The question of putting prices on your website has come up several times over the past week, in conversations with friends, clients, and in Facebook groups I participate in.
In all honesty, I’ve been like a yoyo on this topic. I’ve put them up, taken them down. Put them back up. Then prices on one page but not another.
I’ve ultimately chosen to add my prices to my website. Here’s why…
When you ask yourself, “Should I put prices on my website?” it’s not a quick easy answer. In fact, the answer is, it depends!
There’s more to think about than the idea that “I’m selling something, so I need prices.” What you’re offering and how you sell it to clients actually matters quite a bit when you’re considering how to address pricing on your website.
Let’s go a bit deeper and ask a few questions to guide you to YOUR answer.
Question #1 – Can a customer buy your product/service without talking to you?
If you’re selling a product like a book or an online course that people can buy without ever talking to you, then yes, put the prices on your website.
Can you imagine Amazon with no prices? Yeah, me either, but I don’t need to talk to someone about the products Amazon sells, and they do a great job providing reviews on all of their products which is kinda like talking to someone about it.
But, if you’re selling a service and the price can change depending on what a client wants, AND you need to talk to them before you quote them, you might not want to list your prices.
As a website coach and web designer, I need to talk to potential clients on the phone. It’s where we connect and decide if we’ll be a good fit. I also ask a bunch of questions to see what their project is all about, if they’re a good candidate for website coaching, or if a custom design project would be more suitable.
If they’re a great fit, I can create a design proposal that meets their needs and is specific to them, not a package price. For me, customers cannot purchase without talking to me, so it makes sense to keep my prices off of my site. However, for custom design, I do post a price range and tell visitors the average price of a custom design project.
I do this because if I’m totally out of someone’s price range, I don’t want to waste their time (or mine) with a phone call.
But, if you offer one or two packages, and the prices never change, add your prices. It really depends on how fluid/flexible your packages are.
Question #2 – Do your prices always stay the same or do you like flexibility in your pricing?
If you prefer having pre-built packages that stay consistent for every client, every time, then it makes sense to list your prices.
If you like to have the option to change pricing, don’t list them.
For example, if you’re talking to a client, you might decide to give them a discount if they purchase in the next 24 hours or offer a payment plan geared specifically toward them. This might be easier to do if you haven’t listed any prices.
Question #3 – Is your ideal client budget minded or searching for premier services?
If you’re selling services geared specifically toward frugal people, like you teach people how to maximize their coupons, then listing prices would probably work for you. You’re looking for budget minded people who “like a deal.”
Or, if you offer high-end premiere services geared toward clients who are looking for a high-end coach, again, you might choose to list your prices.
Question #4 – Do you approach pricing from a place of lack or abundance?
First, what does this question even mean…
It means that money, like anything else in this world, is energy. That’s all. It flows to you and through you.
If you think there’s never enough money or everything in the world is “too expensive,” you tend to live with a lack mentality.
Conversely, if you view the world as abundant, you have the mindset that there’s enough for everyone, always, and you probably don’t struggle much with money in your own life. Sometimes, we move back and forth between these two mindsets.
How does this apply to the pricing question? Well, one argument is that listing prices saves time as it weeds out customers who can’t afford your services.
This seems logical, but it has two problems. Number 1, it’s completely a lack mindset, thinking that there are people who can’t afford me, so why even talk to them?
Number 2, the thought that I’m weeding out those who can’t afford me is so arrogant. Who am I to decide for someone what they can and cannot afford?
If you have an amazing service or offering that could help absolutely help someone and serve them, why would you want to “weed people out” who YOU think can’t afford it?
If they know it will help them, they’ll figure it out, and it’s not really up to you to decide for them.
Let me give you an example. This past spring, I got on the phone with a business coach to have an initial call. I had absolutely no idea what her pricing was or even if she would offer to work with me. In all honesty, had I known her prices, I probably wouldn’t have even gotten on the phone.
But, by the end of our call, she was so incredibly insightful and helpful, there was no way I wasn’t going to hire her. Had she placed her pricing on her website, I’d have “weeded” myself out and never even spoken with her.
In a conversation about this topic, my friend Liz Lajoie and author of From Zero to Zen: Secret Keys to Nurturing Your Numbers and Finding Financial Flow, had this to say,
“If you list prices on your site, you’ll always be battling against your own lack mentality by asking ‘How do my prices compare to someone else? Why is it so expensive?’ etc.
People make snap judgments and seeing a number on a site makes a deep impression on a person. Usually not the one you want to make. It puts people on the defensive or at the least leads them to believe you are a commodity.
You are not Walmart! Don’t play in that pond. Give prospects a chance to know you before you offer. Putting prices and $$ on a site is asking for sex on the first date.”
In other words, you’re asking them to make a financial commitment BEFORE you’ve even connected and figured out how you can solve their problems.
I also love that Liz mentioned how people make snap judgments. It’s so true. Study after study in social psychology supports this.
We make initial, emotional decisions, then work to rationalize those decisions with the logical side of our brains.
Connect with people first. Have them make that emotional decision after or while speaking with you, NOT when they see the prices on your website.
However, there is a caveat here. All of what I wrote above really applies if you are trying to build your business. Don’t limit yourself. But, if you’ve already got a great business and are actually looking to cut back on the number of inquiries you get, then, charge a lot and list your prices!
Finally, if you’d like the flexibility of being able to change your pricing, and you’re not comfortable leaving all pricing off of your site, you can provide a “packages/offerings start at _______” and list a base price. That’s what I do with custom design. My courses and programs are a set price.
Have you ever looked at the prices on a website and thought, “Uh, yeah, right. Can’t afford that!” And you left never to return. If so, you had a lack mentality as a consumer.
You didn’t give the provider a chance to see if they could help you out. What if they had been the perfect person? Like my business coach ended up being? Or what if they have payment plans? Or could tweak their offerings specifically for you?
Think about all sides of this issue before you decide what works for you. I’ve talked to people who are firmly on both sides of this issue, and there are compelling arguments for both sides.
Whatever you decide for your business, be intentional about it. Give it some thought. Ask your clients their preference or if your pricing (or lack of pricing) impacted their decision to work with you.
As you ask yourself these questions, you might reach a completely different answer with a completely valid set of arguments.
In fact, I’d love to hear what you have to say about this in the comments!