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Pricing People: Don’t Bomb in the Boardroom

It took a few months, but PricingBrew Journal subscribers will be pleased to learn that we were finally able to get Lydia DiLiello to make time for an interview! A well-known personality in the pricing community, Lydia is a seasoned pricing professional with nearly two decades of experience building pricing teams and driving improved financial results.

The interview is called Working With the C-Suite to Improve Pricing and for nearly an hour, Lydia shared a number of insights from her years of experience — from how the C-suite tends to view pricing in the overall scheme of things to some of the “softer” skills that pricing people need to develop in order to become more effective. And in the interest of helping others, Lydia was even gracious enough to share some of the mistakes she’s made along the way.

One of the mistakes she cautions pricing people to avoid is around inundating the executive management team with data:

We’ve always got to be sure that what we’re presenting is succinct and that we are making a specific recommendation. With the number of high-level decisions that they’re looking at each and every day, I think more detail is actually damaging with the C-suite.

As analytically-oriented people, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of leading with the data. After all, we’ve probably arrived at our conclusions by first wading through terabytes of data. So to make our case, we often feel compelled to subject others to the very same process — first providing a blizzard of charts and graphs, and then expecting others to draw the same conclusions that we’ve drawn.

But when presenting to the C-suite, Lydia recommends the exact opposite:

  • Lead with your conclusions, recommendations, and expected outcomes.
  • Tell the executive team what specific decision(s) you’d like them to make.
  • Then, use your data to support your arguments and address questions.

It’s great advice. And in the first 10 minutes of a 45-minute interview, no less!

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