A. Resist issuing that "we've held
on as long as we can in the face of relentless increases
in our cost of doing business" press release. Yuck, what
do you want, a medal? Get real, a 5% or even a 10% weighted
average price increase in your training offerings isn't
the end of the world for most of your customers, and it
borders on narcissistic self absorption for you to suggest
it. Chances are your terms and conditions allow you to raise
prices anytime. So consider simply going ahead with only
a courtesy notification to your sales organization.
B. If you feel you must go public,
combine the bad news with some good news and announce "new
prices." Even as you raise unit prices on your popular mainstay
offerings, introduce some new products at a special introductory
rate. Throw in a sale on that aging curriculum you're about
to upgrade. Point out the significant savings available
if customers take greater advantage of your new e-learning
offerings (assuming you're not a 100% e-learning company).
Hold the line on delivery options where the customer bears
part of the burden, e.g. on-sites.
C. Consider using some of the bounty
from higher unit prices to fund more generous provisions
in your volume purchase plans. Look at adding more volume
purchase thresholds, increasing volume discounts and building
in more value adders. Why? Because high volume opportunities
are where the price competition is. This way you can have
your cake and eat it too.
D. Whatever you do, consider offering
your current customers a safety net. Honor all training
orders placed before a generous deadline at the old price
-- even if the training itself doesn't take place for a
matter of months. Then stand back as your salespeople rush
out of their cubicles to urge customers to purchase "before
it's too late." You'd almost think you were putting your
training on sale!