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Should I publish my prices?

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Should I publish my prices?

One of the most deliberated decisions for almost any business owner is whether to publish pricing information on their marketing material. For pure commodity products everyone does – be it car hire, hotels, holidays, and all e-commerce sites. On the other hand, for services such as architects, accountants, lawyers to web designers and plumbers almost 90% don’t. 

Think about it in terms of your own behaviour when searching for something on the internet, or when you phone someone to enquire about something, how often do you start with “how much does xyz cost?” or “what does it cost to…?” How often have you clicked on a website, or looked at an advert, been really interested in their product but found no information at all on what it is going to cost? How does it make you feel? Frustrated yes, but also the perception that builds in your mind is that this thing you have just searched for or looked at is probably going to be expensive because they have ‘hidden’ their prices. 

And then what do you do when you’re frustrated because you can’t find a price? Do you keep on searching through their website in the hope you will find it? Do you give them a call? If you are anything like me you do neither of those, what you do is go back to your search and try to find the answer somewhere else.

So why is it that almost 90% of companies don’t mention price on their website?

Some say they can’t because:

Every solution is different”

And this is true, take my design business, every brief is different. But anyone coming onto my site is also probably aware of that. So how can it be addressed. Can you address variable costs to give an idea of what things will cost and some possible ranges? 

Can you talk about what sort of things keep costs down, and what makes things more expensive? Can you help your potential customer understand what the different factors are that determine the costs? I know I need to be clearer on my website.

If you can clearly explain what determines a price, and give an indication of range it will build trust in you in the mind of the potential customer, and if you have earned their trust, then they are more likely to contact you than your competitor who hasn’t addressed price and has probably lost that trust.

The other reason many are reluctant to publish prices is they are worried that: 

“Our competitors will find out what we charge”

If you are any company worth your salt and do any form of research then you sure as anything should already know what your competitors charge! Competitor pricing is not a secret. And in any case, why would you be letting your competitors determine whether you publish your prices to educate and gain the trust of your potential customers?

Here is also why you need to have clearly created your category of one – your value, and the reason to buy from you that isn’t based on price. It also demonstrates the need to have really good testimonials on your website to show you are worth whatever you are charging.

Quotes from customers who shopped around and decided to purchase your product or service is another powerful strategy. Another good idea is to use before and after pictures; this could be actual results in graph form or photos of a transformation. 

The other big reason businesses don’t publish prices is the fear of:

 “We’ll scare customers away”

Really? You’re saying by publishing your prices you are going to scare people away? In reality you’re probably scaring them away by not publishing prices. Imagine, you’re looking for somewhere to meet friends for dinner, or a day trip out for the family. If the places you find to visit are not publishing their prices you will cross them off the list, as you won’t know whether it will be a super expensive night or day out, or worse a cheap and potentially poor experience.

Take my marketing and sales coaching for example. The general perception is that coaching is expensive, and if I didn’t publish my prices, then I could lose potential customers as they think I will be too expensive. In actual fact my coaching is surprisingly affordable for small business at only £399 a month.

It can also pre-qualify your customers. If you are at the more expensive range of the spectrum and you haven’t made that clear at the outset, then you are potentially getting enquiries from customers who cannot afford what you offer. You will therefore be wasting sales time on trying to convert a lead into a customer, only for them to find that you are out of their budget. If you do publish your prices, then you will get leads from customers who are aware, and accepting, of your prices, so are much more likely to lead to a sale. 

And Finally think about the SEO Opportunity

As we said at the start if 90% of businesses don’t mention price, and as we know from our own behaviour, most customers are searching for price then ranking for pricing related keywords is potential SEO gold.

Do some keyword research today, search out the phrases being used in your industry that relate to price and cost and I bet you can find some opportunities for creating content. 

Do you publish your prices? If you want to chat through any ideas as to the best way to publish prices, to get more leads for your business then drop me a line at [email protected].

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