Awhile back, I began one of my Say It For You blog posts by quoting a remark by Marcus Sheridan of social media examiner.com, something he’d written, back in 2012.“Many business websites fail to address the subject of pricing,” Sheridan had observed. “Instead of addressing the number-one consumer question up front, they decided to wait until the initial phone contact, or worse, the first sales appointment in the home. But, although this “hidden approach” may have worked in marketing five or ten years ago, today’s consumer don’t like their core questions to be left unanswered.”
I wonder – has thinking on the subject of publishing prices on websites and in blogs changed since then? Even Sheridan admitted that there might be factors that dictate – and change – the ultimate pricing any consumer would pay. Because of this, he suggested that “It’s best to offer ranges, not definitive numbers, allowing potential clients to get a feel for the cost and know if they’re at least in the ballpark.”
Karen Greenstreet, writing in Forbes in 2014, offered reasons you should – and reasons you shouldn’t – put pricing on your website or in your blog. You want the chance to establish rapport before discussion pricing, she acknowledges, and you certainly want to stay away from “tire-kicker”, price-shopping prospects. On the other hand, Greenstreet pointed out, many customers will not do business with a company that is not forthcoming about pricing and fees.
A 2017 article by Trevor Current deals with the question – should photographers provide pricing on their websites? Current begins by recounting reasons many photographers continue to avoid giving price information:
- I offer a custom service, not a commodity.
- I need to evaluate the client’s needs before naming a price.
- I want to be able to negotiate with the client.
- I want to be able to adjust with the market.
Current “gets” all that, but still comes down firmly on the side of putting prices on the website, because:
- Buyers are very busy in today’s world. Consumers want information now!
- Without seeing prices, consumers may assume they can’t afford your services and move on to other sites that have prices listed.
From my point of view as a corporate blogging trainer, the topic of “price point blogging” fits in nicely with the overall concept of putting information into perspective for clients. The typical website explains what products and services the company offers, who the “players” are and in what geographical area they operate; the better ones give visitors at least a taste of the corporate culture and some of the owners’ core beliefs. It’s left to the continuously renewed business blog writing, though, to “flesh out” the intangibles, those things that make a company stand out from its peers.
For every fact about the company or about one of its products or services, a blog post addresses unspoken questions such as “So, is that different?”, “So, is that good for me?” Pricing is one of those sets of facts that must be put out there in order for you to be able to put those facts into perspective.