Strategic Pricing Newsletter – December 2015

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Message from SPA President and CEO, David Bauders

Happy holidays!  I hope you are well!  Isn’t it amazing how fast the year has passed?  When time passes so quickly, it’s easy to slip into maintenance mode just to keep up with life.  Easy but not wise.

I personally believe now is a good time to reflect on what’s changed in the last year; and what to do differently in 2016.  I would like to invite you to consider a single answer to both questions.  You see, in 2015 SPA committed to driving profit maximization in new ways that amplify profit improvements beyond our traditional analytical approaches.  We built a new business, SPASigma, whose singular purpose is to help our clients’ sales teams to master the negotiation skills to more successfully implement strategic pricing.  In 2016, if you empower your team to negotiate more effectively, yours will be a wealthier, happier company.

Check out this funny 1-minute video to get a quick flavor of our new team members and our new offerings.  I bet you’ll laugh out loud:

Why did we at SPA change?  It’s fair to say we live in a Buyer’s World.  For years, companies have failed to invest in negotiation training for their outside and inside sales reps.  Everyday, they face increasingly sophisticated buyers, who have learned the powerful suite of negotiation strategies and tactics to commoditize their sellers, leverage competitors against each other, and slash margins.  

You see, we assume that sales reps know how to negotiate, but the stark fact is 99% have never had even 1 day of focused training on this critical skill (while their buyers frequently have), not to mention ongoing coaching or practice.  In 2016, you need to take responsibility for changing this imbalance.  SPA has changed, and now is your chance to change as well.  You can take a concrete step to improve in 2016 before the calendar hits January 1. 

Watch this quick 1-minute video to see how:

For a short time, SPA is extending to you the opportunity to send one key leader (please ask if you would like to send an additional leader) of your organization (executive, pricing leader, or sales leader) to SPA’s upcoming Negotiation Training seminar on February 4-5 at the Ritz Carlton in Ft. Lauderdale.    You will need to act quickly (capacity is strictly limited to 50 such participants) to identify which individual to send to the event that will change your company’s financial future.  

You can view the agenda and register at the following link:

If you’re enjoying this digression and getting intrigued, check out these two brief video clips (each around 5 minutes) to get a quick, hard-hitting intro to what we’re talking about:

Outside Sales:

Inside Sales

As you may know, SPA’s pricing analytics have an important role to play in driving higher profitability, but more is needed.  SPASigma is a new SPA program, launched in conjunction with market-leading manufacturers and distributors, to dramatically and sustainably improve the negotiation skills of all your employees who negotiate prices and terms on a daily basis.  Using a unique combination of in-person seminars held in leading cities worldwide  – combined with a powerful online academy to reinforce, expand and retain that learning – SPASigma promises to truly transform your company’s bottom line, one transaction at a time, by building up the negotiation skill level of your front-line personnel.

Everyday, your organization faces tough negotiation challenges. Outside sales, inside sales, product managers, buyers, application engineers – throughout the organization, your profits are determined by the negotiating skills of your employees.  SPASigma is a new program to build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization.  Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art, the strategies, and the techniques of professional negotiation.

Finally, here’s a few minutes of me droning on about the larger program (sorry, it’s me not my witty colleagues):

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in the Ft. Lauderdale event.  You’ll look back a year from now and be glad you did!

David S. Bauders

President & CEO

Recent Articles

Inside SPA: An Interview with Tony Perzow – Negotiation Strategy Expert

Read an interview of Tony Perzow, SPASigma‘s VP of Pricing Training, who has taught negotiation strategies to literally thousands of people from companies ranging from multinational Fortune 500 organizations to main street distributors. Excerpts of the interview conducted by Frank E. Hurtte Jr. who has 28 years of distribution industry experience and a lifetime in sales follow.

Are your salespeople headed to a knife fight with fingernail clippers?

Salespeople go into negotiations with professional buyers on a daily basis, most without real negotiation training. Further, many sellers and their managers don’t really believe negotiations play a role in their world. But they do. The following article discusses why Distributors need to revisit the lost art of negotiation.

How to Leverage Six Sigma Methodology to Drive Continuous Margin Improvements

This is the first in a six part blog series on how manufacturers and distributors can apply Six Sigma methodology to the pricing function to generate repeatable margin gains. A disciplined process is needed to create Pricing Excellence – SPA’s Six Sigma training drives real results focused on profitable growth.

SPA Featured in Industrial Supply Magazine Article on Managing Gross Margin

The Industrial Supply Magazine article, “Are you really managing gross margin?”, discusses some techniques for managing gross margin such as segmenting suppliers, setting minimum gross margin requirements for product lines, and reviewing pricing abnormalities and deviations among others.

SPA Featured in Distribution Center Magazine Article “Price Increases: the time, the place and the skills”

SPA was featured in an article in the August 2015 issue of Distribution Center Magazine. It covers how important price perception is both internally and externally in distribution and offers great tips and advice to consider when planning and executing price increases.

Pricing Process appears to be a Top Secret Strategy

Read a follow up article to “Pricing Professional – The time has come” – the piece outlined the need for distributors to consider how they run their business and develop a new position. We pushed for distributors to consider the impact of a true pricing process and the qualities of the person best equipped to make the pricing process work. Somewhere along the way, we touched a nerve. Building a pricing process is a viewed as a top secret strategy. While a number of our readers commented, it seems no one wants to go on record with their plans.  Excerpts of some of the responses follow.

Click here to read more articles.


Upcoming Events

SPASIGMA Negotiation Workshop & Pricing Strategy Seminar

Attend our complimentary Ft. Lauderdale Negotiation & Pricing Strategy Seminar to learn how to increase your competitive advantage and improve performance. You will take back valuable information on how the SPA Solution portfolio can help grow your business and improve your bottom line.

Thursday, February 4, 2016 – One Day SPASIGMA Seminar

Everyday, your organization faces tough negotiation challenges. Outside sales, inside sales, product managers, buyers, application engineers – throughout the organization, your profits are determined by the negotiating skills of your employees.

SPASIGMA is a new program to build, expand, and retain world-class negotiation skills throughout your organization. Using a unique combination of in-person seminars and an online academy with reinforcement activities, videos, and quizzes, SPASigma will set your team on the path to mastery of the art and science of negotiation.

SPA Battle for Margin Event Feb 4-5 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Presentation Topics

  • Introduction and Overview of Program, Main Themes, and Format
  • Limo Negotiation Case (One-on-One Negotiation)
  • Tactics to Uncover Pressure
  • Buyer Tactics and Countermeasures
  • Concessions Making Strategy (Comic Video and Examples)
  • Surf Case (One-on-One Negotiation)
  • Fuzzy Money (Video Skit and Discussion)
  • Aristotle’s 3 Pillars of Persuasion (Video Sketch)
  • Satisfaction (Video and Excercise)
  • Stud Case (Team Negotiation)

Watch the SPASIGMA trailer to get a quick, hard-hitting introduction to todays challenges, and the opportunity for Outside and Inside Sales organizations.

Friday, February 5, 2016 – Pricing Strategy Seminar

Learn how leading manufacturing and distribution executives have unlocked the keys to faster growth, stronger customer relationships, and market-leading profitability with SPA’s proven strategic pricing processes and technology.

Equal parts strategy and practical tactics, the seminar will address key topics that are focused on protecting and improving manufacturers and distributors’ margins.

This event brings together an outstanding group of industry experts to offer strategies on driving shareholder value.

SPA’s David Bauders, President & CEO; Dolores Bauders, COO; Tony Perzow, VP Pricing Training; and Greg Preuer, VP of Strategic Accounts as well as Jason Kliewer, Director, Robert W. Baird & Co; Jim Miller, Managing Partner, Supply Chain Equity; and Paul Tieger, Senior Advisor, SPA ESPWizard will lead presentations and a panel of experts will share industry leading practices.

Presentation Topics

  • Maximizing Profits: The SPA Solutions Portfolio
    David Bauders and Dolores Bauders of SPA will present the integrated, actionable program that drives sustainable improvements in pricing effectiveness.
  • Moderated Panel on Capital Markets
    How do best-in-class companies find ways to improve shareholder value in tough times? How do you maximize your company’s valuation? What are the pivot points of acquisition success? Our expert panel discusses the best capital markets opportunities now.
  • Tools in Practice Case Study: Buyer-Seller Negotiations
    A 30-minute negotiation using interactive role play.
  • Tools in Practice
    Teams work with case studies and utilize SPA tools to achieve better deals.
  • Putting it all Together
    Negotiation Case Study Using SPA Tools
  • Moderated Best Practices Panel Discussion: Change Management and Sales Culture: Execution on the Drivers That Matter
    Greg Preuer and principals of leading manufacturing and distribution companies
  • Speed Reading People: Insights to Improve Negotiation Effectiveness – Deploying Personality Type Theory to Accelerate Effectiveness
    Wouldn’t it be great to have x-ray vision into other people’s personalities – to know what they are thinking, what they care deeply about, their likes and dislikes? With x-ray vision you’d know how to best approach people, how to pique their interest in your ideas, how to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal, resolve conflicts, or simply help others feel more at ease relating to you.
  • Capitalizing on Lessons Learned – Sharpening and Accelerating Pricing Tools and Negotiation Skills
    David Bauders and Tony Perzow will discuss how you can increase your organization’s ability to deploy and communicate superior customer value, negotiate your fair share, and therefore increase shareholder value? How do you sharpen your company’s pricing leverage? How do you quantify and communicate customer value? What is the role of tools and training? David Bauders and Tony Perzow present a case study on the development, validation, and execution of profit maximization initiatives.
  • Call to Action – Tools and Training for Negotiation & Pricing Mastery
    Best-in-Class companies will define and execute the programs that maximize enterprise value. These companies will strategically combine analytical tools, behavioral and change management excellence, sharpened negotiation skills, and information excellence to dramatically increase enterprise value. David discusses the integrated approach to winning.


If you are responsible for sales, profits, or pricing related decisions at your company you will benefit from this seminar. Register soon as enrollment is limited.

You will receive additional information once you enroll. For questions about this seminar, hotel reservations or for additional information, please contact us at: or 216-455-1544.

Register Now



Join us as we discuss how SPA’s Strategic Pricing Program offers significant margin improvement opportunities and can lead your company to pricing excellence. A SPA client will also share their experiences and advice that will provide you with a wealth of practical knowledge!

Attendees will learn how to address the following all too common issues and opportunities for increasing profitability:

  • Customer relationships focused on product/service value, not price
  • Identifying and capturing available margin premiums
  • Identifying price-sensitive products and services
  • Improving sales reps’ confidence in prices
  • Stopping undisciplined discounting
  • Tracking metrics for sales force accountability
  • Improving pricing consistency and fairness

These webcasts draw on SPA’s experience working with hundreds of companies to drive 2-4 margin point improvements on affected revenue with minimal customer pushback.

Click here to learn about specific dates and to register.

Client Testimonials

Here what some of our clients have to say about the power of strategic pricing tools from SPA. Conference attendees will have the chance to hear real ROI stories from real clients.

“Strategic Pricing is the single bottom-line program…in my 35-year career! It allows us an opportunity to reinvest in the growth of our business.”

“Strategic Pricing is now a way of life at our company. We have embraced SPA’s principles and strategies and the financial impact will be everlasting.”

“A big benefit we have received from Strategic Pricing is having a strategy for our pricing. It was difficult to say exactly how we decided on pricing for our customers before Strategic Pricing. Today we are three margin points ahead of last year.”

“Strategic Pricing is having a very positive impact on our bottom line. Not only is it helping us increase our margins, but is has pushed us to look at other areas and operations within our business that are also impacting our bottom line.”

Click here to read more testimonials.


Follow SPA

To easily keep up with the latest SPA announcements, events and resources you can subscribe to our Strategic Pricing Pays blog or follow us on LinkedIn or on the following major social media channels and file sharing platforms: Twitter, Google+, Facebook, SlideShare, and YouTube.

We also encourage you to join the Strategic Pricing discussions in our LinkedIn group and to sign up to receive our Strategic Pricing Newsletter by clicking here.

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