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Should You Publish Your Prices on Your Website?

By John McTigueOct 18, 2011

Unless you're a B2C company with very specific prices for your products or services, you have undoubtedly struggled with the question of making your prices public on your website. For B2B's there are plenty of good reasons to do so and also some pretty good reasons not to. Let's review these pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

are you publishing your prices on your website

Publish Your Prices

  1. Today's Consumer Expects Pricing - look at your own buying habits for anything these days. If there isn't a prominent price tag on anything (without fine print), chances are you're moving on. Consumers of any product or service want two things 1) complete transparency and 2) recommendations from trusted sources. If you fail to disclose or make it hard to find this information, you do so at your own peril.
  2. You Gain Nothing By Hiding Your Prices - so what if your competitors can "steal" your pricing and set theirs lower to steal your customers? Price is just one factor in an overall "buy" decision. More important are value, quality, service, reputation and relationship. Concentrate on those and you will gain market share.
  3. Marketing is All About Solving Problems - your job as a marketer is to establish both brand reputation and brand awareness. If your stuff solves a specific consumer problem at a reasonable cost, you win. You have to convince your visitors that you do both - solve their problem and do so at a fair price. Why would you hide the second part of that equation?

Hide Your Prices

  1. Sale Price is Complex and Customized - This happens all the time, especially with the sale of complex systems or tailored services. In this case a fixed price can actually become a detriment, requiring you to back-track on price when customers require a special solution. Consider posting typical ranges of pricing and make it clear what factors contribute to the final cost.
  2. Your Price Appears to Drive Potential Customers Away - at least this is what you perceive to be the reason behind lagging sales. You need to support your pricing model with a solid value statement. What do your customers get in return for your fees and how do they benefit compared to competitor offerings? Don't just publish this information, make it part of your sales pitch. Address your customers' objections before they even ask you about them. Otherwise, you may be addressing them after the sale has gone to a competitor.
  3. You're Not Sure What to Charge - this one can be a killer. If your pricing is constantly fluctuating or is not carefully thought out, you may alienate potential customers. They wonder if the value of your products or services is also fluctuating. Focus on value. What does it cost you to provide your product or services? Now mark your price up to receive a fair margin that supports your overall business plan. In private consultations with potential customers, why not tell them exactly what your price is based upon? Remember, transparency is a good thing these days.

Our Experience

We have gone back and forth on the visibility of our pricing over the years. For the reasons stated above, we have decided to publish them for our two main services, inbound marketing services and HubSpot design. Our view is that transparency will help us win in competitive situations and help to pre-qualify our customers before we commit time and resources to sales consultations. We feel that the ability to improve customer conversion rates outweighs the sheer number of opportunities. We recognize that open pricing may help the competition to some degree, but we're not obsessing about that. Our focus is on problem solving, deliverability and customer success. Those factors will drive both revenue generation and profitability.

In the spirit of transparency, here is a schedule of services, deliverables and pricing ranges we put together. There is no form to fill out. Click here to download.

Photo Credit: likeablerodent


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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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