Price increases are inevitable, but do you know how easy it is to screw this up? See if any of these sound familiar:
1. Inform your customers of a price increase by attaching a note to their most recent invoice. Better yet, merely email them the new price, and don’t forget the very classy line, “Dear Valued Customer:”
2. Tell your sales force the day of the price increase they need to notify all of their customers ASAP, because it went into effect at the close of business yesterday. As you tell them, emphasize how you think the amount of the increase is way out of line with what it should be.
3. Tell all of your customers how much you value them as a customer. If they call to talk to you, make sure you don’t return the call for a couple of days. For those customers who are really mad about the increase and want to see you, politely inform them it will be at least a couple of months before you get a break in your calendar.
4. Base the sole reason for the price increase on the fact all of your competitors have gone up in price, so the only thing you’re doing is catching up to where you needed to be all along.
5. In addition to the price increase, be sure to include a surcharge, but don’t provide any explanation for it or make any mention of how and when you’ll look at decreasing it.
6. When you let your customers know about the price increase, be sure to share with them how much you enjoyed the sales incentive trip you recently went on to Hawaii. Tell them how it was the big increase in business you received from them last year that allowed you to qualify for the trip.
7. Make sure you announce your price increase the day after your company announces record earnings and how the CEO was duly rewarded.
If you think these would never happen, think again. I have seen a number of companies — large and small — commit each one of these fatal errors.
Taking a price increase is not something to be done lightly. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take an increase. Instead, you should take it with a proper level of planning at all levels. For more insights on taking a price increase, check out this extensive article section on my website.
Better yet, if your company has stumbled terribly in the past with price increases, contact me so we can discuss ways I can help your sales force and company navigate a price increase with success. You can reach me at 402-445-2110 or email@example.com.
Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.