One of the most difficult pricing challenges facing marketers is how to maintain consistent, value-based street prices in highly competitive markets where every deal is seemingly at risk.

For many of us, the temptation to maintain flexible pricing policies in order to negotiate customer-specific deals is too much to resist. Like a dieter trying to lose weight, these marketers try to "cheat" by treating themselves to a one-time price discount to close a particular deal.

However, just like the dieter who must face the reality of the scale at the end of the week, price cheaters must face the reality of their bottom line. Unfortunately, that reality, all too often, is increased price erosion and decreasing margins.

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