• Writer for DDI on Medium

The Ripple Effect Of Not Putting Your Prices On Your Website

What the hell! How am I expected to buy anything when there are no prices!

The biggest misconception amongst small service business owners is the belief that putting their prices on their website makes them vulnerable to their competitors.

The biggest mistake they make is only acquainting themselves with the visual aspect of “who” their customers are rather than choosing to understand the psychology of what’s actually attracting them to their services in the first place.This is how they end up in a vulnerable position because of poor service, not the competition and customer’s leave because of it. They don’t get “stolen”

I once worked for an I.T company whose prices were a lot hotter than the competitions, but the customers kept on coming for two (2) main reasons.

1. The quality of our service.

We provided the best color prints and our work was always on time. Customers also grew to trust us because we paid attention to small details like, if they left their change on the counter, it could be as small as a quarter. They got it back. We had cookouts in the office and often included them if they so desired to partake.

2. Our process.

It usually took me 3 days to complete design jobs and customers were always notified every step of the way until jobs were completed and ready to be delivered. Whenever they were diverted to other branches within or outside the company, they would be quite vocal about their agitation on account of “not knowing what to expect with another branch or company and preferring the value of our service”.

So it’s quite possible to have higher prices and still win over the right clients if you have a process that’s built around serving them. Outside of this, what you’re actually saying is, the basis for choosing you over the competition are your prices.

Do you see the problem with that concept?

To expect such a minuscule thing as your pricing to hold all the weight of your brand (is what it is) is pretty misguided. Won't you say? Although value is expressed in the way you price your service, pricing is secondary when compared to value. And subjecting yourself to believe you're only worthy of customers because of your pricing instead of the value you provide, will leave you stuck always having to lower your prices to bring in clients, rather than increase your value to increase your profit margin. And hiding your prices from your customers is a manifestation of that insecurity which can encourage one of three things if not all.

#1. It Discredits Your Value

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If someone acquired your attention only to have you jump through a million and one hoops before you could get to what they advertised, wouldn’t you wonder if you were being scammed? This is also a huge impetus for customers to leave your website.

I know I’ve done that quite a bit when websites “look” great from the outside and as you get closer, it morphs into something disappointing. It’s almost as annoying as ending up on an overly designed website that’s so distracting, you can’t even get to the purpose of why you’re there in the first place or worst, a website that’s simple to navigate but does nothing for the customer’s perusal except to indicate that it was a complete waste of their time.

#2. It Anger’s Customers

It’s highly disrespectful, when you intentionally try, to waste someone’s time. A couple nights ago, I had the pleasure of reading through a very lively discussion, amongst customers who felt angered an incredibly confused by this practice of not listing prices. I also conducted a discussion of my own. (if you like, you can check it out here)

At the same time, this is great news for other small service businesses who actually recognize their value are proud of their pricing and willingly display it because there will be more clients looking for your kind of service. And for those unwilling to comply, this will only cause far- reaching fragmentation that could possibly put them out of business.

#3. You Lose Business

I think this is very self-explanatory. If purchasing from you is an exhausting or very suspicious looking experience, why would I possibly refer you to someone else? Even if your service gets results, all I’ll be considering is my encounter with you and not wanting to gamble on the “possibility” that someone else "might" have a better experience.

This is how I believe, what is considered “competition can inherit customers”. When you give the client no other choice than to look in another direction. I am a testament to that statement since the clients I gained, came out of a relationship formed over five and a half years of working for another company. And it’s irresponsible to think of losing clients in any other way but blaming it on ourselves because the way we run our business, is entirely up to us as the owners. Customers merely respond.

YOU can start selling what makes you different immediately with a One-Page Website. LET’S GET ON A CALL to see if you’re a good fit for this product!

I am the Founder and Visual Brand Strategist at The BrandTUB Branding For Small Service Businesses. Sign up to receive these weekly articles in your inbox if you’re not quite ready to work with me yet. And please share my article if you liked it.

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