Guest

Five Reasons You Should Discuss Pricing on Your Website

By: Guest | August 17, 2011 | 
146

Today’s guest post is written by Marcus Sheridan.

Some scientists claim the phenomenon of Stonehenge is the greatest mystery the world has ever seen. Others argue the case of crop circles, the Lost City of Atlantis, or even the location of the Ark of the Covenant.

But when it comes down to it, none of these even come close to the great mystery that is alive and well on hundreds of thousands of business websites across the world today—the absence of pricing information.

You might think I’m kidding when I make these comparisons, but I’m not. For me, the idea that so many businesses, small and large, are afraid to discuss pricing on their website simply makes me slap my forehead and wonder if I’m participating in a live episode of The Twilight Zone.

I know some of you reading this are shaking your head as you don’t feel such a discussion on your website is possible. But let me assure you that if you’ll just open yourself up to the possibilities, your company’s website and marketing efforts may just take an upward swing you never dreamed possible.

Five Reasons to Discuss Pricing on Your Website

1. SEO Value. Here’s the deal—Most industries and businesses are afraid to talk about pricing on their websites. Notwithstanding, this is one of the most common search phrases Google gets when folks are serious about buying a product. That said, you have a great opportunity to show up on the first page of Google search results if you’re simply willing to address the question of how much your product or service costs.

As an example, let’s take a look at my swimming pool website (Yes, when I’m not writing about marketing I’m overseeing my swimming pool company). Because no one in the industry talked about fiberglass swimming pools for years on their website, we decided to answer every question our customers had ever asked us. Considering pricing and cost is the number one question we get from consumers, we wrote various articles on the subject. And the results? In the past three years, just because we address this important question, our site has received an additional:

  • 220,000 page views
  • 55,000 visitors
  • 138 leads
  • Roughly $1,000,000 in sales

Keep in mind these stats are just based on pricing/cost related keywords in organic search, and as you can see, they’ve been a literal jackpot and have led to a mountain of additional sales. If you’d like to see what I’m talking about here, just type in Google ‘Fiberglass Pool Cost’ or ‘Fiberglass Pool Pricing’.

2. You’re going to have to answer the question anyway. The main reason business owners tell me they can’t talk about pricing on their website is because there is too much of a range to deal with, and thus it’s impossible to give someone realistic expectations. But my response to this is simple: “When someone calls you on the phone and asks you for a price range, do you refuse to answer them or do you ask a few questions and attempt to give basic numbers?”

Again, let’s look at swimming pools as an example. My product ranges from $20,000 to $200,000, but this doesn’t mean I can’t give a potential client at least a broad expectation based on their wants and needs. (Again, if you haven’t looked at my pricing page, you should do this.)

When it comes to content marketing, folks, there is simply no excuse not to address any and every potential question a consumer may ask. It’s that simple.

3. Qualify better and stop wasting your time. Have you ever had a sales appointment that was an absolute waste of time because you were way out of the shopper’s budget? Well, if you did, it’s your fault. Why? Because you didn’t prepare the prospect. You weren’t honest and forthright. And in this day and age of poor credit and hard-to-come-by financing, you sure as heck need to filter out the qualified from the unqualified consumers.

4. Your stuff is worth it. Let me be blunt with this one: If you’re embarrassed by your pricing, why in the world would anyone have the confidence to buy from you? Pricing and cost should never be a subject of trepidation when dealing with prospects. In fact, talking about pricing should be as natural as talking about any other aspect of the product or service. Seriously, there should be no difference in approach.

5. Prospects will love you and you’ll stand out from the crowd. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “Marcus, thank you so much for talking about pricing on your website. I couldn’t seem to find answers anywhere!”, I’d be a millionaire. Today’s consumer appreciates openness, honesty, and transparency—so why not embrace such a mentality??

So there you have it folks, five reasons you should be discussing price on your company website right now. And if you don’t believe that it will work, I can only ask that you give it a try. Look for reasons that it will work versus conjuring up all the ways in which it won’t.

I could go on and on regarding this subject but I’ve already badly broken the Spin Sucks word count rules 😉 Plus, I’m saving it for my webinar next week with Gini Dietrich. If you haven’t signed up for ‘Content’s Ability to Close Sales’, you really should strongly consider it, because it’s going to be awesome and regret is not fun. It is Thursday, August 25th, 11 am Central, $50, and you can register here.

So now it’s your turn. Do you think pricing should be discussed on a company’s website? What’s your business’ approach to this subject and what have been the results?

Marcus Sheridan has won the heart of Gini Dietrich and millions of others with his rockin words on business, marketing, blogging, and life success principles. And don’t forget to subscribe to his blog or connect with him on G+.

Note from Gini: He’s right; he has won my heart. He’s really freaking smart and has a TON of value to provide PR and marketing professionals.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

146 Comments on "Five Reasons You Should Discuss Pricing on Your Website"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
StephenSmith
StephenSmith
4 years 10 months ago

You’re echoing the question I’ve found myself asking time & time again!

Glad being upfront works for you… now if only the rest of the world would listen.

Nicely written.

StephenSmith
StephenSmith
4 years 10 months ago

You’re echoing the question I’ve found myself asking time & time again!

Glad being upfront works for you… now if only the rest of the world would listen.

Nicely written.

thehotiron
thehotiron
4 years 10 months ago

Great post Marcus! As a Web consultant, I have always pondered putting pricing information on my site, but as a Web site has many options and directions… like a swimming pool I have learned … I didn’t know how to approach it. I could almost take the beginning of your pricing page and swap “swimming pool” for “Web site” and it would work! Of course I won’t do that. 🙂

mp/m

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@StephenSmith Thanks Stephen, it’s really common sense, isn’t it? I think we’re now in the ‘Age of Upfrontness’ (great word, ehh?), and those that don’t take this approach will quickly lose the trust of the public. BTW Stephen, do you talk about pricing on your site and what have been the results?

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@thehotiron Hahaha, I wouldn’t mind it actually. I think my pricing page has been literally copied to some extent about 200 times by this point in the pool industry. And since I’ve now been involved in teaching this to businesses for the last year, it’s only gotten worse. 😉 So copy away brother!!!

StephenSmith
StephenSmith
4 years 10 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan I like the ‘Age of Upfrontness’

I don’t have a site to discus prices on, but if I did, I would.

NEMultimedia
4 years 10 months ago
A successful business owner offered us this advice: Price according to what the market will bear, and then deliver the best service and value for that price. If a potential client thinks you’re too expensive, then he’s not your client. He’s someone else’s client. Let him go.Another successful business owner told us his company won’t even touch a project with a budget of under $25k. Again, if a potential customer thinks that’s too expensive, so be it. That’s someone else’s client. Let them go. We have to get over the fear of losing customers to businesses who undercut the market.… Read more »
NEMultimedia
4 years 10 months ago

@thehotiron We posted an “entry level” price for our WordPress websites, and spelled out very carefully what that price includes. That way, the entry level customer knows what to expect, and the customer who has a larger budget knows he can afford us — and still get great value and service. It works for us!

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@StephenSmith Nice…well if I write the book on it, we’ll split the royalties 😉

NEMultimedia
NEMultimedia
4 years 10 months ago

Excellent, challenging post. RT @ginidietrich Five Reasons to have pricing on your website by @thesaleslion http://t.co/hBbDYn3

NEMultimedia
NEMultimedia
4 years 10 months ago

Excellent, challenging post. RT @ginidietrich Five Reasons to have pricing on your website by @thesaleslion http://t.co/hBbDYn3

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NEMultimedia Michelle, awesome. Completely down with your way of thinking here. The core of this principle of openess in pricing centers around those 3 magic words you mentioned here:

Let them go

If a business doesn’t know who to let go, they’re in big trouble. I mean BIG trouble. Discussing pricing, in the proper manner of course, is one of the best sales filters ever created…and boy does it save a lot of wasted time and conversation.

Thanks Michelle!!!

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NEMultimedia Michelle, awesome. Completely down with your way of thinking here. The core of this principle of openess in pricing centers around those 3 magic words you mentioned here:

Let them go

If a business doesn’t know who to let go, they’re in big trouble. I mean BIG trouble. Discussing pricing, in the proper manner of course, is one of the best sales filters ever created…and boy does it save a lot of wasted time and conversation.

Thanks Michelle!!!

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NEMultimedia Michelle, awesome. Completely down with your way of thinking here. The core of this principle of openess in pricing centers around those 3 magic words you mentioned here:

Let them go

If a business doesn’t know who to let go, they’re in big trouble. I mean BIG trouble. Discussing pricing, in the proper manner of course, is one of the best sales filters ever created…and boy does it save a lot of wasted time and conversation.

Thanks Michelle!!!

NancyD68
4 years 10 months ago

I am so shy about asking for money. I need to get over that. Recently, I was contacted for some ideas about how to help a very small local business get his blog back up and running. I gave him some ideas, and he is off to the races.

What I need is a way to realize getting paid for that kind of thing is not selfish, evil or bad. It is how I need to start making a living. I am glad I saw this post Marcus. I am bookmarking this one.

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NEMultimedia@thehotiron Love the process of ‘spelling out’, as it allows for no confusion. And this ‘no confusion’ isn’t just going to happen before the sale, but it’s also a huge benefit after the product or service is delivered, because now the customer can’t say, “But you promised you’d include….” or ‘But I thought I’d also get…..”

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NEMultimedia@thehotiron Love the process of ‘spelling out’, as it allows for no confusion. And this ‘no confusion’ isn’t just going to happen before the sale, but it’s also a huge benefit after the product or service is delivered, because now the customer can’t say, “But you promised you’d include….” or ‘But I thought I’d also get…..”

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NEMultimedia@thehotiron Love the process of ‘spelling out’, as it allows for no confusion. And this ‘no confusion’ isn’t just going to happen before the sale, but it’s also a huge benefit after the product or service is delivered, because now the customer can’t say, “But you promised you’d include….” or ‘But I thought I’d also get…..”

John Falchetto
4 years 10 months ago

And this is why I am adding a pricing page on the site. Thanks Buddy.

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@NancyD68 Talking about pricing is a beautiful thing Nancy. I love discussing the subject personally. It should never be treated as a great mystery or anything of that nature. You bring value. You’re great at what you do. You make people money…..and for that you should get paid.

I’ll be calling you soon Nancy btw, got your message. 🙂

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@John Falchetto Sweet JF, awesome brother. In fact, I’m thinking “How much does a Life Coach typically cost” would be one heck of a keyword phrase to capture….Hmmmm, dude, now that I think about it, we should have tackled that one a while ago, as well as a bunch others that are rolling around in my head right now. Let’s make sure to skype today and discuss. Once comments slow down here a bit, let’s chat, like around 2:30 eastern or so. Cool?

John Falchetto
4 years 10 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan Looking forward to it.

NancyD68
4 years 10 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan I have my phone near me!

thehotiron
thehotiron
4 years 10 months ago

@visiblelogic I like his approach, and it’s somewhat similar to what we do, by giving ranges

Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago
@NancyD68@Marcus_Sheridan It’s definitely something you need to get over but I think we all go through it at the beginning. We all want to be helpful, but we also need to eat, right? !! Having a nice detailed explanation of what someone can expect in terms of pricing is such a great way to qualify your prospects! I knew I made it over that money hump the day someone asked my hourly rate and he was shocked, and appalled, and I stared back at him, straight-faced. He is not my customer and that is absolutely fine. If I had had… Read more »
Lisa Gerber
4 years 10 months ago

@Marcus_Sheridan@StephenSmith If?

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@Lisa Gerber@NancyD68 Amen to that Lisa. Great example.

Glenn Street
Glenn Street
4 years 10 months ago
Marcus, just what I needed. Audiologists (my wife is one) seem to have an ingrained fear of talking about price – usually in the 4 to 6 grand range – until a patient is sitting in front of them. They feel they can convince someone of their value, but only in person. Problem is they are, by and large, lousy salespeople. For years have suggested being open with hearing aid pricing would actually make their job easier, for the reasons you listed (it’s by far the #1 request by patients…. what a shock). Audiologists don’t believe me, but hopefully they… Read more »
Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@Lisa Gerber@StephenSmith Well, the problem is I have a few other things to write first, like ginidietrich ‘s biography “How to Ride Bikes with the Big Boys and kick their @#$%@#$%#” 🙂

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago
@Glenn Street Another perfect example of an entire industry living in the stone ages Glen. Crazy, but that’s how it works. Your wife could own that industry in no time if she broke through this stupid ‘code of silence’ and really started answering questions just as she would sitting down with a customer. In fact, if I was her, I’d do a sit down video of her explaining pricing, not just the written explanation. This way, she’s able to deliver the emotional appeal she’s so afraid to lose by addressing it beforehand. Good luck Glen, would love to hear from… Read more »
DannyBrown
4 years 10 months ago

I think it depends on the industry, mate.

We offer a host of different services that have various prices:

– Audits (price based on industry, demographics, depth and time needed for research and analysis/recommendations)

– Integrated marketing campaigns (price based on per project needs, tools needed, manpower)

– Web design (price based on depth, e-commerce needs, social integration, cross branding)

These are just three of our most recent projects, and each one was different. For a marketing agency,or similar, I don’t think you can be as clear cut on the price, as there’s no “standard project”.

Cheers, mate! 🙂

NancyD68
4 years 10 months ago

@Lisa Gerber@Marcus_Sheridan Well said. that is exactly what I have to work on. I also have to as your said be helpful, but still eat 🙂

That balance is where I need help. I had a phone call with someone who clearly could not afford my help – and like you said Lisa – he is not my customer. I need to get to that point in the conversation faster.

Really good example and this is why i come and comment. This is how I learn.

Glenn Street
Glenn Street
4 years 10 months ago
@Marcus_Sheridan Stone age indeed but fortunately, Barb does not have feet of rock. She recently opened a new practice (her third) and agreed to try my “crazy” pricing scheme. Since then, we’ve had inquiries from people on four continents asking where they can find a local office that does what Barb does. It seems we struck a nerve. New patients take to the program immediately, but with prior hearing aid users, it takes a while to “unstick” them from the pricing assumptions they have seen for years (and hate). Interestingly, comments from fellow professional have fallen into only two extremes.… Read more »
Kristi Hines
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown What about if you gave estimates like “we charge $$$ per hour and an average audit is anywhere from XX to XX amount of hours.” It will give people a ballpark at least of what to expect.

Kristi Hines
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown What about if you gave estimates like “we charge $$$ per hour and an average audit is anywhere from XX to XX amount of hours.” It will give people a ballpark at least of what to expect.

Kristi Hines
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown What about if you gave estimates like “we charge $$$ per hour and an average audit is anywhere from XX to XX amount of hours.” It will give people a ballpark at least of what to expect.

Kristi Hines
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown What about if you gave estimates like “we charge $$$ per hour and an average audit is anywhere from XX to XX amount of hours.” It will give people a ballpark at least of what to expect.

Kristi Hines
4 years 10 months ago

I’d say the reason people leave off the pricing is they assume they’ll scare everyone off before their sales team can get the chance to schmooze with the prospective client. But if you’re like me, you don’t even bother with the services that don’t have some pricing mentioned because you just assume, as a prospective client, you couldn’t afford them anyway and move on. Great points! I’d definitely rather have less inquiries, but have the ones that do know what they’re asking for and know it’s what they want already.

NathLussier
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown I agree with Danny, and it’s why I don’t put prices on my site either.

I’ve noticed that people want to know about price because it’s one of the few things they know to compare different providers or products. But with a service, it’s easy to mistake two providers as being the same except for the price, when the service itself can vary significantly.

Hope that made sense!

Glenn Street
Glenn Street
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown Perhaps we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “I can’t publish a price list because my price structure is complex”, how about asking the question, “How can I ballpark this to attract the clients I want?”

sydcon_mktg
4 years 10 months ago
@DannyBrown I agree, Danny! For us, everything we do is totally custom. So while we could say our range is say $5k-$100k, it is just to broad and would probably scare people away. Even if someone comes saying I want you to make my site like site X, there are still too many variables. Like you mentioned, depth, e-commerce, CMS, etc. Not to mention phased development. Some clients get the full price then want to break it into phases for cost purposes….well somethings have to be done in specific order. Have we wasted time when being out of range, sure…who… Read more »
HowieSPM
HowieSPM
4 years 10 months ago

I use Google Shopping all the time to compare prices. Sadly so many ‘prices’ are negotiable. I agree with you points Marcus.Anyone who doesn’t list a price for that item never get’s a shot at my business. Every business with standard pricing should put it out there. Isn’t it cheaper than me calling and using a reps time and then say ‘sorry price is to high see you’

I see there is that 380sq ft pool on your website for only 18.99 is that right? Clicking ‘Check out’ now

DannyBrown
4 years 10 months ago

@Kristi Hines Hi Kristi,

We don’t offer per hour services anymore, as we found that it often devalued the work we were doing, and limiting the services clients were getting (as they got into the mindset of trying to work out how many hours work they wanted).

A monthly retainer is a better solution for everyone, but again this goes on a per project need. We’ve also seen audits take up to 6 months for a heavily bound-by-legal industry, and many clients outside that requirement could baulk at the cost involved, when their audit is nothing like that.

DannyBrown
4 years 10 months ago
@Glenn Street That’s one option, Glenn, but often clients won’t understand what they need until they’ve really sat down and discussed the results they want, the comparative companies they want to emulate (very often not feasible), and their ideal scenario based on limitless budget. Then we reel them back into a more realistic tiered approach, and start looking at projects and costs from there. If you ballpark and then the project is way above scope of that, the client will be put off from the start. I’d rather make sure they’re fully understanding of the work that will be needed,… Read more »
DannyBrown
4 years 10 months ago

@NathLussier Makes perfect sense!

I’ve seen people say, “Well, so and so can offer us this for this price”, to which my response is, “Cool. You know what we bring to the table; you know the expertise; you know we partner throughout; you know we build in a pay-by-performance option. But if you prefer cost comparisons, then I won’t stop you.”

You’re not comparing the price of beans in a supermarket; you’re comparing quality experience and results, and advice that’s right for your company. That’s worth more than trying to win by a few dollars an hour.

DannyBrown
4 years 10 months ago

@sydcon_mktg Exactly – there’s much more to a great website than its coding. And the expertise that you guys bring in recommending platforms, designs, cross-platform branding, CMS, etc, is what separates you and makes it counter-productive to say you can get X site for Y dollars.

There are definitely a lot of industries where a flat fee or hourly rate is feasible and worth showing; just as there are many where it’s less helpful and doesn’t benefit anyone.

Cheers!

sydcon_mktg
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown@Glenn Street Amen! How many times have we had to real someone in! The folks who, God Bless them want all the bells and whistles for a small flat fee. We like to say our ballparks are “very loose estimates” meaning what the potential client might thinks is a small change of scope could easily double the estimate!

sydcon_mktg
4 years 10 months ago

@DannyBrown@Glenn Street Amen! How many times have we had to real someone in! The folks who, God Bless them want all the bells and whistles for a small flat fee. We like to say our ballparks are “very loose estimates” meaning what the potential client might thinks is a small change of scope could easily double the estimate!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 10 months ago

Did everyone like the note from me the best?!? I’m actually going to go down to the comments below and comment there. See you soon!

Marcus_Sheridan
4 years 10 months ago

@HowieSPM Actually Howie, that 18.99 pool is on sale today, and today only, for all aliens……for 18.98 🙂

Thanks for stopping by bro.

wpDiscuz
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]