5 Reasons You Should ALWAYS Talk about Product Pricing and Costs on Your Company Website

by Marcus Sheridan

website-pricingI don’t get it. Seriously, what is the deal with small business websites and their fear of talking about the one thing that makes every transaction a reality? Yes, you guessed it, that ‘one thing’ is MONEY.

Yep, the last I looked, if consumers and customers don’t have money, they have a tough time buying things (well, not including the housing market from 2001-2008). So, being that money is so vital to the purchase of a product or service, why is everyone afraid of it?

I’m guessing the answer is that they are afraid they’ll end up turning-off a consumer, or possibly scare them away. Personally, I think such a fear is crazy, bonkers, (fill in your own adjective here). In fact, the first question a serious consumer will ask when they are considering the purchase of a product is:

How much does it cost?

Notwithstanding this all-important inquiry, hundreds of thousands of companies don’t even begin to mention pricing on their websites…..Hmmmmm, Houston, we have a problem.

Over the years I’ve learned that being open and honest regarding pricing is fundamental to success in sales and marketing. In fact, here are 5 reasons why you should always discuss product costs on your website:

1. People want to know: Wow, now that’s deep. But seriously, just like I mentioned above, serious consumers know the internet will give them the answers there are looking for if they search long enough. And if they can’t find them on your site, guess what happens? Yep, they go check out your competitor’s site and look for the answers there. Remember, any question a consumer asks about your product should be answered on your company blog/website.

2. Search Engines will give you LOVE: That’s right—big time love. Do yourself a favor and go to Google and type in the phrase Fiberglass Pool Cost or How much does a fiberglass pool cost. If you simply type these phrases in, or any similar phrase for that matter, my pool company’s website will come up 1 or 2 on search results every time. This page has been #1 on Google for about 2 years now and it’s all because I spoke extensively on my website about fiberglass pool pricing before any other company in the world did. Crazy….but true. As mentioned in the video below, this phrase has garnered me thousands and thousands of dollars in sales.

3. Consumers will appreciate your honesty: Despite this nutty myth that consumers don’t like to talk about pricing, you will find that most potential clients greatly appreciate the fact that they were finally able to get great answers from you and your company. This gratitude leads to respect which in-turn leads to trust….and ultimately leads to sales.

4. You will not waste time with unqualified customers: Because financing has become so difficult these days, the idea of ‘If they have a heartbeat we can get ‘em credit’ is deader than a doorknob. I don’t know about you, but as a sales and marketing professional, I’m not interested in spending tons of time trying to sell a product to someone who can’t even afford to buy said product. Remember, our time is very valuable, and the quicker we can focus our relationships and efforts on qualified candidates, the more successful we’ll be….and the less rejection we’ll receive.

5. No Surprises: Have you ever talked with a client and after having given them your price/quote/proposal they give you that, “Oh my goodness, I’m going to pass out” look? If this has ever happened, you and your website did a pretty poor job preparing them for what was expected. This is also why I always send out at least one well-written ‘pricing/cost’ article to any lead that comes into my data base.

So please take this information to heart. If it’s not there already, get busy talking about pricing on your website. Give the consumers what they’re looking for. Answer their questions. By so doing I can assure you that you and your brand will take another step toward niche domination and your bottom-line will benefit greatly.

PS: Before you leave, check out this short video where I talk about this subject of pricing at a recent seminar in Vegas. Also, I’d be very, very curious to get your take on pricing procedures for your website and what you’ve found that works the best. Your comments are always appreciated, big or small, agreeable or disagreeable. :-)

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Large November 23, 2010 at

Especially with construction…your potential client is doing this once maybe twice in their whole life. Let’s get it out there and deal with it.

I think a range of pricing is prudent, like the conversation you had with lady that had viewed your web site for a longer period of time.

The problem comes in..and the hesitation arises when pricing isn’t with any solid information on the project/process/service etc…. I feel it has to be a part of an overall program of information and education into your company.

If you put a price up without putting into context, you have made your whatever a commodity…I think that is some cause of concern.

Great post, something that contractors need to do to pre-qualify…being busy on proposals is not being profitable.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

GREAT, GREAT points Large….very well said….I’m especially down with:

being busy on proposals is not being profitable

Keep spreading the good word to all those builders out there Joe, they’ll come around.

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Daniel M. Wood November 23, 2010 at

Hey Marcus,
I agree, you do not have to open with the price (if it isn’t insanely low) but once a customer is choosing their product or service they will want to know the price, you should tell them.

If you make it hard to buy from you you will turn your customers off.
.-= Daniel M. Wood´s last blog ..How to Make Plans for Your Success =-.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

Exactly Daniel, too many companies are making it too hard for customers to know pricing, much less buy.

Consumers want a fluid transition from the education phase of a website to the purchasing stage of the process. The company that does this the best, with the fewest obstacles, usually wins.

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serge November 23, 2010 at

Grenat, simply cratère. Thanx

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serge November 23, 2010 at

Sorry, French keyboard on a smartphone.

Great, simply grate. Wou

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

I appreciate kind words in any language Serge :-)

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Nathan November 23, 2010 at

Great article Marcus. Money is definitly what makes transactions possible. I still get suprised by potential customers that thank me for giving them pricing up front. They all mention how the competition will not give out pricing without a sales call to be able to get a “quote” together. Do not understand that thinking. How much time is wasted on unqualified leads because of it.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

That’s hilarious but true Nathan….customers really do feel like they have to ‘thank’ upfront business people just for being straight about pricing info…Kinda nuts when you think about it…..Thank goodness we are gonna change all that!! :-)

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Jk November 24, 2010 at

I couldn’t agree with this more. As a consumer, as we all are, we want to establish creditability or the contrary as quickly as possible. One of the biggest factors in that is price for service/product perceived value. If both factors aren’t shared, I develop the notion that somethings beings hidden from me – then I’m on to the next one!
On the other side – the business…you nailed it with your 5 reasons above. In particularly Qualifying the Customer stands out to me…
If a prospective customer wants cheap – then they have little concern for value (in most cases). Position the value and the pricing obstacle is overcome. If you aren’t offering anything of value – then don’t expect value in return.

This one kind of got me worked up because I share the same annoyance. People think they are slick…and to some they maybe. But to the majority of people…we all feel just as you do.
In defense – some people just don’t know any better. They don’t hide pricing for any reason beyond the fact that they haven’t developed the “know”, yet. But now they know – so there’s no more excuses!

By the way- you’re a great speaker. I’ve checked out your youtube channel a couple weeks back and meant to email you feedback. You have great delivery, energy and you’re blessed with your own unique style. I could go on but I don’t want to monopolize your comments section.
Alright Pool man – I’m out! Peace.
.-= Jk´s last blog ..The Power of Simplification =-.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

Once again Hustle, you bring the heat with every comment brother.

Like you said, consumers don’t like ‘hidden’ info. They want the facts. This ain’t ‘hide and seek’. In fact, they’re getting smarter and smarter with the companies that attempt this bogus stealth pricing strategy.

Also, well said when it comes to value. Obviously, the whole ‘value conversation’ needs to be a part of a business’ pricing/cost page, otherwise things can get wacky.

And thanks for your kind words regarding my speaking. It’s something that I very, very much enjoy and will be doing a whole lot more of in the near future.

Appreciate all you bring to the table Hustle. :-)

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Tristan November 24, 2010 at

First off, Bob Barker has one crazy awesome spray tan.

Awesome post, Marcus. And so true, too! It pisses me off when no price is listed. They always have an “Inquire for Pricing” clause in there, but why would you want to add that extra step in there for your customers? If I’m on your website, I obviously am interested in what you’re doing and want to know how much it costs! I’ve never bothered inquiring.

And not only is it annoying, but like you said, I wonder what they’re trying to hide. Why are they being so shifty? What is it about their price that makes them so reluctant to post it?

Anyway, I offer up a solid AMEN to this post. Thanks for the great reading. It was thoroughly enjoyed and retweeted.
.-= Tristan´s last blog ..How Watching Reality TV Got Me More Newsletter Subscribers =-.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

Ha, gotta love ‘ol Bob!

Yes, great point about the famous ‘Inquire for Pricing’ button. That just takes visitors down another road of form-filling, which drives the world bonkers for the most part.

Love your passion Tristan, thanks for the RT and keep rocking it over there on your blog.

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Dia November 24, 2010 at

Hi Marcus,

I agree my friend. Some times I go to websites to buy some products, then I find that the pricing is missing or I have to hunt for it until I find it. As a consumer, it really annoys me. It is crucial that the price is mentioned. Thanks for sharing
.-= Dia´s last blog ..Smile 400 times a day =-.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

Yep, who wants to be a hunter??? I sure as heck don’t!

Pricing info should be clear, present, and forthright….every time.

Thanks for stopping by Dia :-)

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John Sherry November 24, 2010 at

We’re heading for a new era Marcus when transparency and pure upfrontedness will be the order of the day. Your post is ahead of the game for sure. What you see and what you are told the price is will be what you expect to get as far as I’m concerned. We’ve been bitten once too often. Fab post with tips I didn’t know ie. a bit of search engine love. And who doesn’t want some love?
.-= John Sherry´s last blog ..If You Need Help Why You Should Have A Coffee =-.

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

Love those words John: Transparency and Upfront —Lost arts in much of society and business.

Consumers are smarter than ever. They know how to search. They will find. No need to hold anything back IMO.

Much love brother :-)

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Maria November 24, 2010 at

I LOVE your intro: “Seriously, what is the deal with small business websites and their fear of talking about the one thing that makes every transaction a reality?” So true!

If I don’t see a price for something I am checking out I just move on to the next website. As an entrepreneur I put my prices on my website to weave out the unqualified prospects.

Looking forward to your next article!
Maria

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Marcus Sheridan November 24, 2010 at

Much obliged for your kind words Maria…it sounds like you’ve got the vision yourself when it comes to pricing, value, and all that jazz. In fact, I took a look at your website and I was very, very impressed with what you and your sister are doing. Well done lady!!

Stay confident :-)

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Samuel November 25, 2010 at

Awesome post bro! You are damn right :D Yeah, it will make both Google and your customers love you. go straight to the point and stop beating around the bush. If they want to buy they will, and if they don’t they will leave. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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Marcus Sheridan November 25, 2010 at

Love it Samuel!! :-) …..It’s official, the era of ‘Beating around the Bush’ is over….

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Your Cuz November 26, 2010 at

Marc-

You have never been more right about anything in your professional life. As an internet-savvy young person with money to spend, I never continue to browse a website that won’t give me prices. I understand that some services don’t come with a simple, up-front price, but I would always prefer a range to being kept in the dark. Businesses have the choice of being honest with me or losing any hope of getting my business!

-Matthew

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Marcus Sheridan November 27, 2010 at

Wow, that means a lot to me Matthew, and I really appreciate you stopping by. Considering you’re about 30 years old, you’re buying practices are a perfect representation of the rising generation. In other words, the need to give pricing, upfront, will only grow more and more over time as consumer expectations continue to grow and grow.

May we all choose honesty :-)

Thx Cuz

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Social Kevin December 3, 2010 at

As a customer, I think that displaying prices, even if they are high, is a must. Great article.

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Marcus Sheridan December 3, 2010 at

Thanks Kevin….and after all, ‘Hi’ is such a relative thing these days….it’s our job to give the information, after that, the customers can at least make their own judgments.

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Andrey January 5, 2011 at

Thank you for this post. You are right that people are probably afraid to loose the customer if the price is big. I thought that if I will name the bigger price, I will loose those customers who might want something cheaper but still worthy of my time. But now I see that I must be looking like I’m hiding something. Of course, I had people writing me asking about the price and never writing back. If I had my price range specified, I wouldn’t have to answer those questions again and again at least.

The thing with web design and similar services is that it’s very hard to give a price and even a price range without knowing details about the project. I noticed that very few web designers openly mention prices on their sites. 90% probably don’t. Inquiry forms rule the world here. It’s probably because of the specifics of the service. But I see a way to specify a range and honestly explain what the price depends on. Hopefully that will give people information they need and won’t scare other people that I still might want to work with. So I did that on my site.

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Marcus Sheridan January 5, 2011 at

Well done Andrey. Good for you! If everyone isn’t doing something on their website, it usually means you should be. This will make a big difference, you watch.

Keep up the great work, you’re really coming along :-)

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Ricky Wong February 23, 2012 at

Can’t agree with it anymore that”" serious consumers know the internet will give them the answers there are looking for…..”, which make me rethink a few words I learned from a marketing expert that I’d love to share it with everyone:
What is inernet? Internet is answers.
Great post , thanks

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Des Vadgama December 3, 2012 at

You’re absolutely right, Marcus.

Must admit I have avoided mentioning the fees for my high-value business growth system, for which clients happily pay into 5-figures.

Going forward, I will ensure more figures and pricing are disclosed in our marketing material, not just each proposal.

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Michele Welch December 3, 2012 at

Marcus -

Love that you posted this! I decided to add my prices on my site some time ago for the VERY point you mentioned on pre-qualifying your leads. I know for myself, although I seek the value in what I buy, price plays a factor as well in whether or not I choose to work with someone or purchase a product. I want to know upfront what’s this going to cost me – full disclosure.

It’s crazy to me that so many people shy away from this. I even had people tell me that I shouldn’t do it b/c people will treat me as a commodity. My thought process is that if they are shopping for the best price and if their only criteria is price, then they are going to do it anyway… and frankly, I don’t want to work with people who are looking for the “cheapest deal”. I’m looking to work with people who understand that it’s about getting results.

Loved it! Awesome!!

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David December 3, 2012 at

Thanks Marcus. Some great food for thought.

My new website is nearly complete, and I was wondering how to tackle the subject of pricing.

Your 5 reasons – plus your article about the cost of a swimming pool – have given me some great ideas. Thank you!

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Scott L Smith December 3, 2012 at

Hey Marcus:

At We’ve Got Your Customers, we’ve gone back and forth concerning posting pricing on our sites.

And the conclusions we’ve come to is: There’s certain things you can post and certain things you can’t.

If a product/service is always going to be the same and all things are equal, then a price can be given upfront without even speaking with the customer (ex: If you were to provide a picture, description, etc of a fiberglass pool on your site – shipping might vary, but price of the pool would be consistent if purchased in Qty 1)

However, if customer needs a custom dimension or wants other features added to the pool and countless other variables, then a custom price would need to be generated (This wouldn’t be a one size fits all product and would require a conversation and Extensive Customer Q&A before a price can be quoted)

I agree with you that way too often companies and their salespeople are fine talking about Features, Benefits, etc… But when it comes to price, the tone and flow of the conversation takes a quick turn and often not the right way (towards finalizing the sale).

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Melissa Laverty June 6, 2013 at

Am I missing something or have you changed your stance since 2010? I went to your Hubspot consulting page to see how you were listing your fees just to get some ideas, but I found no information. It may be that I couldn’t find the link, not sure.
Thanks!

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Marcus Sheridan June 6, 2013 at

I’m not sure what you have or have not read Melissa, but your answer is found here: http://www.thesaleslion.com/inbound-marketing-hubspot-consultant-cost-price/

Also, you should Google: How much does HubSpot cost? or How much does an inbound marketing consultant cost? or How much does a HubSpot consultant cost?

If you do that, you’ll see I’m applying it more than ever, with AMAZING results.

Marcus

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Melissa Laverty June 6, 2013 at

I missed that post. I like the approach and actually think it may have fantastic results for my client! Thank you for your prompt response…I really appreciate it!

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