Embrace the Controversial: Why You Should Publish Pricing on Your Website

Embrace the Controversial: Why You Should Publish Pricing on Your Website
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]One of the most controversial decisions for almost any business owner is whether to post pricing information on their website. Invariably, business owners are inclined to keep this information off the website (this is not true for pure commodity driven sites, such as car rentals or hotels, of course, but for B2B services such as consultants, accountants, translators, and high end B2C items).[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]But why is this the case even though it’s perhaps one of the most important pieces of data in the buying cycle?[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]We’re here to say and show (in detail) that this is a huge mistake! If there is one thing that every buyer wants to know, it’s “What is this going to cost me?” [/FONT][/COLOR]
[h=2]So, why won’t people put price on their website?[/h][COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]When I suggest placing price on a client’s site typically I get some version of these responses:[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]1) “It’s not done in our industry” [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]2) “What happens if my competition sees it?”[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]3) “All our pricing is custom, nothing is standard”[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]And then simply:[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]4) “We would never do that”[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]It takes some negotiation, to be sure, but there are some very compelling reasons to rethink those lines of thought.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[h=2]Own the Price Conversation[/h][COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]Here are some compelling reasons that reticent business and site owners should start including price.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]Here’s my logic: any buyer is trained to search for price as part of any purchase decision.They will continue to search until they find a price. And if it’s not on your site, you are not part of the price dialog. If there’s a price conversation going on anyway, don’t you want to be a part of it? It’s up to you to own the price conversation.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]Not having price on your site cedes the opportunity to your competition – or worse, someone not even affiliated with your industry – to control this crucial aspect of the buying decision. In fact, in keeping with a true inbound strategy, you should even blog about price. Openly share results and what your service costs with the people who are looking for that information. The goal is to own the price and value dialog of your product or service, so you can provide researchers with the context they need to understand your pricing model.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[h=2]What About Sticker Shock?[/h][COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]There are several tactics you can employ to offset the fear that a visitor arrives at your pricing page and experiences sticker shock – another common concern among the reticent.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]First, use testimonials right on the page that speaks to the value of your product or service. Quotes from satisfied clients or buyers who shopped around and decided to purchase your product or service is a powerful strategy. There is an innate sense from buyers that the low cost provider is never the best, and there is more assumed value in a higher priced product.

I also recommend listing the prices of other providers alongside yours – you can name them “Competitor 1” and "Competitor 2” if you’d rather not call them out by name – and use this chart to detail what is provided in your pricing versus the competition. Call out the features you and your competitors provide in the rubric, and accompany those with actual consumer benefits, too. Tying product or service features to things that matter to buyers, like support or quality, are what make buyers recognize the value behind additional cost.

Finally, show actual results. Nothing is more powerful than, say, a before and after example. Instead of simply listing price on your site, use it as an opportunity to address anticipated buyer reactions like sticker shock, turning those research experiences into sales opportunities.[/FONT][/COLOR]
[h=2]And Don’t Forget the SEO Opportunity[/h][COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]Here’s something else we’ve discovered: Ranking for pricing related keywords is easy. Why is that?[/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]No one wants to put price on their site![/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#797979][FONT=proxima-nova]This is SEO gold. Highly searched terms with little to no competition means we should all set out to do some keyword research. Check out the terms and phrases in your industry related to “cost” and “price,” and invariably you’ll uncover some huge content opportunities. You can garner easy SEO wins by creating a pricing page and optimizing for these terms, and even including free offers to capture that qualified traffic and engage them in a sales conversation. This strategy works alongside another viable strategy for the really price-averse out there – putting detailed pricing information behind a landing page to make the exchange of this valuable information more controlled. [/FONT][/COLOR]

Putting prices on my website has pretty well eliminated one problem. The people who were calling around
shopping for the lowest price! Calls are down some, but those that call are not as concerned about cheap
prices, they want a job well done.Price shoppers are not customer base to build a business on!:slight_smile:

Bill Sullivan
Bill’s Window Cleaning.


We dont have prices on our website but even though I hate to do that, these days with SEO being the way it is it may not be a bad idea.

I’ve never really been apposed to putting pricing on our website and have enjoyed what ResponsiBid has done with “tire kickers,” but what would be the best way in our industry(exterior cleaning) to make it easy for the customer and also accurate? Also, never thought of the SEO angle…

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I found the article very interesting. It definitely made me reconsider a few things.

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Great share. Thanks Thad

At some point I may change my mind on this subject, but for now I just don’t agree with it, and let me tell you why…The human element. Customers have questions, they actually want to “hear” someone’s voice. Most have never had this service and can be quite nervous. An experienced voice on the other end can help sooth a customers nerves.

Explaining processes and the benefits of your company over hacks or a higher price over low price, or the dangers of either can’t be successfully conveyed in content on a website.

How many have changed the minds of a price shopper with 1 minute of conversation? Can that be done listing your prices? Probably not.

Where is the art of Salesmanship in all of this?

I do see & agree with some of the points in Thad’s post, and it’s really worth more discussion & feedback.

It’s not my article but it made valid points. There’s a lot to think about there.
I know contractors in larger markets who have no problem publishing their prices and staying very busy. It’s a totally different strategy, though.

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Thad, great post and points being made here. I know me adding a “house washes starting at $245.00 dollars”
has chased away the $99.00 dollar mentality client.We have a lot of that here to unfortunately. See my price
page at Bill’s Window Cleaning This works for me here:)

Bill Sullivan
Bill’s Window Cleaning.

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With the changing times unfortunately some of our ways of thinking becomes outdated. Here I’ll give an example… Years ago I was adamant that you should always go to every house to give an estimate so you could meet the person. Then from there I believed you should go to every house whether the person was home or not and always leave the estimate.

Jump ahead to the last few years and I hardly ever go to a house to do an estimate. I just click on google and shoot the person the estimate via email and we always follow up with a phone call as well.

With the ever changing times especially with the net at everyone’s “beck and call” we have to consider our options to stay one step ahead of our competitors. So because of this I am going to discuss with my better half about posting some starting prices in some of our advertisements. Or at least consider possibly doing so.

Great post Thad!


thad, can you link to the source or point us in the right direction? awesome stuff btw, …the gears are turning…

It’s the absolute very first thing posted in the very first post of the thread.

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oh sorry. didn’t realize that was a link.


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I don’t know if it’s human nature or just my nature, but I like to see the highest-priced options and find out why. I think it’s a good reference point to develop a perceived value of what you’re interested in.

I would suggest attending these sessions at the convention:

  1. The Complex Psychology of Pricing: The Myth of “Fair Value” and How to Take of Advantage of It
  2. How to Provide Value to Your Customers by EXCEEDING their expectations

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Price listing isn’t just for contractors but the vendors too. When I first came to Soap Warehouse there were no prices on our web site. I quickly changed that because we where so much lower for many items than what our competitors had. But even when pricing over the years would sometimes change and we could be the same or even a little more I think it is a great benefit to the customer to be able to make an educated decision on where to buy. And as someone else mentioned it cuts down on the price comparison shopper phone calls. It will be even better now that our up graded website that will be coming out very soon that will be able to include Fed Ex shipping prices. And if you tie your pricing in with a customer reward program that may also turn that looker into a buyer.

GuyB - You’ve never heard of me I’m sure! I agree that being able to answer a consumer’s questions is vital. There are two ways to do it… live or Memorex. (sorry - dating myself) By memorex I mean digitally.

Let me start by saying that putting pricing online is KEY for many many businesses out there - you’re included. I have been preaching this in the carpet cleaning industry (service industry) for the last 5 years! Consumers are busy and becoming more and more sensitive to time everyday. If you aren’t there when they are thinking of you, and how they want you - pricing starts to become a bit irrelevant. They will find someone that is there. I am not saying that pricing is the ONLY thing they consider - IT IS NOT! BUT - as stated by Thad, it is a vital part of the sales cycle. That is why we built feature in FittleBug that allows you to answer a prospects question at every level of the sales offering that they might have a question. That’s the good news! The bad news is that I am just getting around to sharing it with your industry. BUT, I will be there at the HUGE Convention. The best that I can do to share this feature is to share one from the carpet cleaning world… earthpro. Use zip code 60174 to get in. You can hover over anywhere there are “blue” question marks" or information icons. Here is an image of what a consumer can do to get answers to the options in front of them. BTW - you can place (regular text, html, links to images, embed videos, etc)

I just start a bit ago with a beta tester in your market of window cleaning, house, power washing, etc. . Here is where you can find info on his offering using FittleBug “REAL TIME” scheduling. I am hoping to learn more about your industry as we beta test and I am looking for companies that understand it is all about consumer empowerment in the future. I’m offering discounts during this beta period. Ayway, I could go on, but I don’t want to post too much, I just thought that possibly it addressed your concerns of not being there to answer questions. It’s a hellava lot cheaper than paying someone to answer the phone around the clock when consumers are think of your services. Let me know your thoughts…


Sorry - guess the pic never made it… and I didn’t see an edit button. I’m sure there is somewhere. Kinda in a rush…

I love this thread but I am still torn about listing our pricing. I do have a person answering our phones from morning to night(my wife) and our customer base is rock solid and growing. We also have most likely a higher waged income based customers then most (I always targeted the Gold coast here where the big money is) and our commercial customers are from 4 different states.

My model is not set up for the “Price shoppers” based off of the $99 principle (Just making a point). Where built on our potential customers talking to a knowledgeable person and of course our excellent reputation. It’s the reason why we have for example the ex Super Model Carol Alt as one of our customers. She demands excellence and is willing to pay for it.

But… Today being what it is… I do think about listing some pricing but we aren’t cheap and that being said…the typical “Price shopper” probably wouldn’t call us anyway if I listed prices. FYI.