November 22, 2005
Excerpts: Stooples -- Part IV
To: Heads of Sales & Marketing Departments
From: The Emperor of Erasers
Re: Keeping your jobs and our pricing strategy
It has come to senior management's attention that we're spending tens of thousands of dollars a year trying to figure out how to price our items. People, I don't care if that's what they teach you at Harvard, Yale, or Wharton. At dear, old Pace University's night business program, we learned business is all about moving product, and recent figures show me we're not doing that. To that end, CFO de Krook and I want to roll out our new, more aggressive pricing plan. Let's call it "Operation Undercut."
Instead of pulling your chins and scratching your heads trying to work out toe the penny what our logistics and infrastructure costs are, here's what I want you to do. When you quote a price to a retailer or wholesaler, casually ask what OfficeHacks is charging for the same item. If the price is lower than the one you quoted--say forty-seven cents per item, compared with your offer of fity [sic] each--cough twice, slap your forehead with your palm, and say, "Oh, did I say fity cents a unit? I meant forty-six cents, because you're such a good customer."
I know you all work on commission, based on the size of the sale you've made, so I understand your fears that shaving margins will also sharply reduce your commissions. That's why this memo is circulated on the same day that we've just introduced our new "Overpriced Executive Line," basically the same office-supply garbage we already sell, produced at the same places and for the same cost, just stuck in nicer gold-colored and silver-colored boxes with ribbons on them, designed to make executives feel important and willing to pay 40 percent more.
So be of good cheer and keep those expense accounts down. Go forth and sell, sell, sell!
Onward and upward,
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.