Q: How did you get started in this business?
A: This is a family business and I have been around Pricing for almost as long as I can remember through my father, Eric Mitchell, who was a pricing manager in the 1970s for Ford, Xerox, Intel, and others before starting PPS in the 1980s, when I was a teenager.
When I wasn’t in school, I remember building databases of early members, folding and editing newsletters, and researching mailing lists during my High School years.
Q: Can you describe your customers / what type of customers do you have?
A: Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and Analysts at mostly medium-large to very large corporations who are interested in improving margins and profitability through pricing strategies and tactics, revenue management, negotiation and partnerships with sales teams and Senior management.
We have 5,000 members across the globe and many thousand more who are connected to us via Social Media.
We also have sponsor partners who include the Big Four accounting firms, pricing and revenue management consultancies, pricing software providers, and business schools.
Q: What are some of your “keys to success” in building your customer base?
A: We use many of the same electronic means as others do, but try to make them more personal and less systematic.
We provide great customer service and actively partner with our members to ask them what they can use and to deliver the information that they need to thrive.
We also reward our biggest customers when they recruit other business units and other geographies within their corporation to join us – word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising.
Q: Is there anything about your business that you feel makes it special?
A: Our dedication and length of service to our part of the business world. There are other groups who copy our training, publications, membership benefits, and events, but we do it better and more consistently than anyone – and have for more than 30 years. We also get the great opportunities to connect students and those out of work with their first or next big career opportunity.
Q: Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next ten years?
A: We want to continue to grow our online training and continue to make our events bigger and better for the business community. As pricing and revenue management are touching more parts of business, we also want to expand our offerings to sales, marketing, finance, and accounting professionals. We have two major conferences per year in North America and one in Europe, with occasional events in Asia / Pacific and Latin America.
In the next few years, we will look to expand to multiple events per year in Europe and at least annual events in Asia and South America.