Honesty is the Best Policy: Publishing Prices on Your Website
If there is one thing I can recommend to you to help boost sales, get new clients, and establish customer trust, it would be to put your pricing on your website.
If you’ve ever purchased a new car, you know how frustrating it can be to try and track down the price of a specific make or model. Where can you get the best deal? What is the actual list value of the car? Are you getting a good deal?
Researching prices and interest rates online can take so much time, and frequently, the answers just aren’t there. You may even get to the point that if someone just published the actual cost of the car, you’d buy that one: At least you know what you’d be spending!
So you’ve been there. We’ve all been consumers. And the first thing we check when we walk into a store? The price tag. It’s natural; we want to know the price point of the store. But if there are no price tags? It’s going to be challenging to commit to spending money there, or even to ask about prices.
You won’t feel like you can get attached to anything in the store, until you know the price. In fact, with no price tags, many people will assume they cannot afford what is in the store, then leave and go to a new store. And it’s the same for your website!
Business owners and marketers constantly forget that as consumers, we all check the price tags. Publishing these prices on your website makes your company more accessible. Usability consultant Jakob Nielsen thinks this is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make:
“The most user-hostile element of most B2B (business-to-business) sites is a complete lack of pricing information. And yet, when we asked users to prioritize which of 28 types of B2B site information mattered most to them, prices scored the highest by far (29% higher than product availability, which ranked second).”
Companies have all sorts of excuses for not wanting to display prices on their websites, but that is all that they are: excuses. When you publish your prices, users get a basic understanding of your products and services that they expect when doing their initial research about your company.
Know Your Worth— and Bill Accordingly
“I’m afraid my price will scare people off.”
“I have no idea how much should I charge.”
“I need to know my clients first.”
“I don’t want my competitor to know.”
“My services are too customized or too complex to set a fixed price plan.”
Are these the same fears you experience when you think about a published fix price plan? Here’s what I say to that: Charge what you are worth. So often we forget to honor the time, heart, training, work, and materials that we put into each job we do, and focus on what will get you the most business or please a new customer.
But would we ask the same thing of a neurosurgeon? That they aim to please a new customer with the price of an operation? Their schooling, skillset, and expertise are already factored into the cost of surgery.
When it’s time for the hospital billing department to send off a bill to the patient’s insurance company, they don’t factor in “the value of exposure” from performing the surgery or “building a client base” into the price tag. They bill for the surgery. They bill what they are worth. And so should you.
It’s time to let go of the fear of pricing, and charge what you are worth.
An Added Bonus: SEO
Think about when someone searches for “cost of” the service they are looking to find. If you have published your prices on your website, your site is much more likely to come up as a solution for that search. By including your pricing on your website, you are also increasing your search engine optimization (SEO)!
You can garner some major exposure and boost your SEO, making your company more visible to more people when you add a pricing page to your website. These added visits to your website are qualified traffic. They have questions regarding services that you actually offer, and your website is the one to provide them with the answers.
You can even capitalize on this by including free offers for downloads, promotions, or a live chat to begin to engage these visitors in a sales conversation. It’s a win-win-win: You get the extra exposure you are looking for, and they get an answer to their questions and an added bonus!
Still nervous about publishing this information? Put your pricing page behind a captivating landing page, and you’ll have a bit more control over how this information pops up in someone’s search results.
Your Customer’s Perspective
Think about it as a consumer: Say you visit two websites that offer comparable services, and you are trying to decide which company is the best fit for your business.
When you look at Company A’s website, they have a published pricing plan page on their site, which details the prices and services for each pricing plan. In fact, they are so transparent that they explain how they came up with these prices and all the features you will receive with each plan. They even offer chat support so that you can discuss these prices and services with a qualified professional.
It feels secure. It feels easy. And it doesn’t feel like they are hiding anything from you. You know that you will receive the same “deal” as their other clients. You know they aren’t trying to hike up the price if they feel your company can afford it.
Company B’s website, on the other hand, does not explain any pricing. You have to fill out a “contact us” form, wait several hours (or even days!) for someone to respond to you. When you finally get in touch with one of their sales reps, they don’t want to discuss pricing right away, but instead, want “to get to know you better” first.
So you finally arrange a time to meet with them, and spend at least an extra hour of your time listening to a sales pitch before you ever get any information about pricing.
It. Takes. Time.
And it feels like you are being tricked, or pulled through the wringer just to get the information you need so you can decide whether or not you can work with this company.
So as the prospective client, which company do you want to work with, Company A or Company B?
Your clients will feel valued when you are transparent with them. Not only does it honor their time, but it assures them that they are making the right decision. Your clients are happy because they can trust you, and they know they are getting their money’s worth.