The job duties of a pricing assistant include researching and determining appropriate pricing structures for a company's products or services. He will often interact with supply vendors and internal sales departments to come up with price quotes for customer inquiries and potential orders. In some industries, an assistant may help draft the pricing section of rental contracts and portions of other business correspondence. Assistants could also extend administrative support to a company's sales team, including lead generation and follow-up communication.
Although a pricing assistant does not always determine a company's final pricing structure, he often conducts research to figure out appropriate price ranges for products and services. Prices can be influenced by raw material and manufacturing costs, as well as by the market forces of supply and demand. For example, an assistant who works for a car insurance company may help determine annual premium prices based on a vehicle's safety record, model year, and loss prevention features. Regional differences and competitor activity can also influence pricing structures, including temporary reductions due to sales promotions and market introductions.
Communicating with vendors and the company's sales personnel is a major part of a pricing assistant's job duties. Data on the products and services that need appropriate pricing is usually funneled through the sales team. These representatives have firsthand knowledge of what the company's customers are looking for and may work with the pricing department to create quotes for customers interested in making a purchase. Contact with supply vendors may need to be established in order to come up with a list of average production costs, as well as non-standard items, such as a custom paint design for an automobile.
In industries that rely on contracts, a pricing assistant might write the sections that deal with the customer's costs. This is often seen in mortgage and real estate firms that itemize costs related to interest rates, minimum down payments, and mortgage finance charges. While some of these costs are determined by the customer's personal finance history and market rates, other charges may vary between firms. For example, real estate sales commissions and a mortgage lender's loan origination costs could differ depending on the organization's operating expenses.
Sales support can be an additional job duty for a pricing assistant. In most cases this support entails communicating with customers and assisting with sales prospecting. An assistant may reach out to customers to discuss price quotes or negotiate prices. For instance, a customer who wishes to buy out his car lease may negotiate a final purchase price with an assistant based on changes in its fair market value.