To Post Prices Or Not - 3 Considerations

There's always a debate among business owners and marketers about whether or not you should post your pricing for your product or service. I myself have gone back and forth with my own opinion on that. That's when I realized that the answer is based upon that simple, yet difficult phrase: "It depends...".

In this case it seems to depend on three things:

  1. Who do you want to attract to your site or storefront?
  2. At what level of maturity is your lead generation process?
  3. How "standard" is your product or service?

Let's look a little deeper at each of those, using a real-world example of a builder who specializes in garage building. This builder uses a high-end post card marketing company to advertise and he puts pricing for his standard garage packages on the card.:

Who do you want to attract? - If you want to get people who are interested or curious about what it takes to build a new garage so that you can have a conversation with them about their needs, then don't show the pricing. This fits well into a strategy of creating a large number of leads you can nurture who can either buy or refer others to you in the future.

If, however, you want those people who are ready to build a garage and have some idea of the range of cost, then posting prices weeds out those "tire-kickers" and creates warmer leads who call you almost ready to sign.

Level of maturity of your lead generation - When first starting out, many businesses have the basics of lead generation: a website, phones number and an offer they use for advertising. Every call or email inquiry seems like gold to them and each is handled in a different way. At that point, the garage builder might cater to every lead individually and every job is a "custom" build, so he doesn't post pricing.

As business grows, however, customer questions are mostly the same and you can generally predict the "stage" a certain lead is in. So, you implement an automated email campaign that educates the prospect about common garage building questions and weeds out people as it progresses. But even this can still produce highly evolved tire-kickers, and, in the case of the garage builder, he is so busy that he truly has to optimize his time to focus on the high percentage sales. That's when it makes sense to post prices, either in your ads or in your lead management process. 

How "standard" is your product? - With time, your experience produces "standard" products, such as a 24' X 24' garage that you know exactly what it takes to construct from building 50 of them in the last 2 years. So, once again, it makes sense to post your prices. If you've just started building garages, you may not want to post prices because you may not have enough "data" that creates a fair price for the customer and a profitable job for you. 

The hidden benefit of posting your prices instead of offering "$500 Off!" is that you build trust around pricing. With the $500 off, the prospect might assume that you just markup your normal prices and not trust that they will get a fair price.  

Each of these three considerations has different weight for different business owners. What about you? What are your considerations when deciding whether or not to post prices?