How Publishing My Rates Has Helped My Business
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When creating professional organizer websites, many of my clients ask me whether or not they should include their pricing on their website. Janine Adams of Peace of Mind Organizing in St. Louis says “YES,” and she’s here as my guest today to explain why.
When I started my business, Peace of Mind Organizing®, in 2005 I did not mention pricing on my website. Conventional wisdom in our industry seems to hold that it is important to engage a potential client in a conversation before discussing rates, so that when pricing comes up, a connection has already been made and price became less important. I remember reading advice that when a client calls with the question, “What do you charge?” you’re not to answer the question right away, but rather engage them in a conversation first.
This may very well work for many organizers. But it never felt right to me. I know that when I look on the internet for a service provider, I hate calling and asking about pricing. I’d much rather have a sense of what they charge before talking with them. And, yes, a rate out of my price range might prevent me from making that call. But no rate at all has a similar effect on me. I probably imagine that some service providers charge more than they actually do, simply because of the absence of pricing information on their website. And so I rule them out.
In 2009, I sought advice from a small-business consultant who strongly urged me to add prices to my website. I took her advice and I can’t imagine going back. I offer a limited selection of services and a few packages with the prices associated with them. I also include my straight hourly rate on my website.
Here are some of the benefits I’ve found of including my pricing on my website:
- My phone rings less. For me, that’s a good thing. In my local area, I’m the only CPO-CD and one of a handful of CPOs and my rates are among the highest in our area. I no longer spend time talking with clients who just plain can’t afford my services.
- I spend less time making referrals. Since the clients are screening themselves out, I’m no longer spending time helping them find just the right organizer when they can’t afford to hire me.
- Many people equate price with quality. Knowing my prices are high makes those prospective clients want to call me.
- I rarely talk with those who are price shopping. They don’t need to call because all the information they need is on my website.
- Clients know just what they want when they call or email. It’s not unusual for me to get an email that say, “I’d like to book a personal consultation. What is your availability in the next two weeks?”
I have to admit that I don’t enjoy sales conversations. Before I had my rates on my website, I used to dread when we got to the part of the conversation where the client asked my rates. In fact, when my business line rang, I would get butterflies in my stomach.
In the three years since I added pricing to my website, those conversations are much easier for me. I don’t get the butterflies. And I don’t waste as much time on the phone. Your mileage may vary, but this has worked very well for me.
I’d love to know your opinion on this topic! Please answer the poll question below, and feel free to share the reasons for your answer in the Comments section.
Please let me know if you’re interested in writing a guest post about why you don’t believe in publishing rates on your website – I’d love to present the other side of the story!