If you have a service-based business, you might go back and forth about listing prices on your website. But here are a few reasons why you should.
A couple of weeks ago I made a post on one of my Facebook groups about listing prices on your website. While the majority of the people who responded felt showing prices is a necessity, there were several responses from people who refuse to disclose price online. So let me dispel any fears you may have and tell you why you should consider listing prices on your website.
The post was inspired after I came across a business coach’s site. While I wasn’t actively looking for that type of service, it was something that had popped into my mind before. I had considered it as a way to help me grow my new business.
After skimming her home page and landing on her services, I noticed she did not have pricing listed — no price range or starting price either. That is when she lost me.
So this got me thinking, how much does showing or not showing price affect business? As a consumer, when someone does not list their price, I automatically assume they are too expensive. If I have to ask for the price, it’s a premium or luxury package.
In reality, her services may have been within my budget, but I wouldn’t take the time to contact her and find out. I rather find someone else who makes it clear what they are offering and for how much (at least a ballpark number).
When I’m considering a course or service, I quickly skim the page and scroll down to the cost. Right away your website needs to portray how I would benefit from purchasing, and what it’s going to cost me. If the price is reasonable, I’ll go back and read the rest of the page to verify that the cost equals the value offered. Then if you still have my attention, I’ll read the about page, your portfolio, or your testimonials.
Now, I’m sharing my experiences as a consumer to illustrate what most of your clients will be doing. So many people responded to the post with comments like:
- “I won’t consider a service without transparent pricing.”
- “No pricing information feels dishonest to me.”
- “If you can’t make it easy for me, you don’t want my business enough.”
- “If they don’t list their prices, I move along and assume I can’t afford them. If they do, then I read more.”
- “If someone can’t be straight up with me and save me the time of emailing and then waiting for a reply, then that’s not someone I want to give my business to.”
The process most new visitors will follow when considering you:
- They skim the website to get a general idea of what the product or service package includes. Your visitors are going to be looking at headings, bullet points, charts, images, testimonials, and anything else that stands out.
- If intrigued, they’ll scroll down to the cost. Then if the cost is reasonable (maybe even above their budget), and there is some perceived value, you got their attention. Reasonable price does not mean inexpensive or cheap. A reasonable price is whatever your customer thinks matches the value you are offering.
- After deciding the perceived value matches the cost, they’ll go back and read the rest of the page and/or website to solidify their decision to contact or purchase.
So the 3 biggest reasons people gave for not listing prices are as follow:
1 – They want people to buy based on reputation and value, not prices.
The thought behind this idea is you wouldn’t want people to base their decision solely on price, before you can get them on the phone to explain the value of your services.
This is a myth because:
- Your website should be doing most of the sales work — showing value and educating them on why what you offer is what they need. By the time they contact you, they should be 60%-80% sure they want to buy, and you just have to close the deal. The point of a consultation or phone call should be to make sure you are a good fit and dispel any lingering doubts.
- Whether you want to or not, price is going to be a factor in the purchaser’s decision. The reality is everyone has different responsibilities and different income levels. No amount of convincing or sales is going to make people spend more money than they have.
- Keep in mind, showing a high price can also convey value for the simple misconception that if it costs a lot of money, then it must be good.
Instead of leaving out your prices for this reason, make your sales page so effective that when people look at your price, they think “wow, that’s it?”. It still comes down to showing value — the price it’s just a starting reference point.
2 – They don’t want to scare off people with lower budgets.
I can see how this would be a fear for many. But this is a myth because:
- Not listing prices actually keeps those who assume they can’t afford you from contacting you in the first place. To most people, no price equals expensive and premium.
- If your sales page and overall website does a good job of conveying the value you bring to the table, a high price will not necessarily scare people away. In fact, if the price is high the visitor may still look around to see what makes you so good. After all, if something has a premium price than it must be of high value.
- Even if they don’t have the money to afford you at that moment, you’ll at least give your visitors a reference point of what they need to budget or put together to make it happen.
- There are some people who will look for the cheapest solution regardless, and those may not be the kind of clients you want. Listing prices on your website automatically turns them away. But for most of us, it’s not about the cheapest solution. It’s about the highest perceived value, which your website should make clear.
- Even if you do get less inquiries by listing your prices, more than likely those inquiries will have a higher conversion rate. They already know what to expect, and your time won’t be wasted by people asking for prices when it turns out they can’t afford you anyway. You might get less leads, but those leads will be warmer.
Instead of leaving out your prices for fear of scaring people away, work on being confident that you are charging what your work is worth. Convey real value on your website, and price will not deter your ideal clients.
3 – Their services are customized to each client so it’s difficult to give a blanket price.
This is a myth because:
You should be able to offer some sort of pricing information to help shape your clients’ expectations. Here are two ways to do that:
- List “starting at” prices and make it clear that it changes with the scope of the project. It helps to have packages which specifically list what is included, so that it’s clear anything more would be a whole different price tag.
- If your services vary so much in scope and price, then you can give potential visitors a range. To take it even further, you can describe 1 or 2 examples of your average or past projects, and say something along the lines of “a project similar to this would run [insert price range here]”, or “for X my clients can expect to pay [insert range here]”. Then make it clear that each project is quoted differently depending on the scope. But at least this way you give your visitors a reference point. That’s what it’s all about.
Reasons you should be listing prices on your website:
- It saves time – The customer knows whether or not she can even afford your services, and you know you have a qualified lead when she contacts you.
- It is convenient for your potential client – Instead of having to contact you and wait for a response, he wants to easily make an informed decision on whether or not he wants to take it further.
- People value transparency – Customers want to be well informed, and your website should give them all the information they need to decide if they want to do business with you. Not listing prices on your site comes across as you hiding something.
- There are exceptions to every rule, and showing prices may not be the best route to go for you. At the end of the day, it really comes down to your market positioning and your target. If you are targeting high-end clients with a premium service or product, than there is less likely a need for listing prices on your website.
- Another reason you might not want to show prices is if you are selling an exclusive or limited program/service. This closely ties in with the point above.
- When in doubt, test it out. Find out what works best for your business by comparing what results you get from listing or hiding prices. Do one month of each, and see what gets the better results.
Let me know in the comments below what your experience has been with listing or not disclosing prices on your site.