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Why Pricing Is a Contact Sport

I recently had the good fortune of interviewing Greg Preuer, the Director of Pricing for a multi-billion dollar lighting manufacturer, for Developing Better Relationships with the Sales Team. Greg has decades of experience with B2B pricing and his team is on the forefront of capability, having already adopted many of the practices and processes that others are still aspiring to.

Having witnessed for myself the high level of rapport between the Pricing and Sales teams in his organization, I was anxious to pick Greg’s brain on the topic of building better working relationships with Sales. And as expected, Greg provided our subscribers with a lot of great tips, practical insights, and effective strategies.

But make no mistake; developing greater rapport and better relationships does not—and should not—eliminate conflict or disagreements.

According to Greg:

“The right number of complaints on pricing is not zero. Pricing is a contact sport. Your uniform should be dirty at the end of every day.”

While some people seek it out, the truth is that most people don’t like conflict and will try to avoid it wherever possible. And these days, more and more businesses seem to be putting a premium on internal “harmony” and everybody “getting along”—as though conflict is always a bad thing and can never be healthy.

But when it comes to pricing, internal conflicts and disagreements can be a bit like price sensitivity in the broader marketplace. If every customer accepted your prices without question or hesitation, what would you think? You’d probably think your prices are too low, right? And you’d probably conclude that you’re leaving money on the table, yes?

Similarly, if no one is complaining or pushing back internally, then guess what? You’re probably not pushing hard enough as a pricing leader. Right? Right.

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