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Tips on Selling

Publishing prices saves everyone time
Publishing prices saves everyone time

Should you publish pricing on your website?

Advertising prices through online marketing can be a minefield. JEREMY MILLER has some tips as to how you can decide whether or not it is a move you should consider making.

When in the midst of redesigning our website, we had a big internal debate: do we publish our rates online? I don’t have the answer, but I’d like to take you through the thinking behind whether to publish your pricing on your website.

The hell no stance

I have been mentored to believe publishing prices is a big no, no. The reasons against publishing pricing are straightforward and can be attributed to a few clear concerns.

Sticker Shock: There’s a perceived risk that you may scare customers away. They will see the price without understanding your value proposition, and that may drive them to seek out cheaper solutions.

If your customers can’t see the value proposition from your front door then you have a branding problem. Life’s too short to build your business selling to price sensitive bottom-feeding customers.

Educating the competition: The other reason to avoid publishing price is you can make it too easy for your competition. They can use that intel against you.

I definitely find this a tricky issue, especially for industries that sell through a bidding process. Publishing your pricing may create an opening for the competition to slightly undercut your prices in a RFP (request for proposal) or tender.

Don't overestimate

That said, we can also overestimate the competition. As the old saying goes, “mimicry is the highest form of flattery.” If the competition is copying your services and pricing models then your company is defining the brand category and industry expectations.

Price is a segue: My number one reason for not publishing price up until now is it’s a great call to action. When someone is ready to discover the price it’s time for a conversation.

They are receptive to a sales call, and you can accelerate the sales process by getting the customer on the phone.

Positioned to negotiate: The other major sticking point for publishing price, and this one really does concern me, is it sets up the customer to negotiate.

For example, the customer sees a service is $10,000 but they say, “We love it, but we’ll only pay $8,000.”

Engaging in a price negotiation at the start of a sales cycle is dangerous. It’s not the way I want to start a relationship. I don’t have the experience to know if this situation is real or not, but it does give me cause for concern.

The hell yes stance

The internet has changed expectations. We live in an information-rich market, and if customers want the price then give it to them.

"If the competition is copying your services and pricing models then your company is defining the brand category and industry expectations."

Price is everywhere: Price isn’t hard to find anymore. We first got conditioned to discover the price by the car companies. You can configure any car and their websites will give you the exact price. This practice has extended well beyond the automotive industry now.

Even if the price isn’t published on a company’s website you can usually get it from an existing customer on social media. Ask the question on Twitter or Facebook, and if the company is large enough, or prominent enough, you’ll get an answer.

Saves time

Published prices saves time: Let your customers determine if your services are the right fit. My company’s goal is to achieve the two-call close — and if I could make it a onecall close, even better.

A primary way I achieve this is through making my website sell as well as my best sales person. My thinking is any information I would give in a sales call should be on the website.

This helps me in two ways. First, it eliminates people that aren’t a fit. This saves them time, and it saves me time.

Second, it positions the services by helping customers understand where the services fit in the spectrum of marketing options available to them. Price is a positioning tool.

The Customer Wants Pricing: This is the number one reason for me to publish price. If the customer wants that information then give it to them.

It’s a key aspect of their decision making process. If it helps them make better buying decisions faster, it just makes sense to publish your rates proudly on your website.

Publishing your prices on your website doesn’t fulfil your value proposition or make your brand stickier, but it can whet your customers’ appetite to buy faster.

Jeremy Miller

Contributor • Sticky Branding

Jeremy Miller is a brand builder, keynote speaker and bestselling author of Sticky Branding. Learn more: stickybranding.com

Independent Jewellers Collective (IJC)

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