You Should Always Put Your Prices On Your Website. Here’s Why.
Have you ever paid someone to clean your house?
My family has. In fact, I don’t wear shoes in the house. If you don’t wear shoes inside either, I’d love to know! We’re kind of like a club, us shoe-less dwellers.
Well recently, my mom was looking to hire a new cleaning company to clean her place once a week.
She first interviewed two guys with a company. They didn’t have a website, just a phone number. When she spoke with them on the phone initially, they said they could either:
a) Come and give her a quote
b) Come and give her a quote and clean the day they came
She opted to have them just come for a quote and not clean right away because she didn’t know how much it would cost.
But when they came, they quoted a ridiculously high price (given the space and how little work it really is) for the first clean (a “deep clean” they claimed) and then said they couldn’t provide a quote for every week after that until they drew up a proposal with their accountant. Mind you, her home is spotless! She does her dishes right away, has nothing laying around and always cleans up the kitchen and vacuums every night.
So first, they said they could come, quote and clean. Then, they said they didn’t know how much they will charge her until they draft up a proposal.
Well, which is it?
This made her extremely angry because they kept their prices, processes and intentions hidden.
So she called them back to tell them she didn’t find the first-time clean a reasonable price. They agreed and even mentioned they were talking amongst themselves how it should be lower. They claimed they were going to give her a call to talk about it but they never did. She called them first. Hmmm.
They changed their story multiple times which gave my mom a bad impression.
Next up, she found a woman’s cleaning business online.
This woman had a website that listed everything she did for a regular clean or “deep clean.” Things like:
She even had pictures of her customers’ homes and texts showing they were thrilled with her work. Social proof!
When she gave this woman a call, the woman was quick to clarify her rate is $30/hr with a 3 hour minimum. No games. No quotes. No changing her mind. This is her business, and this is what she does for each and every customer.
What a pleasure to do business with someone who is forthcoming about their services, what they charge and how they work.
If I had to choose between 2 service providers:
If Service Provider A had a list of everything they could do plus a generic contact form (or phone number), I would question whether they were really in business or just took on any client who was willing to pay.
If Service Provider B had a website with clearly laid out packages, prices and details ready to buy, I wouldn’t even waste my time with A.
A isn’t making it easy to work with them.
This isn’t restricted to service businesses- it’s everyone!
The Service That Threw Me For A Loop
I was approached by a publication to do an interview recently. I happily accepted but never received a response. A few days later, I followed up.
I was then thrown over to the publication’s business development guy. He wanted to talk, which I thought was odd. Why not just send over the interview questions via email like most publications do? We scheduled a call when he told me more about the reach of the publication and if it would be a good fit for me.
I asked about the interview process and he was vague. He said often people do multiple interviews/content pieces to build trust with their audience.
At the end of the our call, he said he would send the details over via email.
By this point, I knew what he wasn’t telling me: they didn’t want to interview me, they wanted advertising money.
The magazine conducted interviews with people for a fee. The magazine is editorial with a few advertisements strategically placed, but I had assumed they made their money from the ads and not from the people they profiled.
This was incredibly shady and the opposite of transparent.
As a business owner, press is free. If someone approaches you to do an interview, you’re assuming you won’t have to pay for it. Magazines don’t charge for editorial content- that’s a standard.
If the founder would have said from the beginning there was a cost involved, I wouldn’t have been so disgusted.
The way they went about it was all wrong.
People deserve to know all the important details up front, so they can make an educated decision for themselves.
When business do things like this, they bait people into their offer. It’s dishonest and disgusting.
Don’t waste clients’ time with discovery calls or ring-around-the-rates.
Slap your prices on your website. From this point on, anyone who expresses interest in working with you will already have their biggest question answered.
Because let’s be real- the elephant in the room is “How much does it cost?”
More Reasons To List Your Prices
Another benefit of transparent pricing? Self-education.
“What do you charge?” a client asks.
“Did you look at my website? It’s all on there.” you say.
You don’t want to work with people who are too lazy to click a link and read a little. Leave the spoon-feeding to someone else.
I like to work with stand-up honest people who excel at their craft.
I make an immediate judgment of someone based on how transparent they are and seemingly easy to work with. For example, if I visit someone’s website and they have a laundry list of services they can offer or a CONTACT button that forwards to a generic form, I click off right away.
Clients DON’T LIKE UNKNOWNS.
Let me repeat that.
CLIENT DON’T LIKE UNKNOWNS.
If someone has a question in their head, it just sits there and prevents them from taking action.
By listing your prices, you give them the gifted opportunity to make a decision and move on.
If your price is too high, they might bookmark you and come back when they can afford you. They might scoff and look at the next contender. But what they won’t do is waste your time with endless questions and beg for discounts.
If you’re afraid of letting your competition see your rates, get over it. Your rates should be what you think you’re worth, not the market rate.
You’re not here to apologize for costing so much.. because price is completely subjective. $5,000 might be a fortune to someone. But it also might just be “another designer handbag” to someone else. You aren’t here to appeal to everyone- you only want to talk to the people who CAN afford you.
Making your rate public pre-qualifies clients. Additionally, charging a flat-rate (instead of hourly) lessens anxiety for clients because they know exactly what they’re getting. Services can easily become a money pit, but five star businesses don’t take advantage of someone’s inexperience.
This principle also applies to other crucial deal-breakers like methods of payment.
A client of mine recently expressed interest in writing a book, so I immediately referred her to a company that helps with the publishing process.
They seemed to have great reputation.
My client came back to me a few weeks later and updated me on her experience. She spoke with a strategist first, who was super nice. Having read their website thoroughly, she didn’t have any questions to ask the strategist. She loved the process and was excited to hire them since it seemed like a good fit. She was immediately sent the contract which she read over diligently. She signed the contract, then was immediately sent an invoice to pay the first installment.
She opened the invoice, whipped out her credit card and was ready to get started with them when she saw the invoice only allowed for a checking or savings account transfer. Like me, she pays for all business expenses via credit card because of the protection it provides. Any big ticket purchases, for business or not, should be paid for with a credit card. It’s just the smart thing to do.
At this point, she was annoyed. Nowhere on their website or in her contract did it state they only accepted bank transfers. The person she spoke with initially didn’t mention this nor was it in any of their follow-up emails. Not only is this important information, but it would have saved her a lot of time. She wouldn’t have considered working with them if they were transparent about only accepting direct payment via a bank account.
They seemed so transparent, but this one piece of crucial information that wasn’t clarified left a bad taste in her mouth. And I feel terrible for having recommended them.
They might be great at what they do, but leaving out their forms of payment until the last minute comes off as sketchy. She isn’t the first person who wants to pay with a credit card, and she won’t be the last.
When something is the norm and you don’t participate, it requires clarification.
As it turned out, they did accept credit cards! But it took some teeth pulling to get that information out of them and in my opinion it’s not a great way to start off a business relationship. They just didn’t happen to include credit card payments as an option on the payment form. Why not? Who knows?!
But my client isn’t a mind reader.
Transparency can’t be understated.
The bottom line is: your services should be packaged and cost a flat rate that are front and center on your website.
Before anyone sends you an email or picks up the phone, they should know what their investment will be. This saves you time and aggravation while attracting premium clients who recognize and appreciate your transparency. You want to turn off cheapskates who only care about hiring the cheapest option- they won't value your work so you don't want them in your life anyway.
Clients have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.