If you are selling a product on your website, the answer to this is generally more simple. Although, some product-based businesses would rather have people pick up the phone and call so that they can have that interaction before discussing price. This is generally with higher ticket items. For service-based industries (or a product that is paired with a service), this is where we see this conversation generally come into play more. We seem to go through this conversation with our customers weekly and have done so internally at a few points, so we thought it might be important to discuss. We’ve all debated this topic at some point. The whole should I or shouldn’t I, pro and con debate. The truth is, every business is different and what your customers will expect is different. As a business you will need to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is right for your business type. Here are a few things you might want to consider when debating about adding pricing to your website:
What is the customer response?
The great thing about the web is that making changes on the fly is easier than ever (if you have the right web platform and design relationship). If you decide to place pricing on your website and for some reason find that it is not right for you…you can change it. Your website is a fluid representation of your business that should frequently be updated and enhanced to improve your customer experience. If something isn’t working, take it down. If something is working, place emphasis on it. It is that simple!
Also, just because you feature basic pricing on your website for services doesn’t mean that pricing can not vary from those amounts. For businesses that have a wide-variety of services or offerings, pricing is bound to be custom. Listing some baseline pricing as packages can give people an idea of your pricing, but your final pricing can vary based on project scope. Some ways to cover your bases and avoid issues on this are to state something such as the following:
1. Each client’s project and business needs are different. Let’s meet or have a call to discuss your specific business and how we can help you grow. We can customize packages to fit each client’s needs and be conscious of their budget.
2. Note that our packages “start at” the price listed. If the client wants more, or less, than what is offered, the package can be adjusted to fit those needs.
On the flip side, you don't want to keep having conversations with relentless customers who are trying to hold you to those price constraints, even if listed with some of the recommended wording above. If you find that happening, check if your chosen price presentation has to be adjusted. If it is pretty clearly just a baseline, maybe your clientele isn't ready for that kind of pricing and you should take it down for awhile...or maybe those conversation's are not being had with your ideal customer anyway.
Pricing qualifies your customers
Not everyone is your customer and you shouldn’t look at them like they are. At the end of the day, you want customers that see the value in the service or offering you are providing and are willing to pay for it. This is important. In the growth phase of a business it is tempting to jump on any business just to get things going. We understand this. If you can, try to stick to your guns and stand up for the value that you know you are offering. Accepting jobs that are under-priced and under-valued are likely to waste a lot of time that could be dedicated to building infrastructure and finding the right clients for you. This is actually probably the biggest reason we would recommend you add your pricing to your website. If you have pricing on your website and a client reaches out, you know that they have seen some basic pricing ideas and still want to learn more about your services. These are the calls that you want. They are okay with your pricing and want to find out more.
Weed out people that aren’t willing to pay for what your work dictates. Avoid the awkward price conversation that is a waste of both of your time. Everyone is not the right fit for your business. Focus your time on the people who are willing to pay what your quality of work or product offering dictates. You also might be missing out on people who think your services will be out of their ballpark. Think about when you go to a super-fancy restaurant. When you look down at a menu and it doesn’t include any pricing you know that the meal you will be having is not going to be cheap. Is that what your website, without pricing, is telling people? For some people that visit your site, that is what they will definitely think and you might miss out on clients that actually would fit into your project price range (but are making assumptions). You know your audience and that decision has to be made based on your clients.
With an alarm company for example, every house is different and every home owner will like a different level of security. In a conversation with one of our clients, the conclusion was reached that putting a few prices up in package form was ok, because we spelled out that prices started at $X. We made it clear what those prices included and also pointed out that most houses end up with custom quotes base on home-owners needs. For them, it illustrated they are going to be more expensive than major alarm chains, self-install systems or cheap product offering paired with less than professional install experience. However, with this client, you are getting a higher-level of service and product with your own custom and well-planned security system. That is where you are starting to filter out people that are not the right client for your offering and finding those who are willing to pay for that higher level of service or product.
Shows transparency and build trust, but will presenting it be too much?
We are the no bullsh*t agency, so we want to be nothing but transparent with our clients. Our services provide a lot of value and we want to help you grow your business. Not everyone sees the value in marketing and wants to pay for those services. That’s okay. They are not our clients. We recommend taking a similar approach with your business. Be open and transparent about who you are and be okay with that (and the reaction you get to that). In our meetings with clients we are very up front with our services and have a conversation to discover exactly what their specific business needs and then we are very can be clear about pricing and what that includes. We have talked, and still talk about the addition of some baseline packages, but with the wide-range of services we offer (logo and identity packages, website development, graphic design, social media management, SEO, videography, photography, etc.), how do we offer some baseline pricing without making that presentation overwhelming? Can you break your services up in different areas and place pricing by each? If not, presenting a large variety of different types of pricing in one area is probably too much.
Or for one of our motorsport clients, they offer a wide range of services and sales offerings. Because of this, pricing is only on the site for certain aspects of their business that make sense (like driving schools and cars for sale) and then customers can contact for other areas pricing (like service to their vehicle or other vip and storage options). Other clients could more easily give packages, like a cleaning service who could give a few general packages based on size of the home or commercial building using their hourly rate. Or, how about a company that offers summer camp packages for kids whose parents could select from different options based on daily or larger packaged rates?
Being transparent with everything, including pricing, gives current and future clients a view into your business’ world and helps them build trust with you. If you are upfront with them on what they can expect from you and then deliver on that experience, they are more likely to be comfortable with you. Like we said, this will not work in all cases and sometimes would be too much and dilute your overall message, but is certainly something that comes up frequently in our client discussions, so something worth talking through.
Weigh the pros and cons and think about what works for your business. Remember, it is YOUR business. We are happy to discuss business strategy and our thoughts on ways to set up your messaging and help you grow.
Call us today to discuss website and business strategy.