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Some Pricing Problems Require Sneaky Solutions

Getting people on board at a company with new ideas and strategies can be challenging. Many folks are rather set in their ways and have little incentive to really make a change—especially when they think that what they’re currently doing is working pretty well for them.

But as resistant as people can be to change, they’re suddenly much more willing to change when it’s their idea.

I worked with a colleague once that was great at leveraging this little secret of human psychology. At one point, he was working with a product marketing team that really seemed lost. They were a smart group of people who had been engineers that just ended up in marketing roles—as smart as they were, they just didn’t have the marketing fundamentals down. He figured that giving them the right foundation would make help make them (and their products) much more successful.

This colleague of mine knew that he couldn’t just tell this team that they didn’t know the basics—they certainly wouldn’t be receptive to that. So he got crafty…

He found a well-respected product marketing training company who happened to have a printed magazine that they mailed out. He called the training company and quietly got everyone on that marketing team subscribed to the magazine. And what do you know? 3 months later, that team brought that training company in for a week long program on the fundamentals.

Not a bad way to get a team to change their ways and think it was their idea, right?

But what if you could get a team to change without them even realize they’re doing anything different? That exactly what a case study in the Journal talks about, Using a Cost-Plus Mindset to Your Advantage.

It’s a really good read, so I won’t give away the secret. But suffice it to say, it’s full of good lessons for those of us in pricing who deal with a sales team that’s resistant to change. Imagine a solution sneaky enough to turn the sales team’s bad habits into an advantage and so effective that margin-dollar growth even surprised the CEO and CFO…

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