Now, I will be the first to admit my degree is in journalism and photography rather than business and marketing. And I’m sure someone with the latter two degrees might have sound reasoning for withholding pricing. Using an educated guess, I would say it is because the seller of goods and services would rather hook the potential client before revealing the bad news. I can respect that approach, however, to me, I would rather know straight away whether I can afford a given item or service…and I truly believe I am relating to most of our clients when I say this.
I cringe at the alternative: The potential client becomes very interested in a product only to be emotionally let down when the cost is revealed. At that point, their bank account is likely not going to be any more forgiving than it was before they knew the price, right? So, why would I expect it would be? Now I have wasted my time making the pitch, and I have wasted the client’s time, as they were unable to afford my services from the get-go.
And I might not even get that far! Withholding prices could passively conjure, in the minds of some potential clients, the old adage: “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it,.” Ultimately, this could earn our business an arbitrary reputation for being expensive, which could then lead to potential clients not even considering us at all! Honestly, that just sounds like a whole lot of headache standing in the way of great portraits.
And I have not even touched upon the fact we live in a more on-demand society where inconvenient, extra steps are likely going to turn people away before it piques their interest! I mean, have you ever been put off by clicking on a tab that says “price” or “investment” only to be taken to an email inquiry page instead of a price list? I have. Then I clicked the “back” arrow and looked elsewhere.
The strange thing is, while perusing some other local photographer’s sites, I find very few posting a comprehensive price list on their site. Some tease with “prices beginning at…” while others do not include a single dollar sign. So, that made me wonder: Am simply a stubborn black sheep with my lack of a marketing degree shielding me from a valuable tool? Then I pose the question again: “Should we include pricing on our website?” to Google.
The results: Several helpful resources (including “Do you display your prices on your website?” and “Want to turn off website visitors? Don’t include your prices”) are actually in line with my straight-forward philosophies. Each even addresses my original educated guess saying the hook-the-client-by-withholding approach is not exactly what many consider beneficial to the online, small business owner.
For me, not having a price immediately available precedes even the online world. I remember and still dislike that frustration so vividly that I would find it almost inconceivable to pass it on to my own personal clients today. Personally, if I find that perfect item and have to head to the checkout counter to find the price, the only thing that might make a difference in my decision to purchase at that point would be me tripping over a large bag of free money along the way. Since that rarely happens, I would say the better bet would be to include the price up front. This has been our philosophy from the start and will continue to be so.
So, what are you waiting for?! Take a look!