BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - It just might work - Let the customer bid

BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - It just might work - Let the customer bid - Everybody has a sense of the right price, of what they'll grin and bear. But how to find the highest bearable price? The problem has long baffled cash-maximising man

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Everybody has a sense of the right price, of what they'll grin and bear. But how to find the highest bearable price? The problem has long baffled cash-maximising managers, but Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems, might just have the answer. Don't fix the price at all. Let customers fix it themselves via auctions, as buyers do on eBay.com. Sun is already selling computers through this and other auction sites and, as McNealy recently told the Harvard Business Review, he is very pleased with the results. Eventually, Sun won't have price lists at all. So, not only must its poor sales reps sell on attributes other than price, they can't play 'liar-liar' either. No more 'this is my best price' to prospects who counter with equally phoney top offers. The new game is 'going, going, gone'.

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