project on everyone all at once.
  • Enlist executives. If you can get a well-respected executive to champion your project, you can smooth the way toward potential success. In one case study, executive support made a huge difference in how an organization received a pricing initiative.
  • Use internal communications tool to build support. In another case, pricing practitioners used company and department communications tools to educate staff about why and how the pricing initiative was going to proceed. That helped build support for the plan at the ground level.
  • Utilize incentives. When people are rewarded for behaviors, they repeat them. If you can find a way to recognize strong pricing performers—even if it’s nothing more than a pat on the back—it will often have a positive impact on the rest of the organization.

You can find more tips in the case study Effective Internal Marketing for Pricing Initiatives.

You don’t need to be afraid of potential opposition to your pricing project. Instead, expect to experience some resistance and make a plan for overcoming it. Keep in mind that the end result—a more profitable company—will make the hard work worthwhile.

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