Posting Your Prices on Your WebsiteWednesday, May 28, 2008
The question about whether or not to put your pricing on your website comes up often. For a long time I didn't put any pricing on my website and my phone was ringing off the hook. I was also wasting a lot of time talking to brides who could never afford me and were simply price shopping. I put a starting price for my packages on my website this year and now the phone does not ring as often, but when it does, the person is genuinely interested in what I have to offer and not just concerned about the cost. By putting a beginning price on my website, I was able to screen out the price shoppers and my time on the phone was spent with people who were now semi-qualified clients.
Is there anything wrong with price shopping? Absolutely not. We all have budgets, be they large or modest, and an important part of managing those budgets includes looking at the price tag to determine if it will meet our needs. It is also important to manage our time however, and I am now better able to manage the time I spend on the phone because I am getting fewer, but more qualified, calls.
One of the fears wedding planners have in posting any sort of price on their website is that their competitors will now know what they charge. Your competitors will find out anyway simply because brides talk. They'll tell their other vendors what they paid for each portion of their wedding. They'll tell their friends who now need a wedding planner how much they paid for your services. The bottom line is that word gets around. You can't control it, and it is really not something to stress over.
If you're worried that a competitor will learn your prices and set theirs $500 less in order to steal prospective clients away, then change your business strategy so that you are no longer competing on price. Increase your value so that people see that you are the better choice when they meet with you. As my twin Terrica says, "I'm not Wal-Mart. My business reputation is not built on rolling back prices". Undercutting the industry is not a sustainable strategy for small businesses anyway, and doing so will hurt your competitors in the long run.
Increase your value (not necessarily your fees), post a starting price on your site, and take back your schedule. You'll be much more productive and you'll probably be a lot happier too.
Do you post all or some of your pricing on your website? Why or why not?