How Do You Reset Pricing When The Game Changes? Five Parameters

Situation: The Company sells customized products and pricing has been per product/per customer. A large client has proposed to purchase product rights across a number of products and uses. The technology is early in its expected 5-year life span. How should the Company set pricing to this customer?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Start with a series of questions:
    • What is the value of your technology to the customer?
    • How much competition do you face?
    • What other solutions are available to the customer?
  • Based on this framework, ask contacts within the customer company open-ended questions that will reveal what is important to them including:
    • Licensing objectives,
    • Planned use of the technology, and
    • Any protections that they seek.
    • You need to understand these before you can make decisions on pricing.
  • There are several pricing scenarios:
    • Set up a scale with a declining pricing driven by volume.
    • A large lump sum payment now, non-transferable if the customer is acquired by another company.
    • A large annual fee to cover a preset number of uses and volumes, with small increments for additional purchases.
    • The final arrangement will depend on the priorities of the customer.
  • Find out what the customer is willing to pay, but you set the terms.
  • Ask what guarantees they desire to protect their position. This includes:
    • The customer’s key risk factors.
    • Whether they want exclusive or usage rights. Exclusive is worth more.

Key Words: Pricing, Custom, Technology, Life-span, Value, Competition, Licensing, Objectives, Protection, Scenario, Scale, Lump-sum, Annual Fee, Guarantee, Exclusive, Usage 

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