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“Pricing Got Easier When I Focused on These 4 Things”

In this blog post, we’re going to talk about something I don’t think we’ve ever mentioned before on PricingBrew—ballet. More specifically, we’re going to talk about fouetté turns.

Now, if you don’t know what a fouetté turn is, check out this YouTube video. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

You can probably tell from the video that fouetté turns are really difficult. Your leg is going in and out while you are balancing on the tip of your toe and spinning around as fast as you can. You have to have good core strength, amazing flexibility, and superb control of your body.

But the most important thing of all is that you absolutely must have good focus.

You see, it’s really, really easy to lose your balance when doing a fouetté turn. If you don’t believe me, go ahead and try one right now. I’ll wait.

You fell over didn’t you? (If not, you would have fallen over if you were brave enough to try some ballet at the office.)

Ballet dancers learn to pick a spot in the room and focus on it when executing their turns. Every time their heads whip around, they find that spot again. Finding your spot absolutely essential for remaining upright while doing a fouetté, especially if you are doing many in a row.

Pricing can feel a little bit like doing a fouetté turn. You have to do so many different things at once all while somehow maintaining balance. We’ve heard people describe pricing as overwhelming. Like being on a constant treadmill. A constant firefight. A game of whack-a-mole.

Our research and discussions with practitioners have taught us that this feeling of being overwhelmed often stems from a lack of focus.

And let me be clear that it isn’t your fault if you feel overwhelmed! Pricing is an unusual business function in that most people don’t receive very much formal training in the discipline, and there aren’t a whole lot of commonly followed “rules.” It’s a little bit like trying to learn to do a fouetté turn by a watching a minute or two of a YouTube video instead of having years of instruction from a skilled teacher.

In our webinar on The Essence of Strategic Pricing, we lay out a few guidelines that accomplished professionals say has helped them do a better job with pricing. They focus on four specific things:

  1. Profitable Growth and Strategic Objectives—Good prices don’t just increase your margins, they also help you grow the business and meet the goals that your leadership has set out for the company.
  2. Understanding Prospects, Customers, and Competitors—You can’t determine the best price for a particular segment unless you truly understand those potential customers and the market.
  3. Correcting Underlying Root-Causes and Contributing Factors—Pricing problems often serve as an indicator that something else is going wrong in the company. Strategic pricing professionals try to find and fix those root causes.
  4. Creating Effective Systems, Processes, and Decision Structures—Your goal shouldn’t be for your team to oversee every deal individually and make sure that you are offering the best possible prices on each and every one. Your goal should be to get a system in place so that great prices happen as a matter of course.

If you’d like to learn more about these areas of focus, check out The Essence of Strategic Pricing. It covers each point of focus in greater detail and discusses the difference between tactical and strategic pricing.

And when you have the right focus, you’ll find that it’s much easier to keep your pricing spinning along without getting your business out of balance.

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