Should you publish your pricing?

Sabina ReedOur coordinator, Sabina Reed, shares some thoughts on whether as a business to business supplier you should publish your pricing or not.

Many businesses struggle with a decision about whether to publish their pricing information on their website or to have a price on application approach.

However, prospective clients may be deterred if they must approach you to ask about pricing, perhaps believing that if they have to ask the price if will be out of their affordability range, or that the offering may be too ‘cheap’ – or simply that it will be embarrassing to enquire and then find they can’t afford it.

This creates a dilemma – should you publish your pricing?

At Holy Brook we tend to be pretty transparent about our pricing – for our finance team for example we publish our hourly or daily rates, and our quotes are based on this and an estimate of the time we expect work to take.

Our reason for this is we know that when our customers are looking to make a purchase or obtain a service many businesses spend a lot of time and effort in conducting market research.  When doing so they like to have the facts to hand to enable them to decide.

Of course there are reasons to consider not publishing pricing.

One reason we often hear is that this may lead to the competition or new entrant to the market will find out what you charge and adjust their pricing accordingly, perhaps for a lesser quality offering?

However, if they really want to find out the chances are they already know what you charge. It would only take a call pretending to be a prospective customer or a conversation with a previous client to ascertain a price. In the age of social media, it is easy to access this information.

Alternatively it might be that you like to sit with a potential client and talk them through your service before they make a decision?  This often is right where the service is very personal, although we feel that it makes it easier for people to have a relaxed conversation about this side of things if they already know the sort of price range they are looking at.

Are you worried about deterring people who shop around on price? Don’t be, those people are firstly more likely to be put off by not being able to search and secondly if you are offering a unique service are unlikely to be a regular or loyal client anyway.

Branding also needs to be considered. Are you offering a service that has lots of market competition, or do you offer a bespoke or tailored service or product where no two contracts will be the same?  If, like us, you offer a bespoke service, it might still be worth considering publishing a starting price for the service or product.

Ultimately, it’s your choice whether you publish your pricing, however if you don’t it may be helpful to include a line or two on your site as to why you don’t have your prices on there. Or perhaps try a short trial of adding or removing your prices dependant on how you do it now to see if there is any change in new business enquiries.   You could even publish the pricing for some products and not others – depending on the type of product.

Financial Management Spreadsheet