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Why The Most Common Question in Pricing Is Wrong

It just might be the most pervasive question in pricing. It’s top of mind when someone’s developing a quote for a potential customer. It probably gets asked every time a team is working on pricing a new product. Heck! There’s likely a salesperson in a cab right now on their way to meet a customer and pondering the answer to it:

What’s our competitor’s price?

It’s a natural question to ask, and getting the right answer is certainly helpful. But this question looks at the wrong side of the equation.

We know that the prices your competitors have didn’t just fall from the sky. They’re the result of how they see and respond to the market. Even if you’re able to gain that singular insight into their exact prices, it doesn’t provide much of a long-term advantage. If anything, it has a far better chance of driving pricing battles and a race to the bottom.

But when you shift to the other side of the equation and focus on understanding why your competitors price the way that they do, you’ll find a key that can open the door to all sorts of competitive insights. To paraphrase a common idiom:

Tell someone a competitor’s price and they might win a deal today. Teach someone how their competitor sees the market and they’ll have an advantage in all of their future deals.

There’s a guide in The PricingBrew Journal, Competitive Insights for Strategic Pricing, that provides a framework for gaining this perspective on your competitors. The insights it provides can help expose new opportunities for differentiation and significantly reduce the pressure to discount. It’s not even a difficult process. In fact, it’s really about asking the right questions from the right perspectives.

Beyond explaining the framework, the guide also includes a downloadable reference list full of key questions across 19 different areas that you should be asking (and why you should be asking them).

Even if you think you already have a good handle on your competitors, there are likely some insights that you wish you had. This guide just might be what you need to help uncover them.

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