When you log online to make a buying decision, what information do you want most?
You perhaps are interested in a product’s features or the scope of a company’s services. Reviews might be important to you, and some people like to do in-depth research about their options. You may like to compare products/services, and you probably want to know disadvantages, not just good points.
Marcus Sheridan talked about this one topic during his session at BlogWorld New York (see picture at right). David Brook talked about this on his Partners in EXCELLENCE blog. Others have touched on this, as well.
To talk about this topic, I want to examine three whys:
- Why people care
- Why businesses avoid blogging about it
- Why you can outshine your competitors if you blog about it
Why Everyone Cares about Price
That’s right – price is what most small business avoid listing online, even though everyone cares about it. Rich or poor, people want to know the money they need to get your product or services.
For consumers on a budget, price can be important in two ways: first, they might have to rule out options they can’t afford. Second, they might want to know price so they can save up for the purchase.
Even well-off consumers who don’t have budget restrictions care about price, though. Everyone wants to ensure they are getting a good value, that the price they are paying is justified.
Why Most Businesses Avoid Mentions of Price
Price is scary. As a freelancer, I have had to quote prices, and it’s frightening to avoid saying (or typing) a number. A lot of what-ifs go through my head:
- What if consumers think my price is too high?
- What if consumers think my price is too low and, thus, my services aren’t as good as my competitors?
- What if competitors see that price and quote slightly lower to outbid me?
- What if I undervalue my own abilities and the consumer would have been willing to pay higher?
- What if I want to change prices in the future, but have already quoted this lower price?
All of those what ifs can be applied to any small business, not just freelancing. What if homeowners think my lawn service price is too high? What if would-be patrons think my prices are so low that I can’t possibly give a good haircut? What if competitors see my day care’s prices and price themselves just a little lower as a response? What if I’m missing out on profits because my restaurant’s prices are too low and hungry customers would have gladly paid more? What if people get mad when I raise my bakery’s cupcake prices?
Price is scary and that’s why most business owners avoid it, even though consumers really want to know.
To this fear, these what ifs, I have this to say: so what?
There will always be people who think your prices are too low or too high, and if competitors really want to know your prices, all they have to do is call and ask. What matters is that you are charging what your products or services are worth.
Why You’ll Kill Your Competitors if You Talk about Price
Just like competitors can call (or email) to ask about your price, so can consumers. So why is it important to put this information on your websites, and more specifically, on your blog?
People are lazy.
It’s that simple. People want a product or service, but calling around to find information is hard work. They’ll compare prices and value online, but picking up the phone takes an additional step. Sometimes, they’re willing to take this additional step – but only if you give them some ballpark information first.
Think about it. Let’s say you are in a strange city on vacation and you’re craving pizza. So you Google it and find three places near you that will deliver to your hotel. Two do not list their prices. The third says large pizzas cost $10. Are you going to take the time to call all three places, or are you going to simply hire from the $10 place, since that seems reasonable?
Many people will just go with the $10 option. It’s easier.
This works on a larger scale as well, for businesses selling more than just pizza. If you’re willing to list your prices, people will simply use your business – or at least consider you a top contender – because your competitors do not talk about price.
I suggest you take it a step farther by blogging about price often. Cover all the what ifs:
- What makes your product or service worth a slightly higher price?
- How do you keep quality high and prices low?
- Why is your price justified even if competitors charge a lower amount?
- What higher-priced packages do you offer for customers who want to spend more?
- Why are you raising prices?
Talking about your prices – and talking about them often – gives customers the chance to learn as much about you as possible. This allows them to make informed decisions, and since you’re the one helping them make these decisions, they’ll be more likely to choose you over your competitors.
So, the bottom line? Don’t avoid listing some numbers, or at least giving people a general idea of what they can expect today. Don’t let the what ifs and fears keep you from talking about this topic!