Impact Pricing Podcast

Ep128: Pricing Strategies that Win Government Contracts with John Peacock

 

John Peacock is a Senior Vice President at ASRC Federal. 

In this episode, John shares how building up great relationships ultimately paves the way to your success rate in a government setting as in any other. It’s also a matter of triangulating these three essentials of pricing, price to win, and competitive intelligence and all other data points to reach your pricing point.

 

 

Why you have to check out today’s podcast:

  • Learn how to do competitive intelligence and price to win  
  • Find out how to show value in a government setting and have a good win rate 
  • Learn how to shape opportunity so that government RFPs comes out more in your favor 

         

You’ve got to have really good relationships across all the different functional and organizational teams within your company. At the end of the day, my ability to get to the right price and help the company get to the right price is all driven off of the teams of people that you work with to get there. 

 John Peacock

      

Topics Covered:

01:16 – How one thing led to another and finally into pricing 

02:23 – What got him to stick with pricing all these years 

04:06 – Working through the pricing ranks 

04:57 – What is ASRC, what does it do, is it government-focused primarily 

07:09 – Pricing for value in a government setting 

09:01 – A multi-step process in government bidding 

10:38 – Talking about sole source contract award 

12:03 – What’s a good win rate 

16:58 – Taking a look at win rates early and late in the process 

19:06 – Increasing win rate at the time the RFP comes out 

21:46 – Factoring in competitive intelligence in the price to win 

23:56 – The key to do competitive intelligence and price to win 

28:21 – Margin requirements for bidding 

30:31 – John’s best pricing advice to help create a great impact on one’s business 

     

Key Takeaways: 

“A big piece of government pricing is compliance; it’s responding specifically to what they ask for.” – John Peacock 

“It’s much harder to win something where you’re not ahead of the curve in government pricing. It’s not as if there’s a commercial price list that you just go grab a number off of; we’re not buying a Dell laptop that you can just get anyone can go and get the same price for.  It’s much more specific than that. And so, you’ve got to be ahead of the curve if you want to have a good win rate.” – John Peacock 

“Just like everything in life, everything comes down to relationships, and whether it’s your BD people, your program people, the people that are truly successful are the ones that make good relationships; they bridge that gap. And that allows you to have those conversations, and explain why there’s value add. If you have the greatest product in the world, but no one will talk to you. It’s not going to ever go anywhere.” – John Peacock 

“The level of information and expertise comes into play. Putting the numbers together, honestly, isn’t the hard part. It’s pulling all the pieces together, so you know what the numbers should be?” – John Peacock 

“The key to how we do competitive intelligence and price to win is, I see federal really falls within the expertise of the team that does this, and how they’re able to present the data.” – John Peacock 

“I always tell my team, how you present information, how it looks even, is critically important. You might have the best answer in the world. And if you do it in cram, on a PC, your kids drawing paper, you’re not going to win the award; it’s got to look good, smell good, taste good. It’s got to be 100%.” – John Peacock 

      

People/Resources Mentioned: 

        

Connect with John Peacock:

        

Connect with Mark Stiving:   

                          

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.)

John Peacock   

You’ve got to have really good relationships across all the different functional and organizational teams within your company. At the end of the day, my ability to get to the right price and help the company get to the right price is driven by the teams of people you work with to get there.  

[Intro] 

Mark Stiving   

Welcome to Impact Pricing, the podcast where we discuss pricing, value, and the regulated relationship between them. I’m Mark Stiving; today, our guest is John Peacock. And here are three things you want to know about John before we start. He is a Senior VP for Strategic Pricing at ASRC Federal. He is an expert at government contracting. And he’s starting to enjoy the idea of having two kids that drive themselves. And he said he’s enjoying it because he wants to work more hours. I love that. Welcome, John.  

John Peacock   

Thanks for having me.  

Mark Stiving   

It’s going to be fun. Tell us, how did you get into pricing? 

John Peacock   

I actually ended up didn’t ever plan on getting into pricing. I’m not sure what I actually does. When I was coming out of college, I was interested in a company that had a good combination of Finance, which was my undergrad, and Management Information Systems, which I ended up doing in graduate school. And it was a great combination; I actually didn’t get the job. But I asked them for an internship, unpaid; they gave it to me; they then offered me a position three months later and paid me for the summer. And that was kind of the first piece in combining those two pieces. That then ended up getting more into the combination of IT and Finance, which led me to a company called Tech Systems, which was trying to take staffing to the next level by taking things like project management programs, management outsourcing, things like that. You know, IMAX movies, stuff like that. And so, it just kind of built. I found myself in a good spot in a growing organization. And you know, one thing led to another, and you know, 20 years later, this is where I’m at. 

Mark Stiving   

So, is there a reason why you stayed in pricing? Did pricing itself excite you or? 

John Peacock   

Within government contracting, specifically, there are a couple of different areas within Finance that you could find yourself in. Some project control might be one, and that’s really looking at programs that you’ve already won, and you’re executing to and trying to maximize both your revenue and your margin and those things. There are typical areas like accounting, tax, things like that, that you could also get into, but pricing, what? I’ve always found interesting is the number of people that you have to work with to be successful, you cross over all the barriers, so you’re working with technical, you’re working with business development, you’re working with the executives, you’re working with financial planning and analysis, you’re working with recruiting, so you are working with most of the organization, and in order to be successful, and to truly be successful, where you know that you’re impacting the company’s ability to win jobs, and then be able to execute those jobs, you are on the front line there. So, you get to feel the pressure of the proposals; you get to be in the briefing. So, you’re, you know, you’d have a seat at the table, which is always key. And I just found it to be the most interesting, you know, really the options that were kind of in front of me at that point. And as I’ve continued to kind of grow personally and professionally, the ability to have a team of people that are dependent upon you for their careers, and you get to shape what they do and kind of where they go, and you see now where they’re all at, it’s just a great combination of all those things that you look for. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, one of the great things about pricing is that it touches so many different places inside a company; when you start leading a pricing team, people can end up going almost anywhere in the company. So, it’s pretty fun. 

John Peacock   

You know, we’ve had everything from, you know, interns that have moved up through the ranks, and gone. The good thing is we’ve had shareholders, you know, ASRC is an Alaskan-owned company, which makes us a little bit unique, but we’ve had shareholders from Alaska come in and work through the pricing ranks. And like you said, what you get is you get this understanding of how all these other groups work and how you have to be able to pull them together to get that proposal done, you know, in a, you know, a 30 or 45-day turns something like that. So, the pressure is there. But people really get a good basis for what they may want to do with the rest of their lives. 

Mark Stiving   

Nice. Yeah. There’s so much I want to talk to you about, but can we start real quickly with what ASRC does so that we can just use that as a jumping-off point for some questions that I have for you. 

John Peacock   

Sure. So just a little bit of background. So ASRC Federal is part of a larger company called ASRC. And it’s actually owned by about 14,000 native Alaskans. And so those are our shareholders. So, while you may be working with a typical company that’s public and has shareholders, if you think about those, our dividends actually go towards helping our shareholders’ way of life on the northern slope of Alaska. And so, it’s really key. And so ASRC Federal is the biggest of the companies under that umbrella, we do work across three different operating groups that everything from NASA, work in NASA Goddard, or even the new Orion program down in Florida. We do a lot of base ops work. So, you know, that’s taken care of different bases across the country all the way to doing, you know, Alaska radar site work and support. And then we crossover to high-end IT work and even healthcare work. So, we’ve got a really good diversity of programs that we support. And that creates its own challenges, especially when it comes to strategic pricing. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, so would it be fair to say that you do government pricing, and you also do commercial or industrial pricing? 

John Peacock   

It’s actually the majority of that work. I would say, probably 99% of ASRC Federal is in the government field. So, all those things are working for a variety of government agencies, you know, across the country. 

Mark Stiving   

Okay, perfect. So, one of the things I’m going to find fascinating about this is… A quick story. Two years ago, I was hired by a client trying to sell to the government and the product that they had increased the probability of mission success to an intelligence organization. And I tried and tried to figure out how a government values that, because when I do pricing for commercial or industrial, it’s always, well, how much value are we delivering to our customer? And that’s where we start, where we try to figure out how much we’re going to charge. So how do I figure that out in a government setting? 

John Peacock   

The interesting thing in the government setting is that you have to look at a deal well before that final request comes out. And so, you have to look at how you can shape an opportunity. And that comes, you know, you work with your BD group, and obviously, a lot more than not just price, right? There are other pieces to that. It could be your past performance, you know, have you done this type of work before? What kinds of requirements can you work with the customers to make sure are required for people that respond to those things? And so, you try and shape things so that they’re more in your favor. But there’s always going to be that competition there. When you look at that RFP, what you’re saying is, how do I show that value to the government? You have to try and help them do is, not put an RFP out, which doesn’t reward showing that value to the customer, right? If you’re going to put an RFP out, that basically doesn’t provide the basic framework for that value. It’s very hard to get credit in the evaluation then, because within government, you know, a big piece of government pricing is compliance; it’s responding specifically to what they ask for. And you might tell me that, hey, I’ve got this great way to ensure mission success. But it’s going to cost 25%, more than what your RFP is putting out there. You can’t overcome that type of a cost differential, even if you have that kind of equality there. And that’s where I think sometimes you run into that, you know, the stereotype, we want to provide the best value that we can. But we also have to make sure that we’re giving good feedback to the government agencies to put out the best RFPs to make sure they are getting that quality. 

Mark Stiving   

And so, you’re saying we want to be involved with the decision-makers, as they’re writing the RFP, not after the RFP is out, if at all possible?  

John Peacock   

Right.  

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, that makes sense.  

John Peacock   

At the end of the day, you’re going through a multi-step process, and get the final RFP is just one of those steps. And so, you’ve got to work through all those things. If an RFP comes out and somebody comes to me with a 30-day turn, and it’s ten days into the RFP. And I say, okay, well, you know, what do we have now? It’s much harder to win something where you’re not ahead of the curve in government pricing. It’s not as if there’s a commercial price list that you just grab a number off of, you know, we’re not buying a Dell laptop that you can just get anyone can go and get the same price for.  It’s much more specific than that. And so, you’ve got to be ahead of the curve if you want to have a good win rate. Right? And what’s the point of spending money on the whole proposal process if our win rates are 10%, right. We want to work at things so that we can win. We want to maximize our shareholders, right, their value, and we want to make sure that we’re providing the government with the value and the mission success because ultimately, that’s what we’re kind of judged against. 

Mark Stiving   

Right. So, I want to go two different directions at once. But let me where I was. And that is, this client was essentially going to be a sole source; it was brand new technology, it didn’t exist. And what they could do is demonstrate that they could improve mission success dramatically. And I couldn’t figure out what the dollar value is? How does a government figure out? What’s the dollar value of another 10% probability of mission success in a sole source? Do you have any thoughts on that? Or is it just that’s impossible to do? 

John Peacock   

It’s not that it’s impossible to do, but it can be very agency-specific. And then within each agency, the ability to work that problem, sometimes that might be easier in a certain agency compared to another agency, you might simply not have the framework for that. But you could also get what would be called a sole source award, where if the customer believes that that’s the right thing, that the right path to take, they may award you a sole-source contract. Where there are limits on what that can be, right, where you can go prove that you could do white papers to the government, where you come up with ideas on things that may improve things, and you can propose things like that. So, there are ways, you know, just like everything in life, everything comes down to relationships. Whether it’s your BD people, your program people, right, the truly successful people are the ones that make good relationships, right? They bridge that gap. And that allows you to have those conversations and explain why there’s value add, if you have the greatest product in the world, but no one will talk to you. It’s not going anywhere. 

Mark Stiving   

That’s a true statement in the industry as well as the government. So, one of the things that you brought up was win rates. And I am just totally fascinated by win rates in different industries. How painful or emotional is it to lose anyone deal? And what percentage deals do you expect to lose? 

John Peacock   

I mean, I don’t like to lose any deal. I think that from a competition perspective, for good or for bad, you know, the losses sometimes stay with you longer than the wins can stay with you. And, you know, my son will attest that, you know, he doesn’t win. When we go play basketball, he doesn’t win unless he’s earned the win. Right. So, you know, when you’ve put together a quality proposal when you have, you’ve done all the things that you’re supposed to do, and there’s still sometimes you won’t win those things, but ultimately, to achieve growth, you know, you can’t start with a 10-person job, and then think you’re going to win a 10,000-person job, you’ve got to work your way up to that. And that’s where you’re hoping that the company’s pipeline has, and as you review opportunities, and you’re looking at, you know, not only what the job is, how big is the job, what are the requirements of the job, you know? Do that to have so many past performances for that job to show that you’ve done that kind of work before, you know, it could be things like it’s a small business. Should be other pieces to that like that, there might be system requirements, you might need what will be like a cost estimating system or an approved accounting system when approving a purchasing system. So, you’ve got to make sure that you have the tools in your toolbox to respond to those things. And once you have those things, then you get into what’s our real win rate, right? And I look at that, and say, I want to have some that I feel really comfortable with every year that I know, we can win; I want to show a progression in size because ultimately, I’m probably going to stay close to the same amount of time on a million jobs compared to a billion-dollar job. You know, so if I can win a larger job, I’m getting more bang for my buck. But I also want to find jobs where I have a good margin, because ultimately, you know, we are a for-profit company, right? We’re in this to have profit, the government arena; you’re probably talking about lower margins, typically than you see in the commercial, you know, but the government RFPs are always coming out. So, what’s a good win rate? I mean, it depends on your company and your industry, in your sector that you’re in and what you’re going after. I think ASRC has been, you know, very successful. And historically, I think we constantly work at improving people, processes, tools, all those things that go into being successful. We’re constantly investing in trying to be better than the last time that we did something. And we’ve got a leadership team that supports positive change all the time. When you see something that you think you can do better, everyone’s open to those kinds of things. And if you’re not constantly trying to be better, you know, your win rate will eventually go down, and then government contracts, and you’re probably talking about, you know, if I want to change 2021 right now, that’s almost over at this point, like I’m planning on 2022 right now I have to have enough jobs in the pipeline that I’m going after right now. So, I’m getting awards for the next year. So, it’s not a quick turn when it comes to things like that. A government RFP, it could take over a year before you get to the final award and you start working on something. I mean, we’ve had things that have gone for two years, or three years, and things like that. So, the amount of time it takes actually to achieve revenue and profit on a job is much more extended sometimes than in the commercial world. 

Mark Stiving   

It makes sense.  

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Mark Stiving 

One of the things we talked a bit of was being involved before an RFP gets put out. I’m guessing that you sometimes see RFPs late in the process and get involved early in the process. What’s the difference in win rate between those two situations? 

John Peacock   

You know, you’re right; you get involved at all different times in that process. And I think it’s the easiest thing in the world to try and always get involved ahead of schedule, right? Okay, the RFP is coming out in six months; let’s start working on this. But ultimately, I don’t have, you know, an endless team of pricers that I can just keep allocating towards things. And so, there’s a balance in there, there’s a balance from a BD perspective, you know, how many jobs can somebody in BD handle at one time, and know well. And so, you’ve got to balance all those pieces. Is the win rate better, when you’re involved early, generally, yes, you know, the further in advance and you can start doing things, you can be more constructive on draft RFPs that come out, provide better feedback, you can start looking at the financial modeling, things like that? Now, that being said, I’ve also had jobs that we have ten days to submit, and we throw something together, and we do it the best that we can because you spent so much time making sure that things that are under your control are doing really well. Right? So, you get to that point when we won, you know, many of those jobs, too. But you kind of know when the overall team has their act together and when they don’t. And when they don’t, you know, that’s where you got to identify the risks so that when it goes to senior leadership for approval of submitting something, you’re as clear as you can be on where those financial risks are, that depends on, you know, contract type, you know, a number of things that go into how much risk the company maybe, you know, maybe under with that, but ultimately, it comes down to the quality of the information that you have. And that goes into how you bid something. And that goes into how you brief something. 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah, some of my clients, friends, however, you want to look at it. Often. We have these conversations about how they tend not to win a bunch of these RFPs. And I was asking, well, are you involved early? Or do you just wait till the RFP comes out? And they go, oh, these are the ones where I just get an RFP, and I bid on it, I rarely win. And my advice to them was, why do you waste the time bidding? Because you know you’re not going to win? Does that make sense to you? Do you guys ever do that? 

John Peacock   

Sometimes you don’t know that until you get into the RFP. And I think sometimes companies can fall into a situation where they feel like, well, we’ve already spent this much money, we might as well just finish it off, when in reality is, you know, you’re not going to win those things. But you never want to say never at the end of the day, you know, ASRC, as an example. We have so many talented people and, from a technical perspective, understanding what our customers’ mission is and understanding what it takes to make sure that their missions are performed great. Right, because ultimately, if you think about launching something in space or a radar site, things like that, like whether it’s rockets or airplanes or whatever it might be, you know, these are real lives that are affected if we don’t do our mission well. It’s hard when you have really bright people that you work within. There’s nothing more attractive than a company that just has really intelligent, smart people that know what they’re doing that you can feed off of. When you have that, it’s really hard to say, hey, we don’t have a chance at this job, because ultimately, I think it’s more a matter of can we get it on paper or not? And that’s where you have to ask your question, do we know the customer? I find that our win rate would be most effective potentially by a lack of customer intimacy. So, if we’ve never done work with a customer before, and we have a week to respond to something we’ve never talked to them, we’ve never responded to an RFP with them. We don’t have any programs with; we don’t have anyone with the area of expertise that we need, you know, there’s no sneeze, or program managers or anything else they’ve done this work before, you can kind of see where that’s going, right, it’s going to be very hard to win that. And then if we win that and say it’s fixed price, or it’s time and materials are something like that, your risk window, right, goes up, right? All of a sudden, okay, this is a fixed price, if I don’t really know this, if I don’t have a really good basis for my solution, you know, I can put a number to anything. But if there are ten risks that no one’s identified, that are in there, and we don’t know about it, then we’re at financial risk, and that puts a lot of things at risk there. And so, really, the level of information and expertise comes into play. Putting the numbers together, honestly, isn’t the hard part. It’s pulling all the pieces together, so you know what the numbers should be? 

Mark Stiving   

Yeah. And so, as pricing people, especially in a business like yours, I can imagine that you don’t really know the value or the price of anything? And what you really have to do is rely on everybody else to help you figure all that out? 

John Peacock   

Yeah. So that’s where you get kind of in the competitive intelligence in the price to win. So, you know, pricing… At the end of the day, I view pricing; the pricing team as advisors to a certain degree. We’re advisors to leadership to the operating group presidents to the program managers. We’re trying to show this is what the financial picture is of what they want to bid, right? When you get into competitive intelligence and price to win, you’re starting to look at what the market is. So, what’s out there that everybody else can see out there? It’s open-source, right? And so, then you’re starting to get a picture of, okay, well, this is what everyone else is going to see. And that gives you, that can give you clues on where your price might need to be going forward. And so really what happens is when you combine pricing and price to win and competitive intelligence, along with the capture team and the leadership team on that, that’s where you’re starting to get a complete picture, and things start making sense, right? You start to triangulate different data points that are out there. You start looking within your HR teams and everything, so you understand the true cost of things. And that’s where the more things that aren’t variables or assumptions and become factual as you build your model up, then you start to really get your confidence up that you’re doing the right things, and you’re getting to that right price. You’ve identified the risks; you’re accounting for what those things are. You’ve written to them in your proposal. You start to move away from a guesstimate to an estimate. And it becomes much more precise. And when you look back, right, and we’ll look back at wins and losses on things, you start to really see just how dialed in we’re capable of getting something. And it’s not because we have the greatest pricing team in the world. It’s because all these different pieces are working in concert together to get us to that point. 

Mark Stiving   

Yet, so, you mentioned competitive intelligence. And one of the questions I get a lot, and I can imagine this is a huge problem in your industry, is how do I know what my competitors price is? Where do you get that information? 

John Peacock   

Well, there are always companies out there that will research to try and determine what other company’s cost structures might be. And we call them like wrap rates within federal contracting. So, it’s, at the end of the day, if someone’s making $100 an hour, and they bill out of $200 an hour, that company’s wrap is at two hours.   And so, there are companies out there that can look at that. But I usually find that to be somewhat dated, right? You’re usually looking in the past for how someone’s going to do something in the future. And it’s not always the best. For many open source data that’s out there on things like government spending and things like that, you can learn a lot about other companies from how they’ve won other bids. You know, you can go back and look at the RFPs out there for bids that they’ve won and try how to reverse engineer almost how they got to that point, and you get a lot of variables with that. But what you’re trying to do is just try to reduce the number of variables so that you have a better understanding of maybe where they can get. You know, within government contracts and you’re going to end up with a certain agency. If you go out and look at that agency and who’s been awarded contracts, you’ll see a lot of the same player is over and over again. And so, you end up having a pretty tight field when it comes to things that are priced because everyone has a good idea. You know, people like to say the beltway is a very small place. And that means that, you know, there’s people constantly changing jobs, so there’s a lot of intelligence out there. But it’s all about having enough time to come up with a good picture for where those things are, you know, there were RFPs that might come out and tell you what their budget or, you know, budget is. The government sometimes will do their own internal estimates for what they think that needs to be based upon what their solution might look like. So, it’s all about trying to get the information but filter it, right? The key to how we do competitive intelligence and price to win is, I see federal really falls within the expertise of the team that does this, and how they’re able to present the data. Right? So, I can’t give you a presentation that’s three hours long and 300 pages long, and expect that you’re going to get what I want you to get out of that. I’ve got to help guide you through that. I’ve got to tell you a story. And that’s where knowing what’s important. And all that data and pointing that out becomes critically important. And that feeds right into the pricing, right? As you work on a proposal, you are telling the story. And so, you’ve got to be convincing and confident in that. And if you don’t know something as factual, you have to make sure that you’re just upfront about those things and say, look, we’ve made assumptions with these three pieces of information that leads us to get to this point, you know, what I’d like to be able to say that we made no assumptions, and we know this is all factual. Yep, that almost doesn’t exist, right? You’re going to be making some intelligent decisions along the way, based upon experience, credibility, the ability to filter information into a usable format, all those things going into telling that convincing story, both to your leadership, right? When you get the approval to submit, it also automatically goes into your proposal. When you look at a government RFP, they ask for price; they ask very specific questions for what they want, typically. And so, they want to know that you have the credibility and the integrity behind that. And so, it’s not just the numbers. It’s how you write how you developed your numbers that are important. It’s that credibility that goes along with that. And then, you know, I always tell my team how you present information, how it looks even, is critically important. You know, you might have the best answer in the world. And if you do it in cram, you know, on a PC, your kids drawing paper, you’re not going to win the award, it’s got to look good, you know, smell good, taste good. It’s got to be 100%. 

Mark Stiving   

Yep, has to be professional. So, I want to summarize the way you answered my question, just to make sure that we’re on the same page. So, what I think I heard you said was that we go back and look at deals that somebody else won. And we or somebody else has figured out an estimate of what it costs them to do that. We know what price they wanted at. And so, therefore, we’re now learning what their margin requirements are for bidding is that… 

John Peacock   

As much as margin requirement, it’s about understanding the labor costs that go win the thing, other indirect rate costs if you win the thing. You’re trying to figure out where you need to get to, from a price perspective, in order to be competitive, and there are some jobs, you know, what the government will give you, evaluation criteria, and so on. Some of those that might be the low price, technically acceptable company are the one that will get awarded. And that bar could be pretty low for technically acceptable, right? There are other ones where the price is the least important one. But you always have to make sure you’re within range of that. Because if you say you tie technically, right, it’s going to come down to price; ultimately, it comes down to the first differentiator there. And if you tie on everything else, it’s going to go down to the lower price. So, you’ve got to understand where those things are. And so, you’ve got to look at not just externally and look at where you’ve won or lost jobs before. Right? We might have a job that another company won for 100 million, and we were at 120 million when we want to try and figure out how they got there? So that next time around, we’re smarter about what we did they see something that we didn’t, so we want to dig into those things. But ultimately, what we find out is, you know, we’ve got to write, if we don’t write a great proposal, that lowers your P win. And so, if you write a great proposal, you start to be competitive on price, but then this isn’t the government making sure that they get value for these awards. And so ultimately, there’s a balance in there, and you can’t, the evaluators will look at the technical scores, you know, and the price. And sometimes they’re done, you know, independently of each other, obviously. But you got to make sure that they can justify giving it to a higher priced company. And that means that you have to show more value or better past performance, something has to be worthy of them to go higher on your award price than the competition. 

Mark Stiving   

Nice. John, this has just been fascinating. I’m learning a ton. But we’re going to have to wrap it up. So let me ask the final question. What’s one piece of pricing advice you would give our listeners that you think could have a big impact on their business? 

John Peacock   

From my experience within pricing, the number one thing that I tell people is, you’ve got to have really good relationships across all the different functional and organizational teams within your company. At the end of the day, my ability to get to the right price and help the company get to the right price is driven off of the teams of people you work with to get there. There used to be a time, I think, where pricer has had the reputation that, you know, they’d want to sit in their tube and just crunch spreadsheets. You know that’s, there’s always times, there’s always an administrative kind of side to a job, right, where you have to do things like that, end of the day, we’ve got to put a spreadsheet out there that’s correct. But we cover every job that goes out of ASRC Federal, so we see what works, what doesn’t work. Sometimes we can look at a job and just give you a head start; I have a better path forward. But if people don’t trust you because you have no relationship with them, they’re not going to listen to you. And ultimately, that ends up hurting the company in the long run. There are too many smart people out there. Ultimately, you got to work as a team; we get to the finish line. 

Mark Stiving   

I got to say I love that answer because we often look at pricing as a numerical problem. But in truth, it’s a social issue, right? If we’re going to do it well, we have to have great relationships with everybody around us. Such an awesome answer.  

John Peacock   

And that’s not just pricing, right? That’s life in general. 

Mark Stiving 

It really is. Thank you so much for your time today. John, if anybody wants to contact you, how can they do that? 

John Peacock 

They can always email me at jpeacock@asrcfederal.com, or they can always reach out via LinkedIn. 

Mark Stiving   

All right, thank you so much. Episode 128 is all done. Thank you for listening. If you enjoyed this, would you please leave us a rating and a review? And finally, if you have any questions or comments about the podcast or pricing, feel free to email me at mark@impactpricing.com. Now, go make an impact! 

 

Tags: Accelerate Your Subscription Business, ask a pricing expert, pricing metrics, pricing strategy

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