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Pricing to Win vs. Not Losing

In the PricingBrew Journal subscriber training seminar, Getting Salespeople to Price Better, we covered a number of mindset shifts that can help foster greater collaboration with the sales team and drive better pricing outcomes. On the surface, one of these shifts seems to be nothing more than a matter of semantics, bad grammar, or both:

Focus on winning rather than not losing.

As pricing professionals, it’s very easy to fall into a perpetual defensive position. After all, if we don’t defend the company’s margins, who will? We often feel as though we’re the wall holding back the onslaught of internal and external marauders who seek to pillage our points. Don’t give up too much…Push back…Hold the line!

We’re playing the game to not lose.

On the other hand, playing the game to win is a very different thing. It’s about taking the offense, rather than playing defense. It’s about figuring out how to get through or around the line, rather than just holding it. And it’s about gaining ground, not just occupying territory you already have.

Salespeople and sales teams focus on winning—and you can, too. Very often, it’s simply a matter of asking some different questions, such as:

  • What if I was on commission and this deal was in front of me?
  • Are there other options that will allow us to win more profitably?
  • Is it worth giving up a little ground now to win the war later?
  • Do I really need every point, or will a small gain be a win-win?

When you’re focused on winning, your salespeople will see that you’re sitting on the same side of the table as they are. You’re both facing the market, rather than facing each other. You will, of course, have different perspectives on how to win—but having the same attitude about what you’re trying to achieve will go a long, long way.

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