This question comes up for many categories of services. There are 2 stories here.
Story #1: Don’t show prices.
Prospects will find your price high. They won’t appreciate the value of what you deliver, You have to spell out the benefits of what they’re getting. Instead, get your prospect on the phone. When they realize the value of what you offer, they will pay more.
Story #2: Post your prices.
Potential clients have budgets and purposes. It’s not just about the value of your work – it’s the value to them. By way of analogy, you’d pay less for a shirt you use to wash the dog than for a shirt you’ll need to appear on stage to accept an award. The second shirt is far higher in quality…but you don’t need it for dog-washing.
Why I Encourage My Clients To Work With Story #2
Once I needed help with a design project. I got referred to someone I’ll call Tom. I sent him a message, outlining the project, and asking for an estimate. Tom refused to do anything till we got on the phone. He wouldn’t quote rates on the phone. He did show me his portfolio, which was quite impressive
Even on the phone he wouldn’t quote prices. He insisted on writing a proposal.
His proposal was reasonable and professional – but not for my project. It was about 10X what I needed, in both scope and price.
I was left feeling let down and a little annoyed. We both wasted considerable time.
“The price doesn’t work for me” doesn’t always mean, “I can’t afford it.”
As business owners, we make decisions based on what we need. We look at the ROI of each investment. For some business owners, a $5000 website will be an excellent use of resources. For others, $1000 will be reasonable…and some will create their own websites and pay a few hundred for a pro to review them.
When you offer services, decide what range of services you want to provide.
Suppose you offer a $5000 website package. Will you be firm? Or will you work within someone’s budget?
For instance, when I write copy, I have to charge a certain amount. But I also offer services, such as the Strategic Intensive, where clients can blueprint the copy for their websites. We can also use the time to review a copywriting project in detail.
Some copywriters set their services up differently. If you’re not a candidate for a $5000 website, they’ll say, “No thanks!”
That’s a perfectly reasonable decision.
But should a prospective client have to spend a half hour on the phone before realizing the charge is $5000?
I suspect not.