Why you SHOULD show prices.
1. Filter out bad fit clients
You probably have a price in mind that you’d like to charge for your agency’s services.
The trouble is, there are going to be some potential clients who don’t value those services as much as you do.
A client who isn’t prepared to pay your rates is essentially a bad fit. And, while it’s easier said than done, the best way to do business with a bad fit client is to not do business with them at all.
Having your prices displayed on your site means you aren’t going to be wasting your time dealing with these bad fit clients.
They’ll know right away that you’re either too expensive for them, or priced fairly for what they need.
This removes any awkward back and forth about pricing. They know your prices. You know your prices. The ball’s in their court now.
2. Packages are more enticing
A lot of agencies offer several different services, and generally clients will want a mixture of those services.
Pricing can therefore become quite confusing and a little off-putting for potential clients. They won’t know what to expect.
Even worse is the common problem where you provide a quote to a potential client and they don’t understand how you reached that figure.
By packaging up your services, you’re able to set prices and treat your services like a product.
This makes it a lot easier for potential clients to understand. And buy.
You wouldn’t go into a supermarket and start questioning the price of an apple. Well, you might, but there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.
Packages are more enticing for clients because they know exactly what they’re getting for their money.
3. Pricing is positioning
Positioning is crucial for a successful agency. It’s what brings you to people’s minds.
Here at Treacle, we position ourselves as being the go-to copy agency for other agencies.
Pricing is also a big part of positioning. Are you the cheapest agency, the most expensive, or somewhere in-between?
This largely boils down to who you’re targeting.
If you work with startups, then your prices will probably need to be a little lower. If you work with multinational corporations, then they’ll expect your prices to be higher.
In other words, your target clients are expecting a certain price and have a budget in mind.
You can use your pricing to show that they’ve come to the right place.
Why you SHOULDN’T show prices.
1. You might undersell
Imagine you frequently work with startups, all of whom are a little strapped for cash. That’s fine, you’re still making a profit, and the work is coming in steadily.
But then imagine that a massive company comes along. This company has 10 times the budget those startups do. You almost have one foot in the doorway of the Porsche dealership.
Except, you have your prices on your site. Those prices are geared towards low-budget startups.
As a result, this massive company who could you pay you 10 times the amount, will expect to pay the same as the startups. After all, those are your prices.
To return to the apple analogy… Iif Bill Gates walks into Tesco, he expects to pay the same price for that apple because the apple’s marked with that price.
If the shop didn’t display prices, then they could effectively (within reason) charge Bill Gates a lot more for that apple. (Though let’s face it, Bill Gates has no interest in Apple. We’ll see ourselves out.)
Displaying prices locks you in to that price, even if your potential client can afford a far higher amount.
2. We’re shit at setting prices
Listen up, because this is important.
Each and every agency owner is shit at setting their prices. That’s just a fact. It’s the most common question agency owners, freelancers, hell any business owner has.
“How much should we charge?”
The vast majority of agency owners undercharge. Generally this is because they’re scared. Their savings are on the line, their spouse is ready to walk out the door. They need clients.
And so they undercharge to make sure they get their client.
As time goes on, they realise that actually they can charge a hell of a lot more than they have been doing.
If your prices are on your site, it feels like they’re set in stone.
If, however, you adjust your prices on a per client basis, you have more control and can be confident about increasing or decreasing as you need to.
3. Your competitors are snooping
Competitors are sneaky. There’s a lot of snooping going on in the business world. The last thing you want to do is let other competing agencies know what you charge.
But if your prices are there on your site, then you’re going to struggle to hide them from your competitors.
This can lead to other agencies stealing your pricing structure, or even undercutting your prices.
It can be a big concern for agency owners, and so it’s an important factor to consider. Bear in mind, however, that undercutting might not damage your agency too much if you position yourself as a higher-priced agency.
Okay, so what should I actually do?
As much as it hurts to say it, this is going to be one of those wishy-washy answers that doesn’t really help:
You should do what you think is best for your agency.
Yep, we feel sick just writing that. Such a cop-out.
But the fact is, you know your clients better than we do. Put yourself in their shoes.
Would they prefer to see prices upfront? Would they like your services to be conveniently packaged? Or would they prefer to have a negotiation?
The choice you make should be determined by your clients, not greed or vanity.
As for us, we proudly display our prices on our site.
It works well for us. And that’s as close to an answer as we can give.