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The Great Debate:
Should You List Your Prices on Your Website?

If your business is service-based, finding your pricing strategy can be hard. And even emotional. Because it speaks both about your work and the value people put on it-and you. How much is enough, a fair price, and how much is too much? If it's a product, it's fairly easy. How much did it cost to produce? How much of a profit percentage do I want to make?

But services? Not so much. A lot depends on the specific client and her needs. And after you decide on a pricing structure, you have another decision to make. Should you list your prices on your website?

Believe it or not, even the experts don't agree on this issue. There are compelling arguments on both sides. Let's go through some of them:

Reasons to list your prices

It helps you find your true customers. Listing prices can be a way to pre-qualify your prospects, discourage the "tire kickers," and attract your true client, the one who is interested. 

It saves you and your customers time. You aren't dealing with someone who truly cannot afford your service. And prospects don't spend time listening to your pitch only to learn that it's out of their budget range.

Your prospects know what to expect. No guessing. No surprises. You'll have fewer prospects who mentally "abandon the shopping cart."
 
Reasons not to list your prices

You have not established value and trust yet. This is a big one if your clients need to recognize your credibility as an expert. Your website is a great marketing tool, but not the best one in terms of trust building. You need to establish trust and value first.

Upfront pricing can be difficult for some businesses. Sometimes, as in the case of website design, there are just too many variables and price depends on exactly what the client's needs are.

There is potential for misunderstanding. Some prospects will think to themselves, ""The prices are not listed. They must be high." Others might look at your hourly fee and wonder if they need one hour or twenty.

Although some of the research shows that sales increase after prices are added, it's a decision that only you can make. Weigh the pro's and con's as they apply to your business. Experiment. Try listing some ranges or perhaps descriptions of past projects and prices.

Before you run to our website and look, no, we don't list a lot of our prices. The reason? Taking just one example, a client's website, depending on their needs, can be 2-3 pages of web development, design and copywriting or a complex site, with 20-30 pages, several different products or services, and multiple drop-downs for sub-pages. We do list prices for some of our e-newsletter packages because it's easier to define the scope of work. (More on marketing with packages in next week's Marketing Hotspots.)
Marketing Hotspots - Cat's Eye Marketing 2009 - Vol. 2, Issue 13

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This article appears courtesy of Marketing Hotspots, a free marketing e-tip dedicated to finding perfect marketing solutions for time-challenged small business owners. For a complimentary subscription, visit www.catseyemarketing.com/etips.