Insights & Tips

Already a subscriber? Login

Become a subscriber and unlock an information arsenal focused on making your pricing efforts more effective.

Pricing People Are Paid to Say No

Imagine someone saying, “Hey, I’ve had lungs my entire life. I know exactly how they work. Air goes in. Air comes out. It’s easy. I think I’ll go give some advice to a thoracic surgeon.”

Or maybe: “I remember building a rocket for my science fair in the third grade. It went higher than any of the other kids’. I almost got third place in the science fair. Those numbskulls down at SpaceX are doing it all wrong. I think I’ll go set them straight.”

Preposterous, right?

Having been around something all your life or spending just a little time studying it is obviously no substitute for years of study, concentration, and experience. Yet, somehow, everyone thinks they’re experts on pricing just because they’ve been paying for stuff all their lives or because they took one high school economics class.

Dealing with these “experts” is a constant challenge for pricing practitioners — especially if they have a more senior role than you do or have been with the company for longer.

It can be especially difficult to tell these folks no. Maybe it’s a sales manager with commissions on the line. Maybe it’s a product manager who has poured two years’ worth of blood, sweat, and tears into creating the latest model. Or maybe it’s even a CEO who likes to make decisions based on gut instinct rather than hard data.

Whenever you find yourself in this difficult position, it helps to remember this:

You are being paid to say no.

You are the expert on pricing. You have studied your craft. You’ve crunched the numbers. And you are in a far better position than anyone else in the company to make pricing decisions.

Sometimes, it’s easier to assume a tactical role and just execute someone else’s orders. But the best pricing people take the reins and push back where it’s needed — even if it means disappointing someone.

To put yourself in the best possible position to say no when necessary, you’ll want to brush up on your skills. “Brushing up” might involve learning more about pricing. But often, the kind of “brushing up” that you need to do when it comes to getting better at saying no, is brushing up on your soft skills. Getting better at communicating, at understanding other people’s mindsets — and at understanding yourself and controlling your emotional responses to situations — will do wonders for your ability to say no.

If you need help in this area, check out The Top “Lessons Learned” by Pricing Leaders. It offers sage advice from veteran pricing practitioners that can help you attain more career success.

And if you often find yourself getting trapped in tactical activities rather than engaging in strategic leadership, watch the webinar From Tactical to Strategic Pricing. It can help you find the time to make the transition to more strategic efforts, including saying no when it is necessary.

Remember, saying no is a service you are being paid to provide. Make sure you are giving your employer their money’s worth.

Get Immediate Access To Everything In The PricingBrew Journal

Related Resources

  • Managing Your "Minimum Advertised Price"

    Many manufacturers have augmented their channel strategies with MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) policies. While not a panacea, MAP policies can mitigate many channel control and conflict issues. In this guide, we expose 20 strategies and tactics for more effective MAP policies and programs.

    View This Guide
  • How Many B2B Sales Teams Lack Negotiation Skills?

    We wanted to better understand the extent to which B2B sales teams were taking steps to develop and maintain skills in negotiation. Explore what we learned in this Research Brief, complete with helpful charts and analysis.

    View This Research
  • Suffering from a Costly Case of Sticker Shock

    In B2B environments where discounting is habitual, it's easy to think that your list prices don't really matter all that much. But before you conclude that list prices are inconsequential in your business, consider this case of a B2B reseller who just couldn't see what they were missing.

    View This Case Study
  • How to Retain Your Key Customers

    When you lose business from existing accounts, the sales team must acquire even more new business to compensate. In this on-demand training session, learn how pricing analysis skills are ideal to identify and minimize revenue attrition and customer defection.

    View This Webinar