Podcast – Should You Put Pricing On Your Website?
When it comes to divisive topics, this one is right up there: Should You Put Pricing On Your Website? I chose this so you can hear more than one way to approach this for your business. When I’m doing consulting, sales training and website reviews, this is always one of the subjects we tackle.
Below is a full transcript of this episode. If you have any questions about anything in this, or any of my podcasts, or have a suggestion for a topic or guest, please reach out directly to me at Alan@AlanBerg.com or visit my website www.AlanBerg.com
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Hi, it’s Alan Berg with the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. And today I want to talk about a subject that comes up all the time, which is, should you put pricing on your website? You know, it’s a really great question because as consumers, we’re always looking for pricing when we look at a website. So it would make sense that our customers are looking for that as well. As a matter of fact, a survey by WeddingWire had shown that 88% of their couples were looking for a price before they even reached out to you. So, it makes sense that putting prices there might satisfy some of those people. But then there are the challenges. If you put price on your website, maybe they’ll look at the price and then move on without even giving you a chance. But the other side of that, since 88% are looking for price before they reach out to you, maybe not having pricing is going to make some move on without reaching out to you as well.
So, there are four basic ways that you can handle price on your website. If it’s possible, which for some of you, it is and for some of you, it’s not, could you just put the pricing there? Just put all of your pricing out there. You put your pricing out there, so people know what things cost from you. They’re going to reach out only if it fits in with their budget. What do you risk losing? Well, you risk losing people that look at the price and they can afford it, but they say, Hey, let me look around a little more, and they didn’t make an inquiry. Now they’re going to talk to somebody else. But the truth is for most of you, you can’t put a price because there’s just too many variables there. So always acknowledge that they asked about price, and if you can, put the exact numbers. That’s the first way to handle pricing.
If you do put the exact numbers, make sure there are calls to action and make sure you give them the results, not just the services. Nobody’s hiring a photo booth because they want a photo booth at their wedding. They’re hiring a photo booth because they want something fun for their guests to do when they’re not dancing. Nobody’s hiring a photographer because they want a photographer. They’re hiring a photographer so that they can look at those pictures for years to come, and so generations to come can find those pictures and experience their wedding… even though they were never there, or not even born yet. So don’t sell the stuff, sell the results. And if you put a price, ask for the sale, right there. Certainly ask for the inquiry.
The second way to talk about price is to actually not talk about it, which is kind of funny because how are you talking about price if you’re not putting your prices. Refer to price: “We would love to give you pricing information, and because the date and the time and the number of guests, and so many variables could affect the price, we would love to find out what’s important to you and give you a customized quote just for what you need and nothing you don’t. So to get a price quote, fill out this contact form, call us, email us, text us, WhatsApp us”, whatever the options are. Say to them: “Here’s how you get a quote.” So you’re being very transparent that you want to give them a quote, but you didn’t put any prices yet.
The third way to talk about price on your website, which for most of you I wish you would not use (but I’m going to tell you what it is), is to do a starting price. And the thing with the starting price is that it’s the cheapest thing you have. By nature of being the starting price, it’s the cheapest thing you have. So, if you put out the price for cheapest thing you have, you’re encouraging people who want the cheapest thing you have… which is not what you want. You don’t want people to want your cheapest thing. When a starting price would be good is if there isn’t a big range in the pricing for that product or service.
I have some clients that will put a starting price for each different type of service or package, instead of the full range of what they sell. Let’s say you have prices that go from $1,000 to $2,000, starting at $1,000 is probably fine. But if we have prices that go from $1,000 to $10,000, it’s not really good, because you’re encouraging $1,000 inquiries when you really want $5,000, $8,000 and $10,000 inquiries. So don’t use a starting price on your website if there’s a big range, unless you can do it for certain services. On my website, www.AlanBerg.com, I have some pages have a full price right there, like for a two-hour consultation or website review. The price is right there on the page. I have some services that have a price range, like for a mastermind day. And I have some that have a starting price, because it might be an hourly rate.
And then I have some pages that don’t have pricing at all. There’s no price on my speaking page, and that’s on purpose because I get inquiries from groups and associations that have a very limited, or sometimes no budget at all. And then in the conversation with them I’m able to show them how I’ve worked with other organizations and I can actually get paid for something where they were originally coming to me with little or no budget. I want to actually encourage every inquiry, whereas some of you actually don’t, because you already get too many unqualified inquiries.
The fourth way to talk about price is to use a price range. It’s my favorite way to talk about price because there’s a heightened level of transparency. It says that I want to give you pricing information, but I can’t give you exact pricing yet, because I don’t have all of the details. The way this works very simply is you can either say that “Our pricing goes from $X to $XXX. Or: Our prices go from $X to $XXX with our most popular being $XX. So, to give you an example, a client of mine, a DJ company, says on his website: Our DJ prices go from $1,250 to $2,150 with our most popular package, starting at $1,650. Now, what did he actually do here? He said, this is our range, $1,250 to $2,150. Then he added that his most popular package starts at $1,650. This is called ‘framing’. And framing is giving them an idea of the boundaries, or borders, if you will, of your pricing. Not of everybody’s pricing, because everybody’s pricing starts lower than yours and goes higher than yours. What you want to show is that this is where we fit in this market.
When you’ve bought something before you have an idea of framing. If you are going to buy a car, and you’ve bought cars before, you know what cars cost in general. You’ve bought cars before, did a little research and this car, or this dealership, or this brand ranges from A to Z, whatever that is. But that range is different than the range for all cars, right? Because all cars go from less expensive than you’re going to spend to hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars. You want to find that sweet spot for you, that’s your own range. So by putting a price range on your site, what you’re doing is encouraging inquiries from people that think they have a budget within that range. You do risk losing some people who think their budget’s lower and might reach into yours. But if you think about it, if you can fill your calendar with people who already know that they have a budget that’s somewhere in your range, you don’t have to try to convince people who think they have a lower budget to spend into yours. Those people would likely spend at the bottom of your range anyway, not in the middle or the top. So don’t worry about the people that you lose, as long as you get more of the right inquiries. The framing is giving you inquiries from a smaller group of people, which is what you want. You want inquiries from that smaller group of people who are more qualified in terms of price.
Here’s what’s happened for a few of my clients. They put a price range on the website and their number of inquiries went down. Now that can be scary. I had somebody who wrote me after one of my masterclasses: “We told the boss that we’re going to get less inquires. We told her, and they did, and it was still scary when we saw the number of inquiries go down.” However, what happened is the people reaching out converted to conversations, and in their cases, venue tours and to sales better than it was before. They’re tracking from inquiry to sale actually went up three and a half times! Sure, before it wasn’t that good, so it was starting from a lower number, but it went up three and a half times! That’s huge! By putting price range on their website, their sales went up. With fewer inquiries they had fewer people to be communicating with. A lot of people complain to me: Alan, I just don’t have time to be emailing all these people and following up with all these people, can you relate? Why, because so many of them weren’t qualified. So putting price on their website did that qualifying for them.
I had another client whose sales went up by 50% by putting price range on the site. And theirs is a pretty big range, but that’s okay because that range still started higher than a lot of their competitors. Their problem was getting a lot of tire kickers, people who loved their photos, but had no idea that it was out of their budget. Let me just say this, the worst reason for not putting price on your site is so that your competitors don’t find out. Why? Because they already know! They already know because they’ve secret-shopped you. Or, people that have been shopping you and them have shown them your pricing. To not put pricing because you don’t want your competitors to know is the absolute worst reason for not putting price on your website. You’re saying I don’t want my competitors to know, so I’m not going to let my real customers know. No! Let your competitors know.
I will tell any of my competitors what I charge because, it is what I charge to get my results! I want you to want my results and then you have to pay my price to get them. And that’s why I want you to be selling your results. So to recap, if you can have an actual price, tell them the price, and then either ask for the sale – if they can buy it right there – i.e. I have an online shop where you can buy my books. My books are there and I have to put a price. You can’t buy them there if you don’t see a price. For my services I put a price for a two-hour consultation (because it’s a fixed-price, fixed time service), but I don’t put an exact price for some other things. For some I’ll put a range, it depends upon the service. For you, it depends upon what your goal is for that page.
I have a client who was getting 300 to 400 inquiries per month and we knew that a lot of them were just not right for them. There were just too many people reaching out and then it turned out that a lot of them ended up ghosting her. After inquiring and getting a price, lot of them ended up ghosting her. So, what I suggested was putting pricing on the website to reduce the inquiries. Unfortunately, the owners of the venue didn’t want to do that. So instead, we put them into her first email reply to them.
Putting some pricing on your website adds a level of transparency. Transparency, leads to trust. If you have pricing and good calls to action on your website, it can increase the quality of your inquiries. The calls to action are important. Say that here’s the range of pricing, and to get an exact price and to check our availability for your wedding, this is what you do: Call us, email us, contact us, etc. That’s a really good way to add transparency and to get better inquiries. That’s what I hear from businesses like yours, all the time: I want to get better inquiries, not more inquiries you can’t handle. If everybody that reached out to you booked you, you couldn’t handle the business. So the goal is to get people to reach out that you want to do business with, that have a budget to get the results that you can provide and putting a price range on your site is a really good way to do that. So, I hope you have some ideas on ways that you can address pricing on your website. I’ve written about this in my books, spoken about it and I discuss it in my consulting, a lot.
Thanks for tuning into the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. If you have any questions about this or any of my episodes, or would like to make a suggestion of a topic for an episode, please reach out to me directly Alan@AlanBerg.com or visit www.AlanBerg.com Please subscribe so you don’t miss an episode, and post your review (it really does help, thanks!) I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.