The Weekly Report – Sept. 19, 2022
How to manage customer relationships during inflation.
September 19, 20223 min read
All manufacturers are looking to best manage customer relationships in the face of pricing increases in an inflationary economy.
As part of the “fast burn” section of monthly peer council meetings facilitated by Enterprise Minnesota, the topic of pricing has come up repeatedly, so we decided to look further into it and see who is on the front end of this important issue.
We turned to the professional sales training organization Sales Gravy to look for answers and best practices, because it seems that most often those who must pass the news of a price increase along are the sales and business development teams.
Jessica Stokes, a master trainer with Sales Gravy, recommends that while organizations are planning a price increase, keep internal communication lines open and keep your business development team informed. If the organization is coordinated around timing and messaging, then your team can be on the front end of managing important client relationships instead of being caught off guard when changes go into effect.
“You want to give notification to your sales teams,” Jessica said. “We recommend at least a couple of weeks, so that if there are things like service issues, backorder issues, something that you have to address before they show up to a customer and ask for a price increase, there is a little bit of time to absorb that.”
“And talk about [the price increase] with your sales team first. Strategize as an organization. Talk about how you’re going to deliver this to a customer—what is the reason behind, what are the objections we might hear. A best practice as leaders, as managers, as people who may have insight into rising costs: warn your team. So that they are not blindsided and not just out there in the field taking the hits.”
Jessica’s advice was so well received by Enterprise Minnesota’s business development team, we have asked her to be a special guest for an upcoming Zoom workshop, Approaching Price Increase Conversations with Confidence, for peer council members on October 6th.
This workshop is exclusive to Enterprise Minnesota Peer Council members, but if you are interested in learning more about our Peer Councils and how they can help you grow your business profitably, please visit our website.
Register here – October 6th manufacturing workshop
Learn more about Peer Councils
September 28 – Ensuring Business Continuity Through Succession Planning
Business succession planning workshop. Exclusive to manufacturers. Online via Zoom.
State of Manufacturing® focus groups
Contribute your insights and perspectives to our annual manufacturing survey. Mix of 10 focus groups, in-person and online, Sept.-Oct. Find your session and register today.
October 11 – Investing in Your People to Create Leaders at All Levels
Role of leadership development in today’s workplace. Exclusive to manufacturers. In-person in Owatonna.
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