The debate about whether or not small business owners should posting pricing on their websites and in their marketing materials has raged for years (and the argument has just gotten more fierce since the advent of the internet).
For many of us, posting our prices poses a huge dilemma. What if the pricing scares prospects away, or if our prices allow our competitors to undercut us?
The good news (or the bad news, depending on how you look at it) is that there real reasons both for and against posting your pricing. Whether you do post or not will depend on your strategic approach, and also how easy you want to make it for your prospects to choose to explore working with you (OK, so my bias is already apparent, isn't it?).
Here are some arguments against posting your pricing:
1. "Competitors will be able to see our prices." (My response: So what?)
2. "We don't want to exclude prospects due to pricing concerns or sticker shock." (I say: You'd prefer to witness the sticker shock? Are you going to "sell at" them until you finally convince them, or do you plan to lower your prices so much that you actually lose money on the project?)
3. "There is more flexibility in bidding for projects because we are not restrained by a published pricing structure." (My translation: So, you don't know how much you are going to charge until you see how much they are willing to pay.)
4. "It is our industry standard not to disclose pricing." (Me again: "Industry standard" is just another phrase for mediocre. Are you happy (or rich) being the tentpole of the bell curve?)
Now here are my favorite reasons for posting your pricing:
1. To establish your market position (discount, standard, prestige), and attract exactly the clientele you prefer.
2. To discourage those who can't afford your services from taking your time with fruitless sales meetings, presentations, bids, and quotes.
3. Allows you to grant price concessions and/or offer specials or deals that appear more significant because the published (regular) price is higher.
4. You get a competitive edge in the sales cycle over competitors who don't have pricing posted because your prospects are already informed about your pricing, and have self-qualifed, so the only questions are about the product or service itself, such as availability and capacity, not price.
5. Reassures the buyer that your pricing is fair, and not about the size of their wallets or ability to pay more without getting more.
6. Gives the prospect doing his "due diligence" enough information to either take the next step and call, or to walk away because the pricing isn't a good fit.
7. When your prospects are in the information gathering ("due diligence") phase, they are actively looking for a solution, and they don't want to jump through extra hoops as they are evaluating their options. Clicking a link is acceptable, but filling out a form to request more information and/or have a salesperson call with pricing takes too long, and is too much of a commitment at this stage.