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Pricing on Your Website: It’s Time to Stop Playing Sales Games

In this episode, I passionately advocate for transparency in pricing on business websites. I feel strongly that not having your pricing accessible to potential clients is outdated and counterproductive. I tackle the reasons behind the reluctance to display prices, debunking myths, and offering solutions to facilitate better client-business interactions.

Key Points:

  • The outdated sales psychology tactic of not sharing pricing upfront
  • Risks and drawbacks of not having pricing accessible
  • Balancing custom services and transparent pricing
  • Strategies for self-qualification and building relationships with potential clients
  • Actionable steps for business owners to implement pricing transparency

Take Action Steps

  • Evaluate whether your pricing is accessible on your website or landing page
  • Determine reasons behind any reluctance to display pricing
  • Implement pricing ranges and minimums to help potential clients self-qualify
  • Incorporate pricing questions in discovery call intake forms for better pre-qualification
  • Consider offering free relationship-building calls or value-added engagement regardless of readiness to hire
  • Redirect focus from hiding pricing to providing value and building rapport

**Links and Offers:**

– For more insights and practical advice, check out our previous episode on client communication (link to previous episode)

Join the conversation and share your experience with pricing transparency by connecting with me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelledenio/

Transcript

Michelle (00:00.826)

Hey, hey, welcome back to the real truth about business. I'm your host, Michelle DeNio, and this is the show dedicated to giving the real straight and honest truth about growing a profitable and soul -filling business. All right, let's dive in today to today's topic, and I wanna talk about a topic all about pricing on your website. And oh man, this one gets me fired up.

All right, and I have been having this conversation a lot. I was seeing it, I was in a conversation on the app Threads. Somebody posted about this and there was like easily, easily hundreds and hundreds of comments going back and forth on this thread on Threads. And it's, oh my gosh, it's so outdated. I'm just gonna say it. Not having your pricing on your website or,

accessible to people when they are actively looking at your services is outdated. Okay. And I want to talk about it. I want to dive into it. I want to really chat about where this came from, what started it, and why I feel so strongly about this. Okay. As a business owner, if you are looking to truly grow your business, I'm telling you stop gatekeeping your pricing. All right. So,

I don't even know exactly where this started, but to me, this is such an old, old, old sales tactic. It's a psychology, it's like a sales psychology tactic, it's a mind game, it's tricky. And the whole point is, is that by not sharing your pricing and getting people onto a call with you, you can...

really build a relationship, you can really paint the picture of the value, you can speak to them about what they're getting, you can talk about how your service compares to somebody else and that's why it's the price it is, and I get it. I understand all of that. However, unfortunately, there have been so many people in the online business space and just in the business space in general,

Michelle (02:16.71)

that have completely ruined this, all right? People are so jaded by this because they have gotten on the call and they've had this great conversation, they played the sales game only to find out that their offer is well beyond their budget, right? And when they tell somebody it's beyond their budget or I don't think this is a good fit, they start getting badgered with all of these things about like, what is it costing you?

to not have this solution. What's gonna change if you don't invest in this right now? What's going to be different? How do you expect, you just told me that you have this problem and if you don't invest in it, how do you plan on changing it? Do you have any friends or family you can borrow money from? Have you thought about putting it on a credit card? You realize this is an investment into your future, right? Does this sound familiar? I mean, we've all had these conversations and even just saying it like,

It sounds so disgusting and because it is, right? Because it is, it's absolutely horrendous and people hate it. I mean, at the end of the day, right? And there's this also this theory about like people need to stretch and they need to move beyond their comfort zone. And if you put your pricing on your website, then people are going to make a decision based on price alone. And here's my thought.

And here's where I'm gonna just draw the line in the sand and say, I am a adult. I am a business owner. I am a successful business owner. And I know what I am willing to spend and I know what I am not willing to spend. I know where my budget lies. I know what I'm comfortable with. I know when I need to be pushed outside my comfort zone, right? And I have a husband who I share a lot with.

I have a business bestie that I have these conversations with, right? I have a lot of people in my world that help me make decisions. If I want to work with you, I want to know whether or not I can afford it. I want to know whether or not it's within my budget. And I will tell you that I have had so many negative experiences with booking calls without knowing the price upfront that now I won't even do it. And...

Michelle (04:39.014)

this was the conversation that was had inside of that thread that I was talking about in the beginning, was that people will not even book if they can't find some level of pricing because they do not want to get into that awkward situation. All right? So you need to understand this. So this whole psychology around like, oh, you're losing out on leads because people are making a decision on price. Guess what?

You're also losing out on qualified buyers that are actively searching out your services and ready to buy because they can't find your pricing. All right, so you are going to lose leads either way. But what is the better opportunity here? Would you rather lose a lead because they see your pricing and they know it's well beyond their budget?

and they decide like, you know what, this is not a good fit for me right now. I'm not gonna waste this person's time. Or would you rather lose a lead because they book a call or they won't book a call with you. They're qualified, they're ready. They could well be within your budget, right? They could absolutely have more than enough budget to hire you, but they will not book that call because they don't know.

Right, so you're actually losing out on qualified leads because of this. There are more chances of you losing out on a qualified lead because you don't have your pricing listed than you losing out on a qualified lead because you do have your price. Oh, maybe I'm getting that confused. What am I trying to say? What I'm trying to say is that, oh, so people say you lose out on leads because you have pricing and they make decision on price. Okay, so maybe you lose out, but.

The reality is if they're making a decision on price or they're saying this price is out of my range, they're likely not a good fit for you. Unless you are in this business of being slimy and convincing and trying to like, you know, deal like dive deep into people's pain points. If that's your goal and you wanna be that person, then.

Michelle (06:49.498)

Okay, I mean, I'm not saying that the strategy doesn't work. I always will give you as always the honest and straightforward truth. I'm not saying that the strategy of not having your pricing on the website and getting people to book a call with you. I'm not saying at all that it does not work. But what I'm saying is that people are starting to get sick of it because they've had a negative experience. More often than not, people have had a negative experience with this versus a positive one. So they are

less likely to book a call. I personally know this. 90 % of my clients are the same way. 90 % of the comments that were in that thread all said the same thing. Like I won't even book a call if I can't find pricing. Now I understand, let's talk about all of the reasons why you don't want to list your pricing, right? There's scope creep. There's, you know, people's situations are different. Maybe you customize your proposals. Maybe it.

There's a lot of varying factors and I understand that people have gotten burned by saying like having a price and then the client comes and then they've got eight million other issues and you've quoted them a price or they've seen a price on your website. So the easiest solution to this is to have a packages start at, prices starting at, consulting services start at, like have your minimum.

What is the minimum that you are willing to work for? Right? So that client knows that in order to book a call with you and in order to have a conversation, this is the minimum budget that you have to have available. I think that is very, very normal. I think that is very fair. At least then you know, like, okay, start that. Now don't put your starting at price at 500 when you know your average proposal goes out at 3000. Like again, that's a bullshit sales move.

That's a horrible like bait and switch. If your average sales proposal is $3 ,000, then I would say prices start at 3 ,000. You can always reduce it down. What if somebody comes to you and says like, hey, I only need this, this and this and you have an offer that's 2 ,000. When you're on the call with them, don't you think it's like a guaranteed win to be like, you know what, you actually don't need that offer. I have this program or this package or this.

Michelle (09:11.014)

You know, this service and it's $2 ,000. Well, guess what? If they were ready to spend 3000, they're going to, it's going to be a whole lot easier to go, you know, to get the sale at 2000. Okay. So keep your starting at price with your average sale. Okay. Do not low ball it because again, your chances of converting, if you low ball are so slim, make it an easy. Yes. Let people self qualify.

Let people self -qualify. It is not up to us to qualify people or to help like play these mind games, okay? We are adults. We all have budgets. We know what we are willing to spend and what we aren't willing to spend, okay? That's just life. This is just business and life 101, all right? I understand.

that sometimes people say like, I really have no idea what to expect. I know I need help. I really am not sure. I don't have a budget number in mind. But again, if they are that person and they are a great business owner and they are a good lead for you, they are going to be open and ready to have the conversation. I have a client right now who we were working on a big project.

And I said to her, what's your budget for this? Do you have a budget? And she said, I have no idea, Michelle. I've never done this before. I've never even inquired about it. I haven't shopped around. I really don't know. What I do know is that I really don't think I'm willing to spend more than X number based on the return that I'm expecting on this, right? Like I'm not willing to spend more than this, right? So she didn't know what exactly.

to expect when she was looking into different providers, but she knew what her max budget was, right? Again, that's her business. That is her choice, her business, not yours, all right? It is not up to us to decide what is within somebody's budget and what isn't.

Michelle (11:25.19)

You don't know what their life looks like. You don't know what their obligations look like. You don't know what their expenses look like. You don't know what their revenue looks like, nor is it your business. Your business is to convert qualified leads into customers. The best way to get a qualified lead is to let the lead qualify themself, okay?

We are not in the business of playing games. Be a business owner. Be the expert that you are. Okay. Most of you hate sales. I hear it all the time. I'm just not good at sales. I hate sales. Okay. Well then let people qualify themselves. That's part of the, that's like the biggest hurdle when it comes to sales is getting people to actually be a qualified buyer. So by listing your pricing on your website, by the time they book a call with you,

They've already pre -qualified themselves. So that's step one. That's step one that's already done and accomplished. Okay. So I'm sorry. I just, I will, this is not a hill I am willing to stand on and I am not willing to get off of it because I think it is such an old school, good old boys club, old sales, car salesmen, used car salesmen that everybody hates. I think it is that mindset. I'm sorry. And or.

It's the mindset of these high, high, high ticket coaches that want to try to like dive into your deepest pain points. It's a pain point marketing and use it against you. Like I literally remember reaching out to somebody. She quoted me. I don't remember. I think it was like $10 ,000 and she legit told me to ask for a loan from my family. She was like, don't you have a friend or family member that you can ask for a loan for?

who in their right mind asked their family for a $10 ,000 loan to work with a coach. Like, are you kidding me? That is ridiculous. I was so offended and I was so turned off by it. I unfollowed her, I told everybody about it, and guess what? Bad news travels a whole lot faster than good news. I don't care what type of results she's getting. I point blank told you, this is not within my budget right now. I'm not willing to put this on credit. And her response was, well then go ask for a loan.

Michelle (13:51.334)

from a friend or family member? Absolutely not. No freaking way. And from that point forward, I have never once booked a call again with somebody without knowing their pricing upfront because I'm just not doing it. Not only that, here's a completely different flip side to this whole coin is that why do you wanna waste your time with unqualified leads? Right? Like it's a waste of everybody's time. It's a waste of your time to...

get on a call with somebody, right, that is not ready or can't work with you, and it's a waste of their time because they need to find somebody. There are people at every price point. There are people at price points lower than you, there are people at price points higher than you, and there are buyers at every price point. So let the buyers utilize their time. Everybody's time is the most valued resource for the most part, okay? So if time is a...

one of your most valuable resources, then you do not have time to get on calls with people that are not qualified leads, that can't afford you. It's just, it's not personal. Some people just are not in your budget, right? Or you're not in their budget, and that's okay, because there are other people that are. And so why?

Waste each other's time. Now, here's another flip side to this. I always am gonna play devil's advocate. I'm always gonna give you all of the possible scenarios, okay? There is also an opportunity for you to build a relationship here with somebody that might not be ready, right? So maybe you have a call with somebody. I know this is the flip side to this, right? Somebody might say like,

Even if they're not ready, you have the opportunity to pour into them to give value. So maybe you're not in the game of like mind games and trying to be this like ultimate sales psychology, you know, dive into their deepest, darkest, you know, interwebs or whatever. Maybe you truly are somebody that is of service and you want to provide massive value and start to build a relationship. I am huge on that. Huge. Okay. And.

Michelle (16:13.734)

I am a firm believer in this and I am a firm believer in building relationships whether somebody can purchase from you or not. All right, so I understand that by putting pricing on your website, somebody may not ever, you may not ever have the chance to book that call with them, to build that relationship, to provide value to them, right, to keep them in your pipeline. However, there are other ways to do this. I have somebody right now who,

was actively looking for a consultant. I followed up with her and I said, you know, are you still interested? Are you still looking? And she said, yes, but right now I can't afford to bring anybody into my business. And I said, you know what? I totally understand that. I would be happy to offer you a free, no obligation, no hard sales pitch strategy session just to see if I can add and give you any resources. I have a ton of free resources.

and I'm happy to share them with you if you're willing to book a call, right? And she said that would be fabulous. I would love that, okay? So you can always have a free discovery call on your, you can book coffee chats. This is why I'm a huge fan of coffee chats, because coffee chats are simply conversations. So maybe that person has been looking into your website. Maybe they have been looking into your offers and maybe they're not ready to be a client, but they really do want to get to know you, right? So,

This is the power of building relationships and networking and having those free just relationship building calls. Because when you get to build the relationship from the beginning, when they are ready to hire, they are far more likely to come back to you than somebody else because you took the time, you poured into them, right? So in every coffee chat I do, I try to pour into people as much as possible. Hey, have you thought about this?

Can I introduce you to anybody? Is there something I can help you with, right? Because the more we can help each other, the more we can build that relationship, the more qualified. That's how you provide value to me. Like this is my theory on providing value without having to get somebody on a call just to find out that they're unavailable. As you know too, I'm doing these, I'm starting to do these free live coaching sessions on my...

Michelle (18:38.982)

on the podcast. And one of the questions I ask when people book it is, are you interested in hiring or looking, exploring services at this time? And a couple of people have said no, and they've reached out to me privately and they said, Michelle, you know what, if you are actively looking to do, you know, only interview people on your podcast that can hire you, then please like take me off the list. And I'm like, absolutely not. But as a business owner, it's my due diligence to at least ask, right? Like it is our

It is our job as a business owner to ask the person, like, if we are a good fit, you know, are you in a position where you can hire or are you in a position where you're open to it? That doesn't mean that I'm not gonna talk to them, right? So that's what I'm saying. Just because somebody is not ready, it doesn't mean that they're never going to be. So there are so many ways that you can provide value and there are so many ways that you can connect with people.

while still having your pricing on your website and not feeling like you're losing the leads, right? Like just give people another option to connect with you, to build that rapport and then let everybody else self -qualify, okay? So my action step for you today is to really think about like, is your pricing on your website? And if not, why not?

Why is your pricing not on your website? Is it because somebody told you that you shouldn't have your pricing on your website? Is it because you don't have prices, you don't have like your offers and pricing like really mapped out and you do truly create customized services for everybody? Is it because you've been scope creep, like people come in, they get in at a really low price because you had it advertised and then they ended up needing a million other things from you and you didn't like that?

you know, like it backfired on you. Like if your price is not on your website or a landing page or something where it's easily accessible, where people can easily find it, why not? And if you can't come up with an answer that feels really good, that says like the reason this is not there is because of this, or I don't wanna do, then the next step.

Michelle (20:59.878)

the action step is to go get some level of pricing on your website or your landing pages somewhere, wherever you talk about your services. Be upfront, stop gatekeeping your pricing. You are a business owner. People exchange money for your services.

What is the point in hiding it? It's not a secret. At the end of the day, at some point, you're gonna have to tell them your pricing. So why are you keeping it a secret, right? So action step, go get something on your website for pricing, starting at, packages range from, put a range up there. Maybe they range from 500 to 3000. Put your tiered pricing. Maybe you have option A, B, and C, right? Like put it all on there.

and then let people choose, you know, and let people at least ask. If you don't wanna put it on your website and you have a discovery call, let's say you book a free discovery call, make it a question on your discovery call intake form. Do you have a budget? What is your budget for these services? And put ranges in there, okay? And make sure your minimum is on there. So at least because...

That way, if you don't want to put your prices on your website, at least when they go to book a discovery call, if they even book a discovery call, because like I said, most people don't even get to that point if they can't come up with some pricing or they can't find out some level of pricing. But if for some reason they do right and they book the discovery call, put your minimums on your discovery call intake form. Because again, what is the point in wasting your time having a call?

and making somebody feel bad if they can't afford you, you feeling like you wasted your time. And then what happens is you feel like time and time, I had a client that had this happen where she was just doing all of these discovery calls only for people to say like, oh, wow, I didn't realize that. That's way without, it's way out of my budget. It's way out of my budget, right? So we put on her discovery call, like if we are a good fit to work together or, you know, something along the lines of like,

Michelle (23:19.046)

If you are looking, if we are a good fit to work together and we decide it's a good fit, what is your budget? Do you have a budget to hire out this service? What is your budget? What range are you in? And there's different price ranges depending on what offers you have. So I have multiple different offers depending, I have a one -off rapid fire strategy session, I have my focused strategic intensive sessions, I have my VIP options.

I have my mastermind, I have rapid fire. So they are all in a range of price ranges. So like at any, pretty much at any price point, I have some type of solution that I can offer to somebody. So I have all of those price points listed, multiple price points listed on my discovery call form so that I know when somebody's getting on the call. And you know what, here's the other thing we all know again.

As business owners, we all know people are most often going to select the option that is lower than what they are willing to spend. That's okay. They're doing it for a reason. Again, let them be an adult. Let them be a business owner. Okay, go into the call prepared to offer them whatever service and when they have the conversation,

That is then your opportunity, your job, your responsibility as a business owner to say like, hey, I see you noted on your intake form that your budget was this, but what you're asking me for doesn't really fall within that range. I have this package option and it's this, you know, it really is in this price point, is that something you're willing to explore? Is that something you're willing to do? There is a good chance.

I don't wanna give a percentage, because I don't know, I haven't studied it, but there is a good chance that they really are willing to spend more than what they are originally saying, but they are at least giving you some information, okay? Again, your job is to present your offers. Your job is to present yourself as an expert. Your job is to let them know how they can work with you. And in all of those ways,

Michelle (25:34.374)

at some point there is going to be an exchange of money. So let's just talk about it upfront and stop keeping it a secret. Okay? All right. I am not going to stop talking about this. If you go search it, put a post up on Facebook if you want or Instagram or threads or wherever you want. And I guarantee you're going to get a lot of opinions the same way I saw on threads. And I have a lot of coffee chats and they all say the same thing. Michelle, thank you so much for just being so open and

upfront about your pricing because I hate getting on calls and feeling like, I don't know, and then getting into those conversations, right? So I'm telling you, I know you've been there. I know you felt it. I know you're feeling the same way. Your clients are feeling the same way. So your action step right now is to go take action and get some pricing on your website or on your discovery call form so that you are getting qualified leads. All right, I'll talk to you soon.

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