Should you display prices on your website? The answer for most businesses is yes, you should be discussing pricing on your website and in your content.
The objective here is not to have a definitive number for all your products and services, which of course is helpful. Whether you have exact pricing for your products or services or not, the purpose is to provide accurate information on pricing to help your prospective customers understand how pricing works in your industry.
In this episode, Chris covers the main reasons why people typically don’t discuss pricing on their website and why you should be.
Should you display prices on your website and in your content? The answer for most businesses is yes. You should be discussing pricing on your website and in your content. Let’s just look at what we already know about consumer behavior. Google said that on average, 70% of the buying decision is made online before prospective customer contacts a business for the first time.
We know that we are officially in the era of the research-obsessed consumer. We want to do our research before contacting a business and making a buying decision, and we do all of that research. We’re just heavily involved in this now. We just don’t like being sold to. We want to make a confident and educated buying decision and we have more control in that sales post now than we ever have because of the access to the information. And what else we know, we know that there are key topic areas that every single prospect needs to have addressed before contacting a business for the first time, and we know that pricing is one of those major topic areas.
Now, the objective here is not to have a definitive number for all your products and services, which of course is helpful, but whether you have exact pricing for your products or services or not, the purpose is to provide accurate information on pricing to help your prospective customers understand how pricing works, not just in your industry as a whole, but for your products and services, too. So we’ve got a job to do. Isn’t just about our products and services. In fact, there’s really nothing to do with that. It’s really about helping your prospective customers make an educated buying decision and how to use pricing to do that.
So let’s reword the question from, should I put prices on my website to what’s the best way to discuss cost and pricing on my website? That’s the question you should really be thinking about because it may not always be possible to display exact pricing on your website, but it’s certainly possible, I think, in all circumstances to discuss the factors that influence pricing.
So we’re not going to be able to cover the whole topic on this podcast, but I do want to talk about the six major reasons that might be holding you back from putting prices and discussing pricing costs in your content and on your website. So let’s get stuck into that. That’s the theme for this podcast.
But before we get into that, I really just want you to take what you already know from the podcast. If you’re new to the podcast, go back through the last, I don’t know, 20 or 30 episodes. You will get a really good feel for our approach to content marketing and how we teach it. So this will make much more sense. But if you really want to just skip past all that and do this quickly, just look at your own buying behavior.
When you’re making buying decisions, what information are you using? How are you finding that information? How are you doing that research? How much information do you need before you make that buying decision? And then I want you to channel that conscious self-awareness into, well, what are our prospects doing or our prospective customers doing? And I want you to see the world through their eyes. What did he see? What did he hear? How do they feel? What do they say? What kind of information are they looking at? What information do they need to help them make an educated buying decision?
When it comes to the cost of a product and our service, we might not know exactly how much money we’re going to spend in the end, but we may have a budget in mind, but until we look around, we don’t really know how realistic it is. We start doing our research, we have questions. Why are some products more expensive than others? Why are some cheaper? What are the factors that affect pricing? How do I know what is a reasonable price to pay?
So all prospects, I think, all customers, the consumer behavior we’re looking at here, the principle of the thing is that if we can provide the level of information that people need in order to feel confident before they contact a business for the first time, then we should be doing everything that we can to make that happen. And hopefully, this podcast episode will help you to see that.
Okay, now like I said, what are the main, why are you not … At the moment, why are you not discussing pricing on your website? Why is it something you are staying away from? And there’s probably a few different reasons why that might be. So let’s talk about them and let’s think about how we can overcome these challenges as well.
So I know that you’ll be asking questions like you’re worried that your competition will find out what you’re charging. You’re worried that your prices make turn your customers away. You have more than one price. You want people to contact you first, then you can give them the price. Perhaps you offer a bespoke service. There isn’t just a single price, there isn’t a clear price for the thing that you offer. Or perhaps it’s just simply that you just don’t talk about pricing in your industry. So those are the six things that want to kind of cover, all right. And there there’s a bit of overlap between them, as well, but there’s a theme here. So I hope you catch that theme. I’ll do a quick summary at the end and then we’ll just close off for today. And we’ll come back to talking about the how to, perhaps, in a later podcast episode.
So let’s start at the top. I’m worried that my competition will find out what I’m charging. So that’s one of the reasons why you might not be putting your prices on your website. So I’ll ask you a few questions. Do you know what your competition is charging at the moment for their product or service? And if you don’t know, how easy would it be for you to find out what your competition is charging? And if you don’t know already, why have you not bothered to find out? Everyone either already or can find out easily what people are charging for their services. This information is easy to find one way or another. Cost and prices are easy to find these days. Also, people aren’t as interested in what you’re doing as you think they are. They’ve got their own problems to deal with.
We have to remember why we’re doing this in the first place. Why are you considering discussing price on your website? Is it because you want … It’s because you want to offer a better customer experience. It’s got nothing to do with your competitors. Your competition shouldn’t be defining how you go to market. Your competition shouldn’t define the service and experience that you create for your customers. You make these decisions because it’s the right thing to do. And you know that if you can help people to have as much information as they need as possible before they contact you for the first time, they will be more confident.
Now you might be worrying that your competition, upon finding at home much you charge, decides to undercut you, and that could be a reason why you’re maybe not putting the pricing on your website, as well. Now if the only reason that your prospective customer decides to buy from someone else is that they are cheaper, then you’ve probably got bigger problems than simply pricing.
Okay, so the price is certainly one piece of information that your customers use to help them make a buying decision, but it’s not the only one. So being cheaper isn’t a point of differentiation in most marketplaces. I would hazard to guess that most of the people that are listening to this episode just now are not people that are trying to be at the bottom of the market. In fact, content marketing really helps people to push them to the top of the market.
Consumers want to make a good buying decision. We want to be educated, they want to be confident, they want to be in control. Discussing pricing on your website, you’re putting them in control, you’re helping them to feel in control. Would you rather that they got this information from someone else? Your competition perhaps? And the reality is just because you don’t discuss price on your website doesn’t mean the can’t get it from somewhere else.
You’re either part of the conversation or you aren’t. It’s up to you, but your customers are going to get this information from somewhere else anyway. I think partly, the scenario here is that you would rather that they got it from you, you’d rather that it was accurate, you’d rather that it was good information that we’re getting. And you can control that. You can be part of that conversation. If you’re not part of that conversation, they will find it from somewhere else and they’ve got less chance of building that confidence and trust with you and buying from you. So that’s number one. You’re worried that your competition will find out what you’re charging for a couple of different reasons.
Secondly, you’re worried that if you discuss pricing, some of your customers will not want to do business with you. So they might … You sort of deter them or you push them away. Now a big part of the philosophy behind content marketing is trusting your customers to do the right thing. Being confident that they will do the right thing for them, that they can’t do the right thing if they only have some of the information that they need to help them make that decision.
So what’s the difference between your perspective customers finding out your price before they contact you and then finding out after they contact you? The information is exactly the same, you’re just delaying it. So there are a few scenarios here. There are four scenarios, maybe more. These are the four that I’ve got. Your prospective customer has no idea of what you charge and they don’t contact you. They have no idea what they charge and they contact you. They know exactly how much you charge and they don’t contact you. Or they know exactly how much you charge and they contact you.
So one of the biggest wastes of time in every business is fielding inquiries and answer the same questions over and over again. And something that every single business wants is better customers, better quality of customers who spend more, buy more often, come back time and time again and refer you to their friends or colleagues. We want our customers to contact us for the first time having found all the information that they need to feel confident. This is what a good customer looks like. They come to you having done the research, they have sold it to themselves.
Now you might argue, and this is the next reason that people … You want people to contact you first so that you have the chance to sell to them. But people don’t like being sold to. That’s why they do this research in the first place. As consumers, we just simply choose not to put ourselves in these positions anymore. Like I said at the start, we’re officially in the era of the research-obsessed consumer. We will read and watch and listen to content to help us make a good buying decision. Doesn’t matter what it is. If it means a lot to us, we’re not willing to make a mistake. And the company that provides all the information has a better chance of having a seat at the table when it comes to comparing you against your competition and then making a decision. So I’m worried that if I discuss pricing, some of my customers won’t want to do business with me.
Ultimately, they’re not supposed to be your customers, okay? You’re looking for a very specific type of customer, one that’s willing to pay what your value is. Now, I mentioned earlier, the reason three, I want people to contact me first. Then I’ve got this excuse or reason or situation or opportunity, perhaps, to sell to them. And people have said that to me before, “If I can just get more people to call me, I know I can sell it to them,” but people don’t want to be sold to. They want to know the price before they contact you. And if you can’t give the information to them, they will find it somewhere else. We’re not willing … People want to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. We don’t have time to phone around people getting prices for stuff. Let’s give the information to them up front.
And like I said, it isn’t about having simply a definitive pricing number. It’s the factors that influence price that are important here. That we can discuss price, help them to understand price. And these next two or three things here that I’ve got for you kind of touch on that. So you might be a type of company that doesn’t have just one set price, one price or a set price. The reality is is that most businesses don’t have just one price. Which is honestly another good reason why we need to discuss pricing. We need to discuss pricing to make it clear. As I said, people want to have the opportunity, they want to find the information quickly and easily. We don’t have time to mess around, okay? So remember, this isn’t simply about displaying prices, it’s about discussing price. So regardless of how many products you have or different levels of service that you have, your prospective customers need clarity on why the price is the way it is.
The sooner that they can find the information, the sooner they’ll be in a position to buy from you. You have the power right at your fingertips to speed up the sales process by giving them all the information that they need to make an educated buying decision. So if you don’t have … If you have more than one product and more than one service and more than one sort of set of prices within there, then that provides you with the reason why you should be discussing pricing in your content and on your website.
Reason number five, I offer a bespoke service so the price can vary greatly. Okay, so I hope you’ve already managed to figure out how to get around this one based on what I’ve talked about already. It goes back up to what I mentioned at the start. We’re moving the conversation from simply displaying prices to discussing pricing. Even as a bespoke service or product-based company, you will still be able to provide information that helps your prospective customer to get a feel for the cost and price. You can provide example projects that you’ve worked on before. You can give them a ballpark figure for types of projects. Here’s a small type project there, a smaller version of our product that usually cost between this and that. If we do this type of project or we have these types of products that we’re offering you, then the price can be something like this or that. What makes the price go up? What makes a price go down? Help me understand how it works in your industry. I think, again, this reason, this isn’t a reason not to have discussed pricing on your website. This is a reason to discuss pricing on your website.
If you offer a bespoke service where pricing is particularly unclear, then you have a responsibility as a marketer, as a leader in your industry to communicate pricing clearly with your prospective customers. Make it clear, give them all the information, help them understand the factors that influence price and cost.
And finally, the sixth reason is that we don’t talk about pricing in our industry. Again, this could be true, right? You may have certain pricing regulations or price matching regulations, things like that, where you can’t simply … you’re just simply not allowed it to give people pricing information or anything to do with prices. Okay, I get that. That can sometimes happen, but also, if you’re a type of industry where it is just something that we don’t do or it’s a taboo subject, then don’t be led by your competitors.
Be led by your prospective customers. What information do they crave? What information do they need to help them make an educated and confident buying decision? But either way, if you’re not allowed to or you can’t, for whatever reason, provide the exact price, is it possible for you to create some content to help your prospective customer understand how pricing works and the factors that are considered when it comes to pricing? Now, if you’re in the type of industry where no one is willing to do this or to talk about this, perhaps there’s an opportunity here for you to take advantage of that. Isn’t it about time that someone provided better information for the people trying to buy the products or services that your industry offers? Isn’t it about time that there was a better level of information for people and a bit more clarity, a bit more transparency, a little bit of honesty? Isn’t it about time that someone did something about that?
Perhaps that’s an opportunity for you to take advantage of and be a leader in your industry and provide that information. So we had six different reasons. So let’s just walk through them before we wrap things up. I’m worried that my competition will find out what I’m charging. I’m worried that my prices will turn my customers away. I have more than one price. I want people to contact me first, then I can give them the price and have the opportunity to sell to them. I offer a bespoke service, so there isn’t just one single price. We don’t talk about pricing in our industry. Those are the six reasons why people are not putting prices on their websites and in their content and discussing price. However, I think each one of them is a reason why we should be, as well. And I hope you agree with that. And this is where it comes down to you now. Now the work has to happen.
Now we’ve got to take action. And that’s the bit that we’re going to have to cover it in a different podcast, is how should I display prices on my website? And if you want to contact me to find out how to do that, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. You can tweet me @chrismarr101, and I can give you the how-to. You can also join the Content Marketing Academy, cmamembership.co.uk, and we’ll show you exactly how to do it, too.
So here’s the wrap-up. Here’s the conclusion. Focus on this responsibility that you have, which is to provide the most helpful information in your industry for and because of your customers’ needs. You do it for your customers and because it’s what they need and what they want and what they crave. Are you doing everything you can to give your customers as much information as they need to navigate your industry and make an educated and confident buying decision?
Give that information away. And then you have to trust that your information is going to allow your customers, to make your prospective customers to make the right buying decision for them. And in some cases that means they’re not going to be buying from you. But that’s okay, remember, because we don’t want to be wasting time trying to sell something to someone who’s not going to be your customer. We want to prequalify these people. We will improve the sales process.
Let’s weed out the people that aren’t going to buy from us. Let’s bring forward to people are going to buy from us. I want you to see the benefits here. Better customers, more qualified customers, asking less repetitive questions. They’re more ready to buy. Salespeople are having more worthwhile conversations and discussions. See the benefits for the sales process, too, as a whole. Smoother, faster, easier, fewer resources used over time.
These are some of the benefits from this, not just discussing pricing on your website, but actually embracing this philosophy that we call content marketing. Now, I’d love to know what’s on your mind. Of course, this is not a complete lesson. I’m sure there are other reasons why you are not discussing pricing on your website. I’d love to know what they are, and if you need help with this, implementing it, then please contact me. Any questions, thoughts, ideas, send me an email, email@example.com. You can also tweet me @chrismarr101, and you can visit our website at cmauk.co.uk, or join our membership at cmamembership.co.uk and I’ll catch you next time. Don’t forget to be awesome.
Thanks very much for joining me on the CMA podcast study. If you’ve found today’s episode interesting and intriguing and you want to get better results from your content marketing, then join the CMA membership today at cmamembership.co.uk.