In an article published recently in the “Technology” section of The Wall Street Journal, the author, Jack Nicas, alluded to pricing excellence in the three giants of U.S. and global technology: Apple, Google, and Amazon. Here are the results of the last quarter:
I received a call late Friday afternoon from one of our clients, a $800m DaaS company. The VP of Sales Transformation had attended a recent Negotiating with BackboneSM workshop and played the role of a Coach. She was collecting revenue-and-profit impact stories from the 30 employees who had also attended the workshop, and she was thrilled with the results they were reporting.
Nothing beats the smell of a real Christmas tree. Every year on the weekend following Thanksgiving, my wife and I head to the local pop-up seller where tree farmers from up north display their wares of Balsam, Frasers, and Douglas Firs. We evaluate each tree based on size, ability to hold ornaments, the shape, propensity for needle drop, etc. and select a full tree carefully measured to be one inch lower than our ceiling.
All pricers think there can be improvements in getting the right price. Recently, I experienced a situation with the right pricing, product, and negotiating strategy. The story starts with my wireless provider. I had issues of dropped calls and, in frustration, I called their customer service. The agent told me that there was a scheduled maintenance going on at the cell tower which would make my experience better in the future. They apologized for the issue and told me that it would be fixed within 24 hours. Having done this a couple of times, I was trained to know that this could get me a price discount. So, I told the agent that I would be leaving their service. As soon as the agent heard that, he transferred my call to the Save Team. I knew I had them now. The Save Team would offer me great discounts not to discontinue the service.
I love Thanksgiving. We get to focus on eating food (my favorite), watching football, spending time with family and friends, but most importantly, we all get to reflect on what we have to be thankful for this year. Family, friends, and health usually top the list and this year is no different.
Over the past year, I have noticed an increase in "scorched earth" negotiating tactics. These are tactics which move beyond "going kamikaze" that I talk about in Negotiating with Backbone. This new tactic indicates that the other party is going to angrily walk away from the deal and hurt each of the parties in doing so. Here's what I have learned: so far in every case, while it is an escalation of normal poker playing, it is still just a tactic to get a discount.
We've had a lot of discussions on leadership lately. They tend to focus on people not characteristics. You know the drill, this person is a great leader and this one isn't.
Does your sales team spend more time negotiating with you than with the customer? Do they struggle to achieve pricing targets? How well-equipped are they to accomplish the objectives they are given?
Last week, Netflix announced a $1-$2 monthly price increase for its standard and premium plans. Investors applauded the move, with shares lifting 5.4% on October 6th, adding over $4B to Netflix’ market cap. How many other executives are now evaluating their pricing decisions in search of incremental revenue? Should you?