Impact Pricing Podcast

Ep119: Pricing Roles from a Recruiter’s Perspective with Jon Jennings

 

Jon Jennings is the Founder and Managing Partner of Jennings Executive Search, LLC. He began his career with a boutique recruiting firm, building relationships with C-Level accounting and finance professionals utilizing a research-based approach of study and analysis to best serve his clients. 

In 2012, Jon took this approach to a larger firm where he worked with several CFOs to build entire accounting and finance departments and gain a large firm perspective in how to build a successful practice. This experience led to the creation of Jennings Executive Search, LLC. 

In this episode, Jon talks about how he matches pricing talents depending on a strategy the company uses and each company’s preferences, what screening process he uses when looking for pricing people.  He also shares how he guides companies in choosing the best pricing leader they can get as sometimes they don’t know what they are looking for. He also emphasizes on skill sets a pricing person should develop and acquire early on as he starts to elevate his career along the way. 

Why you have to check out today’s podcast:

  • Learn how to build out your skillset as a pricing person so you get more relevant in today’s competitive world of pricing 
  • Find someone who knows Pricing people if you are looking to hire Pricing leaders 
  • Discover how to find Pricing people that match your company’s strategies to get a good fit to impact the business

        

Think about what you’re leaving on the table. If you’re not trying to be creative around pricing, you’re losing. If you’re not thinking about ways to add some sort of dynamic element in trying to find ways to increase profitability from that standpoint, then someone else is.

Jon Jennings

        

Topics Covered:

01:39 – How he got into Pricing 

03:15 – What do they focus on when hiring Pricing people 

03:50 – How the company’s strategy matter when hiring Pricing people 

05:42 – Delineation of roles among Pricing analyst, the VP, and the middle level 

07:03 – HIs screening when looking for Pricing leaders 

08:37 – How they provide guidance to companies when looking for Pricing leaders 

09:39 – Building off of the job description, value-based principles, and the roadmap of the company to find potential Pricing leaders 

11:53 – How he helps clients find Pricing people 

13:49 – Starting with questions to convince a company to hire a pricing person 

15:10 – Suggesting to companies to listen to Impact Pricing   

15:32 – How value-based pricing makes sense in the world of recruitment 

16:48 – Skillset you need to build as a pricing person early on in your career 

18:16 – What more you can do to expand your capabilities as a Pricing person 

19:40 – Beg, borrow and steal 

20:44 – Be a driver and not a whiner 

21:06 – Are pricing people well compensated 

22:37 – Setting differentiators for Pricing persons to match with client companies preferences 

23:48 – Setting expectations for yourself and executing it 

25:20 – The strengths and weaknesses of a consulting talent 

27:15 – HIs impactful advice to help you in your business 

       

Key Takeaways:

“Our job is to find people who make impacts with fitting culturally and have a history of really impacting the business.” – Jon Jennings 

“It’s really about me kind of telling them [client companies] a story, and asking questions to see if I can guide them to a more dynamic solution if they’re not already there.”  – Jon Jennings 

“I always start with questions. Because I can’t give advice without context.”  – Jon Jennings 

“If I’m advising someone, I have to build out their skill set. There’s a couple of elements that you want especially nowadays. Get into as much data science as you can, teach yourself coding. It doesn’t matter, as you get to higher levels, obviously, you’re not going to utilize that as much, but you’re going to still use that a little bit.”  – Jon Jennings 

“As you move up the organization, it’s about reaching out across company lines, and not being afraid to go talk to the marketing person, pick people’s brains. Try to expand that knowledge as much as you can and just always be learning. That’s how you can elevate your career.”  – Jon Jennings 

“Be a driver. Don’t be afraid to challenge above you. If you believe in your concept, just be the squeaky wheel until you get some traction.”   – Jon Jennings 

“Being mindful of constantly trying to improve your strategy and looking at competitive advantage and all different elements is 100% key.”  – Jon Jennings 

       

Resources Mentioned: 

        

Connect with Jon Jennings:

         

Connect with Mark Stiving: 

  • Email: mark@impactpricing.com
  • LinkedIn

          

Full Interview Transcript

(Note: This transcript was created with an AI transcription service. Please forgive any transcription or grammatical errors. We probably sounded better in real life.)

Jon Jennings   

Think about what you’re leaving on the table. If you’re not being trying to be creative around Pricing, you’re losing. If you’re not thinking about ways to add some sort of dynamic element in trying to find ways to increase profitability from that standpoint, then someone else is. 

[Intro] 

Mark Stiving   

Today’s podcast is sponsored by Jennings Executive Search; I had a great conversation with Jon Jennings about the skills needed in different pricing roles. He and I think a lot of like, if you’re looking for a new pricing role, or if you’re trying to hire just the right pricing person, I strongly suggest you reach out to Jennings Executive Search. They specialize in placing Pricing people; save that three times fast.  

Mark Stiving 

Welcome to Impact Pricing. The podcast where we discuss Pricing, value, and the driven relationship between them. I’m Mark Stiving; today our guest is John Jennings. And here are three things you want to know about John before we start. He is the founder of Jennings Executive Search. He is the first official sponsor of Impact Pricing. Thank you, John. And he and I talked a little while ago just to have a chat, and I was impressed with his perceptions of what it takes to succeed in Pricing. So welcome, John. 

Jon Jennings   

Nice to be here, Mark. I appreciate it. 

Mark Stiving   

First, thank you for being our sponsor; we greatly appreciate it. 

Jon Jennings   

Absolutely. 

Mark Stiving   

And how did you get into Pricing? 

Jon Jennings   

Well, I was working like M&A and corporate strategy roles for this client of mine West Rock. And they asked me if I wanted to work on pricing strategy. And I was thinking more along the lines of like contracts and kind of doing the Finance side and the profitability. And I said, sure I got into it, I realized I didn’t know what I was doing. So, I call my brother, who works for Amazon; he leads Pricing for one of their segments and just started picking his brain and started calling consultants for a senior manager role he had. Finally filled it, Kelsey serve over there, they’re really, educated me a lot, she was very patient with me. I think she just liked the fact that I was working hard for that or she, and you know, I was hungry and trying to learn that she taught me a lot. I started reading articles like joining the Professional Pricing Society, I wish this podcast existed back then. I would have definitely jumped on that. And then we place in like 8, 10 people with her. And I started to market it around. Love the space. I love the fact, the impact on profitability, the dollars that these people can bring to an organization, the uniqueness of the strategy, how it sits. I just kind of fell in love with Ping and slowly grew it to kind of being 50% of my desk and hopefully continuing to grow. 

Mark Stiving 

Well, I got to say that I fell in love with Pricing a long time ago, too, for a lot of the same reasons. It’s so powerful. So, what do you tend to find when someone’s trying to hire a pricing person? So first off, what levels of Pricing people do they hire recruiters to go help them find a Pricing person? 

Jon Jennings   

Pretty much all levels from the tip of the spear, whether they titled that a VP or what have you down to some analysts, and we do everything from the top to the bottom. So yeah, it’s typical, all levels, I would say we focus on. 

Mark Stiving   

Okay, and so what…that’s actually a great question then. What are the differences and skills when you go from…? Let’s start at the bottom. So, the pricing analysts, and that’s not to demean a pricing analyst, right. But let’s start at the pricing analyst and work our way up towards a VP. What kinds of skills do companies look for? 

Jon Jennings   

Well, not all VPS are created equal. And not all analysts are created equal. And it depends on what the company’s strategy is. If it’s a lot of tactical elements, I mean, there’s a world for that I don’t want to be demeaning to any level, there’s certain individuals that are kind of it’s more rinse-repeat in their job. And there are certain individuals who are okay, we’re going to build out these tools, we’re going to utilize SQL, and they’re doing, they’re down in the data, kind of doing a lot of the grunt work for the higher level people, but it’s all they also have to be very creative and come up with solutions to be able to pull the right data, maybe they stripped in Python, or they get into some different areas and that those people get more expensive. So, you know, when we say an analyst, that can mean a lot of different things. But you know, that’s, you know, as you go up the ladder, depending on the strategy of the organization, the industry they’re in, how their Pricing if it’s more commodity-based, it’s not quite as sophisticated, even though some of these commodity-based industries and organizations are starting to add some value principles and trying to get creative with price but you don’t see it as common there. But yeah, there’s not any role is ever created equal. And that’s part of the fun part about Pricing. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah. So, when I think of pricing skills, I often break them up into three big chunks. And so, one I call data analytics. And I think that the pricing analysts fit there really well. But really, having to understand the concepts, then you take it; another step is a strategy. So, what is a pricing strategy? How do I make pricing decisions? I think as you move up, you’re going to start to find more of that. And then at the top, it’s the people who are actually able to do leadership or influence. So, I think of those as three very different skill sets. Now, do you see those same skill sets? And is that how people tend to hire? 

Jon Jennings   

It is, I think, in general, if you’re going to, you know, kind of break it down like that, that’s a good way to look at it. You know, there’s the kind of leadership element the vision from the top, there’s, you know, really, I see like, you know, good VP, you think on the size of the team, because some of these, it depends on the industry, you know, some VPS are, they’re really good mentors. They help grow people’s careers and impact the resume because you don’t stay in the same job for 20 years anymore. So, people want to make impacts quickly and leverage it in that company or somewhere else; they’re really, you know, high potential hungry individuals, they want that. So, I think the part of the job that’s kind of a leader is to, you know, keep your team happy, keep them engaged, challenge them, not just tell them, hey, build a deck for some conceptual idea, but like real actionable items that they can work on and see the impacts. And as you kind of go down to the middle level, it’s kind of executing that strategy is how I see it. Being able to manage the analysts, direct them on how they want the data to look, and then the analyst yet kind of need to be more technical down in the weeds, Excel gurus or whatever they’re utilizing for to organize their data. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah. What types of attributes are companies looking for when they’re trying to hire a Pricing leader? And so, let’s call it a VP of Pricing, just to make sure that we’ve got a role. 

Jon Jennings   

So, attributes vary, right, you know, let’s say, let’s give an industry for SaaS. I mean, first of all, there’s a baseline I want to find. I want to have that B2B. You know, if it’s complex contracts, I want them to have experience going through the cycle of sales from a pricing perspective, from organizations that have… they’ve implemented a sophisticated pricing strategy, and there’s been a result, and they can actually articulate that result. So that’s kind of part of the screening process. And really, they want someone who’s… this is an ideal world, somebody who can be a psychologist or psychiatrist, someone who’s like, because of a lot of empathy, they can talk to marketing and sales, and they can influence and kind of be multifaceted. It’s almost like these pricing leaders need to be sales, marketing, finance products all in one. So, you know, it’s usually, I call it flavors of ice cream, like you’re going to have to find people who have strengths in different areas, and which flavor do you want. You want strawberries where this person’s like, excellent with the sales people, they can get buy in, they can, you know, they have that attribute. And they’ve got some strong technical skills. And they can be a great leader or someone very creative from a product side who, you know, can help with a lot of the product design and go-to-market elements. So, there’s just a lot of flavors, and it depends on the client, the industry, on what they want. 

Mark Stiving   

And so, your job is to understand what the clients looking for, and then go out and find the right people who have that set of attributes, whatever that looks like, 

Jon Jennings   

Exactly. And so now, just guiding the client a little bit on, it depends on where they’re at in their cycle; if they’ve got a pricing strategy established, they’re going to have a roadmap to help them get there. It really just depends on a number of factors. But our job is to find people who make impacts with fitting culturally and have a history of really impacting the business. 

Mark Stiving   

I love the fact that you use the word impact a lot, makes me happy. 

Jon Jennings   

Impact Pricing. There you go.  

Mark Stiving   

There we go. And so, I find it fascinating, you have some clients who come to you and say, here’s what I want. So, here’s the job description. I’ve laid it all out; I know what I’m doing. It’s probably filling a role that someone just left and we loved what they were doing. Sorry, they left us. And then you have companies that are trying to say, Well, I need to go on this pricing journey. I need to figure out how to get better and have those companies rely on you to help write job descriptions. And where do you get that knowledge from? 

Jon Jennings   

I think a lot of notes. You know, I do write job descriptions. Not always. And sometimes, you know, it’s kind of I lean on the client to give me as much as possible, and I’ll take three pages, four pages of notes probably wouldn’t make sense to anybody except me by just literally just put down quotes from them, and I’m able to kind of build that and I know You know, if I know the industry well, then I know the core skill sets needed. That’s easy. My real, I do a pitch, and I do it on, you know, on a form of like a cover letter, almost. The job description is just kind of the meat and potatoes, I don’t see that as something that’s, you know you need it, but it’s not the end-all-be-all. What I do is I kind of fill out, like, okay, here’s Mark Stiving running this team, he’s a great manager. And here’s why. Here’s what I know about him; here’s some of the negatives about the job; their data is a mess, all, you know, I’ll just kind of layout the entire deal. And here’s the positives, they’ve grown 30% last year. They were able to leverage some of the impacts from COVID, to get new lines of business. You know, something, you know, where it’s like you’re telling the story of the organization of the team, where they’re at, the struggles they’re having, and then the job description for me is somewhat secondary, but it’s something that needs to be in there. And with my clients, I want to know that they’ve got buy-in, they’ve got, you know, they’ve got value-based principles that they’re implementing that someone coming, the ones to be more strategic Pricing has that opportunity and that they have some sort of roadmap. And then I build off of that. 

Mark Stiving   

Sounds pretty fast, and because I didn’t expect to hear what you said. In other words, what you just said to me was, after I talked to the clients, and I assume that you’ve gotten the job, then I’m going to write up a big proposal. And I thought that proposal or pitch was originally for the client. But the pitch is really for the potential employee. Yes. And that’s giving them tons of information that they would need to know about this job, way above and beyond the job description. That’s pretty cool. So, when I was wondering, if you helped write job descriptions, I was really thinking, are you helping clients figure out what they need in Pricing people? 

Jon Jennings   

Yes. Oh, yeah, that gently guides them unless they are self-aware. And I can just dive into it. But usually, by the time we talk, they, you know, unless it’s kind of a whole new from scratch type of deal where someone came in, but usually that individual has a decent understanding of Pricing because they’ve, they’re going down this road. And I’ll educate them. It’s more of, you know, I’ve got this role. And then they’re telling me all the tactical elements, and I’m like, okay, I start talking to them. What’s your competitive advantage? How are you utilizing that in your pricing strategy? What’s the, you know, how it is pricing talking to sales, and they being able to influence the pitch? And I start asking these questions, and it starts to pique some interest. And it’s like, we’ll know that, well, here’s a person, that this is kind of what they’ve done. This is what they’re good at. The impacts they’ve made from that like I’ve got this guy made a 125-million-dollar impact in three years at a billion-dollar company, pretty substantial. Most, a lot of billion-dollar companies don’t have that much EBIT over three years, and much less, you know, impacting even that much; I think last year was close to 70. So, it’s really about me kind of telling them a story and asking questions to see if I can guide them to a more dynamic solution if they’re not already there. 

Mark Stiving   

Nice. Just from the questions, you were bringing up, I want to hire you as a Pricing manager. Right? 

Jon Jennings   

You heard that a couple of times. I’m like, blah, but I’m like… 

Mark Stiving   

Not my job, man. 

Jon Jennings   

I mean, I’d love to do it. But it would take a while. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, I mean, they’re pretty fascinating. So, talk about what actually… the hardest question I get asked about hiring people sometimes is, we want to hire our first Pricing person. So, it’s probably a 10 to $100 million company; they’ve decided Pricing is important, they’re going to go hire their first Pricing Person. This is really hard to tell them what to hire. Do you have any advice? 

Jon Jennings   

Well, I always start with questions always. Because I can’t give advice without context, because it depends on you know, what’s your Pricing? I mean, what’s the product, let’s take, is a random industry. Let’s say it’s, let’s have SaaS, retail SaaS type deal. You know, it’s okay. Well, I start to ask them about what’s, you know, what’s the process? And then try to, like, have you thought about this? And do you think that would help and just kind of I call it pacing and leading? So, you kind of get on their level, you understand their, you know, what they’re currently doing. And then you just use very more simplistic terms, just kind of guide them to a solution and just show examples of, you know, luckily for me, I get to talk to people all day who have done these things so that I can tell their story. And that’s the biggest benefit that I have is being able to kind of say, well, here’s someone that came into the organization kind of where you’re at, and here’s how they were able to do and here’s something that’s quantifiable. I can send you over the resume and they put it on there. You know, we’d like to talk with them. So that’s, you know, that’s kind of my approach. 

Mark Stiving   

Right. Yeah, I find that the hardest thing because I don’t think companies hiring their first pricing person know what they really want; they know what they really need yet. 

Jon Jennings   

Yeah, it’s more, you know, I just tell them to come to listen to your podcast a few times. 

Mark Stiving   

And hey, thanks. 

Jon Jennings   

Yeah, get a better idea. 

Mark Stiving   

So, you brought up the words value-based Pricing earlier? And I wouldn’t have thought to bring that up in the world of recruiting. But is that a big deal as you go find clients or, or potential employers, employees? 

Jon Jennings   

And, yeah, it is. Because I mean, you can call it whatever you want. But looking at more of competitive advantage, willingness to pay, and all the different kinds of more sophisticated principles to Pricing, instead of looking at it as a screenshot in time, looking at a longer view, if I don’t, if my clients not, if I can’t get them out of that view, I’m not going to be able to help them because I don’t place that type of role very well. I don’t find that person that’s just going to come in and punch the clock and do the job. That’s not what we’re good at. I’ve tried to recruit those roles because there’s, you know, there are people out there that love, they’re good at that. And there are companies that want it, but I struggle with it, the more kind of steady candidates, but we, you know, so. So yeah, it’s all about education on my end. And if we can’t get there, you know, it’s probably not the best match. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, I often spend time trying to coach people on improving their careers and getting better, what they should focus on. What do you see as a gap that you usually can’t find easily, a skill set or, or something that’s hard for you to achieve for your clients? 

Jon Jennings   

Okay, thanks. So, let me take a step back, if I’m advising someone on how to build out their skill set, there’s a couple of elements that you want, especially nowadays, get into as much data science as you can, teach yourself coding, it doesn’t matter. As you get to higher levels, obviously, you’re not going to utilize that as much; you’re going to still use that a little bit; I’ve got a VP, he’s got this very dynamic, still sexy, just taught himself how to, you know, some data science elements. And he’s got all the value-based principles, he’s fully around it, from a skill set perspective, where he now is a utility player within an organization, and you always have, he goes help sourcing with some of the stuff that they’re doing. And so, I would say, that’s a core skill set that I think is good to have early in your career today.  

Mark Stiving   

We pause you, will come right back to the next step. I love the answer that you just gave. And I love it because maybe you’re never going to code. And by the way, I’ve coded when I was in college, and that was 100 years ago, and I don’t remember any of it. And but I kind of know some of the concepts around coding. And it makes it easier for me to pick up, oh, we’re going to talk about how we use agile instead of whatever the heck it is. And so suddenly, I can communicate with the rest of the company. And I can think that way, even if I’m never going to do it again, go. Right. So, I love that answer. Okay, continue, this was great, continue. 

Jon Jennings   

And then as you move up the organization, it’s about reaching out across company lines and not being afraid to talk to the marketing person, pick people’s brain. So, you can, I mean, depends on the industry you’re in, but you know, learn about A/B testing, learn about, you know, the sales process, try to put yourself in the shoes of the salesperson, and maybe like go on some sales calls, you know, just take that extra step, and nerd out with the product people, do your research. Just have a conversation about these different elements at a higher level, then when you interview for your next role, those conversations become natural, you’re not just stuck in your silo. And that’s how you can elevate your career. Because they say, Okay, well, this person’s really, you know, they understand my product issue, because you’re going to have to talk to stakeholders, you got to talk to the product guy, the sales ops person, that salesperson. So, you know, try to expand that knowledge as much as you can and just always be learning and, you know, hop on Google. 

Mark Stiving   

I think that’s also a fabulous answer. And I’ll amplify it by saying, look, as a pricing person, we interface with almost every department in the company. Right? And if you think about it, the entire company exists to create value for the marketplace. And our job is to capture that value through Pricing. And so, we work with everyone in the company. The more you understand, empathize with all the other roles in the company, the better you’ll be at Pricing. 

Jon Jennings   

Yes. And one last point that is thought of, that, you know, I probably should leave with is being a driver. Don’t be afraid to challenge above you. If you believe in your concept, just be the squeaky wheel until you get some traction. Test it, do, you know, just beg, borrow, and steal until you can make that impact because that’s sometimes what it takes when you’re ready to give up on an idea, press through that. And you know, if anything, the people above you will kind of respect your drive. They’re not going to; they don’t want to coach that out of their people. And if they do, then move on to the next organization because you’re not in the right place.  

Mark Stiving   

I’ll add one little caveat, by the way, I love the answer. But I’m going to add a little caveat. I think you have to be a driver. But you can’t drive everything, and you can’t be a whiner. So, pick the thing you want to drive, and then be strategic about it. What are the things you can do to convince the company? This is really important then now you’re practicing influence and leadership and absolutely, I think that’s an amazing answer. 

Jon Jennings   

100%, yeah, it’s a good caveat. You don’t want to be the whiner. I know the whiner. It gets ugly. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, it is not fun. Absolutely. So, let’s talk about money, are pricing people well-compensated now. Are they? Is it going up? Is it harder to find them, supply and demand?  

Jon Jennings   

It’s all of the above. It’s going up. I’m pressing that. I was just having a call with a client right before here, where I’m telling them, I’m like, look, the market is changing. I was like, it’s good for you and makes it harder to build a team. So, it’s what I’m seeing is increased bands. Typically, prior, in years past, the typical strategy for HR would be okay; what’s our Finance salary band, manager, senior manager, and up? All right, let’s say the same for Pricing. Well, you know that person I mentioned that their teams are making a $125-million-impact. Finance isn’t doing that; that’s more of a sales impact. Maybe we should, you know, if we want to get these talented people, the other starts to be like more of bidding wars, and there’s more movement, and it’s slowly driving it up. I have one fortune 500 that can upgrade their bands across the board. Just kind of showing the talent, it’s more expensive. I think, also, if you want to go into find a consultant, someone out of a BCG or McKinsey or a big four, lift pricing strategy experience, those people are expensive. So, they end up driving up the market even more. And so, I’m working for the pricing guy to try to get them some more money, and my clients love it and hate it at the same time. You know, it’s really evolving to be more in line with the impacts they’re making, which is nice to see. 

Mark Stiving   

Well, in a way, you’re like, sorry, for demeaning you for this. But in a way, you’re like a realtor, where you don’t set the prices; you’re just trying to find buyers and sellers and put them together so that they can make a match. 

Jon Jennings   

I set the differentiator; this is what I tell my clients; like here, I’m going to send you a couple of people at different price points. And you determine the value based on the incremental cost. My job is to present you with talent at different levels. And if I can have the freedom to extend it a little bit beyond your current ranges, and if you see the value there, then let’s try to work something out. If you have the ability to do that, you know, because the big differentiators between the 110 people at the manager, senior manager and the strategy execution and the 155, the 175%, that can be a seven-figure impact difference from what I see from what they’ve done in the past. And what they can do for this organization. I mean, that’s the cost. I mean, I know it’s much more complicated than this when you talk about salary bands and internal issues and different things. But if you’re just looking at it for a $1 standpoint, the incremental cost typically has a pretty nice ROI on it. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, and I hope our listeners just caught a little nuance because everything I just heard you say said to me, you need to be a driver, right? You need to learn how to be a driver; if you want to be in that upper-income range, then you’ve got to have the, you know, the 100-million-dollar impact. 

Jon Jennings   

Yeah, and it’s about really, you come in an organization, whether it’s your private equity, kind of hopping around doing new companies or doing deals, there’s going to be some sort of goal in mind. It’s like, this is what I want to accomplish here, you want to check that box, I want to be able to make X amount of impact. And once you do that, you’re good. You’ve accomplished what you can to accomplish. Now you’re looking for the next thing. And that can be within internally in the company or externally. But it’s always about kind of setting those expectations for yourself, and then executing it to your liking and checking that box. 

Mark Stiving 

Yeah. Nice. You brought up the consultants, the people coming from McKinsey, or wherever they’re going to come from, BCG. And one of the things that I often see in the pricing world is that I’m just going to share an opinion with you. And then I want to hear how this affects your thinking or your clients’ thinking about hiring pricing people. What I often see is that you hire someone from a consultant, and they’ve been exposed to hundreds of different pricing situations, different companies, different industries. And so, I could take this pricing technique or tactic could say, yes, that applies here, no, that doesn’t apply here. On the other hand, I could take a pricing expert from the industry. And they know this industry inside and out. But they think that’s what Pricing means. So, they don’t have a broad view of Pricing. How do your clients think about this? 

Jon Jennings   

I’ll give you my scope on the consultant. Because there’s kind of strength and a weakness to the consulting talent, especially if it’s pure consulting, they graduated college, went into consulting, maybe they even did an MBA and came back. And their theoretical knowledge is outstanding, their ability to kind of put together a strategy is second to none, and they’ve got a ton of exposure. So, they’ve seen, as you said, they’ve seen a lot of different situations. What they haven’t done is the back end, the execution side. They’re used to walking into a building, and they’ve got this price tag over their head that says x $1,000 an hour or whatever it is, or I mean a million-dollar project, and they can get away with a lot because everybody’s listening. When your internal, you know, you get it kind of maneuver a little differently. It’s not the same. So, there’s a little bit of a struggle occasionally for that individual to adjust. And some don’t, they just don’t adjust well. Many, many do. And it’s a good recruiter who can kind of walk, you know, hopefully help you identify that. But you know, as far as the industry person, it’s kind of the opposite is true. They know, kind of the execution side, of kind of building out with a data and these look like and do all the different, those different elements and they understand their industry vertical very well. But they’ve only seen it through one or two lenses. And maybe they’ve got some more knowledge. But you know, for someone that’s earlier in their career, or midpoint in their career, they’ve probably only had a few lenses, but the consultant has more. So, I think it’s you’re looking to build a team, I’d suggest getting a mixture of both. 

Mark Stiving   

I think that was an absolutely brilliant answer. I’d never thought of the strategy versus execution angle on that. And I think that’s really good. 

Jon Jennings  

It’s a big piece. Yeah. 

Mark Stiving   

That’s why I love talking to people; I get to learn new stuff. Last question, John, we got to wrap this up. What’s one piece of pricing advice you’d give our listeners that you think could have a big impact on their business? 

Jon Jennings   

Think about what you’re leaving on the table. If you’re not trying to be creative around Pricing, you’re losing. Suppose you’re not thinking about ways to add some sort of dynamic element in trying to find ways to increase profitability from that standpoint. In that case, someone else is and your competitor is because they’re working with me. There’s, you know, you’ve got to be mindful of it constantly is my advice and where that leads, you know, that’s a whole different story. But being mindful of constantly trying to improve your strategy and looking at competitive advantage and all different elements is 100% key. 

Mark Stiving   

Nice. Excellent. Jon, thank you so much for your time today. If anybody wants to contact you, how can they do that? 

Jon Jennings   

Look me up on LinkedIn, Jennings Executive Search, you can send me an email. It’s just my first name is jon@jenningsexec.com. That’s jenningsexec.com, and I will get back to you and look forward to connecting with your audience. 

Mark Stiving   

Perfect. Episode 119 is all done. This is the moment once again when I beg you to leave me a review, please. Even though it’s not easy to figure out on Apple podcasts, they are valuable to us. I am hugely appreciative to everybody who’s able to figure that out. And finally, if you have any questions or comments about the podcast or Pricing in general, feel free to email me at mark@impactpricing.com. Now, go make an impact! 

Outro 

Thanks again to Jennings Executive Search for sponsoring our podcasts. If you’re looking to hire someone in Pricing, I suggest you contact someone who knows Pricing people. Contact Jennings Executive Search. 

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