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How to Write More Confidently About Pricing

Imagine how your professional life would change if you were a more confident writer. My hunch is that you would experience less anxiety before making presentations or hitting “send.” You would face less friction and confusion from your audience and see more acceptance and action.

Building your confidence is the objective of my day-long writing workshop at the Professional Pricing Society’s spring conference on April 23rd in Chicago. Writing about pricing is difficult, because the best insights often lie trapped under layers of abstraction, theory, jargon, and advanced mathematics. Persuading someone to follow your recommendations, change their negotiating behavior, or look at a business problem from a different angle is especially challenging if your audience lacks the time or enthusiasm to dive into the topic with you.


Ready to change your writing habits?

At the workshop, we’ll start with understanding your audience, then try different ways for you to structure your thoughts. Then we will work on sentences and wording, before spending the final hour applying the approaches to some real-world pricing challenges.

·       Audience and interpretation: Why didn’t your audience understand you? Why didn’t they act? Think of your writing as a service to your audience. Companies launch successful services when they understand the wants, needs, behaviors, and biases of their target customers and design the services to serve that profile. Writing works the same way. Your audience is your customer. Treat them like a customer and make them loyal. We’ll go through techniques that help you do that.

·       Structuring your thoughts: To borrow the title from a 2018 report by Deloitte, the business world is “drowning in data but starving for insights.” Writing is a powerful tool that helps you turn data into insights and insights into action. Think of writing not as a form of expression, but as a tool for solving problems, building coalitions, and focusing your organization’s attention. Its power comes from your ability to structure your thoughts, and we’ll work on a few approaches to help you increase that power.

·       Sentences and wording: Social media buzzes with soundbites of writing advice, from “be clear and concise” to “edit thoroughly” to “check your grammar.” All that advice is technically correct, but it is about as useful as saying that getting into shape boils down to “eating less and exercising more.” In the workshop, we will skip the soundbites and focus on proven ways to help you find the right words and sentences to get your ideas across. This isn’t your 11th grade English class on steroids, stretched out to fill an entire day. It’s a practical workshop about business writing.

·       Apply it: Bring a piece of writing with you that you’ve struggled with, such as a blog post, a business plan, a presentation, or a handbook. We’ll start with that. Throughout the day, we will have explored alternatives that can make you a more confident writer. In the fourth and final part of the day, we will work together to help you choose your own path, based on what you learned and what you liked throughout the day.

Business writing is an essential skill, not an essential chore. Success starts with good habits. Join me on April 23rd in Chicago, and we’ll start putting your own good writing habits in place.


About: Frank Luby has over 25 years of experience in pricing and over 40 years as a writer. After leaving Simon-Kucher, where he was a partner for eight years, he co-founded Present Tense LLC in 2014 to help executives, academics, consultants, and other professionals improve their communication. He has served as a writing partner on award-winning and best-selling books, including Game Changer (Wiley, 2023), The Invisible Game (Wiley, 2022), and Tap: Unlocking the Mobile Economy (MIT Press, 2016). He is co-author, together with Hermann Simon and Frank Bilstein, of the book Manage for Profit, Not for Market Share (Harvard, 2006).

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