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Showing Rates on Your Website

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In an effort to gain more knowledge about being a small business owner, I met with a

SCORE counselor yesterday. We talked about various things, including my website. I told him that I had a link on my website to my services page, where I list various things that I do. From that page I have a link to my "Rates and Information" page.

 

He told me that he wouldn't necessarily put rates and information on the website. If people wanted to know my prices, why wouldn't they call or email. They may take the information on my page to use as a negotiation tool with another vendor, instead of actually calling me.

 

Furthermore he gave this example. When you think of Walmart you think of "Low prices" Walmart advertises their prices. When you think of Nordstrom what do you think?? "High Quality" but Nordstrom doesn't advertise their prices. If they can afford your services clients will let you know, but advertising your rates on your site cheapens your product.

 

How many VA's have their rates on their site?

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I do have pricing listed on my web site. And after listening to a few people talk about this from a client perspective: they like to know what the prices are, as they are busy and don't want to waste their time calling someone, and their pricing isn't in their budget.

 

By having pricing on my site, it weeds through those who can't afford my pricing, it saves me time from having calls with clients who can't afford me. So it's a time saver all around.

 

However, having pricing on my site does not mean clients do not call me - they ALL do, or at least email me, because they aren't sure how much time they need. So I can then discuss their needs and advise on which of my packages would work for them. ;)

 

Again, the majority of the time, my clients come to me via referral. So they already have a level of know-like-trust with me, via our mutual connection. That's really a soft pre-sell of my services.

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I have pricing on my site which is higher than the norm to put out the image that we are high quality. This also for me weeds out the cheapos who I honestly have no interest in dealing with.

 

To each their own though, there is no right or wrong way whether you list prices or not.

 

Do a test run, don't list them for a month and then list them the next month and see if you find you have better results.

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Guest Denise O'Berry

As a general rule -- in my experience and in my client's experience -- SCORE counselors are out of touch with the internet world. It's a good thing you came here to ask because they gave you bad advice. You want to make it as easy as possible for your prospects to find you and start making decisions about whether they would like to work with you -- or not. Your prices can help them do that. Think about it this way -- when you hit a website for a service, would you rather see prices posted or have to make a phone call?

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I do not list my prices on my website. If a business owner is comparing prices for a VA, they do not want my services. Again I target local business owners and not those that will look for me on the internet. I have told many business owners if they are mainly concerned about price and only want "x" services, then they do not want to work with my business.

 

Also over 95% of my clients are referrals and I do not rely on the internet to get me clients. My target market has to know and trust me before they will hire me. Some of my clients have even talked to other VAs (who had lower prices but not the breadth of skills/experience that I had) and they decided to hire me (at a higher rate). So to me it depends on your business model and how you want to market your business. Yes, I did have a SCORE counselor and she gave me lots of great advice, but so did a lot of other people (including this forum). In the end, I had to make the decision on how I wanted my business model to be. [And while Walmart appeals to many people, it is not a store that I shop in. While my mother-in-law loves to shop at Walmart, I have always declined to go shopping with her because I don't shop there. She's still trying though.]

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I feel that prices should not be on a website, yes we want to weed out the good from the bad but, it gives you an opportunity for them to contact you and you being able to explain what you can or cannot do for them. And if after the conversation it doesn't work out you never know if that person knows someone else who may need your services. Time is of the essence but being a people person is more rewarding!

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I'm going to disagree with Denise. I really don't think you got bad advice. I've done it both ways and putting pricing on my website was a horrible decision. I get more clients with a much higher quality lead now. I like to talk to them about who we are, what we offer and why we are awesome. I never quote on the phone either. I send them a written agreement that not only lays out the pricing and terms, but lays out what they are getting.

 

I don't work hourly either. Everything is a flat monthly rate. I hear "but I can't do that in my business" a lot and I have yet to talk to someone that we couldn't figure out a way to package services.

 

I think if you put your pricing on your website you are scaring away someone that could be a good customer but also maybe lowballing those that need more than what your pricing on the website is offering.

 

Every quote I send is personalized and everyone's rate is different. They are worth that time and effort just like my work product is worth that dollar amount.

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I've been having this dilemma myself since I set up my website. I opted for saying "Prices begin at..." and making it clear that most of my clients are on a monthly retainer and we will discuss their needs at a free phone consultation and I will provide a detailed proposal based on their needs.

 

Roxanne Green

VirtualRoxanne.com

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I have went both ways and currently do not have prices on my site. The problem I am running into is clients sharing their rates with other people. My rates have increased in the last six months and, since 99% of my clients are referrals, they often come with a certain hourly rate in mind. When they find out it's $5 - $10 an hour more, they are disaapointed. Candy, do you have this problem? Anyone else?

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I used to have my rates on my website and then removed them. I redid my website and was debating on adding my pricing again. I decided yesterday to add a few packages with a buy now button so people could easily purchase them if that was exactly what they were looking for.

 

Like Traci said I have heard many busy successful business people say that they like to know right away with the prices are and they are way too busy to give me a call to find that out. I've also been told by the same people that adding a way for people to purchase your services on your website is a must as well.

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I am having some of the same issues. I believe that clients needs to have a good understanding of the rates and the services being offered. On the other hand, I know my rates will change and my rates will often depend on the type of project and the length of the project and its complexity.

 

As I revise my website, I will probably end up quotes my monthly packages but not my rates. When a client contacts me with a good description of the job, I'll be able to share my rates and provide a fair and honest quote.

 

Again, people do like to see some type of pricing! I know when I go shopping online or otherwise, I like to know what I'm getting into.

 

Lastly, I think it also how a VA presents themselves and the service offerings etc.

 

Deb

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I love this idea...

 

I've been having this dilemma myself since I set up my website. I opted for saying "Prices begin at..." and making it clear that most of my clients are on a monthly retainer and we will discuss their needs at a free phone consultation and I will provide a detailed proposal based on their needs.

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I post my rates (including the pre-paid monthly discount rate) on my website. I don't want to waste my time with people that think I charge too much. As I always say, "you get what you pay for" and I have had no problem getting a reasonable rate for bookkeeping services. I have also made lots of money repairing the bookkeeping for folks who went with a 'cheap' bookkeeper and - guess what? Got what they paid for!! :D

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I believe that putting or not the rates and prices on a website is a marketing strategy. But personally, I believe that clients and customers will have an easier way of getting info or details if they can found all what they want to know in a website, right? This also saves time. Clients will have the intial info and then this can also add to their interest, to eventually contact you.

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I think pricing on the web site is a fantastic reason for many already mentioned above - especially so that clients can see if you are in their budget or not, and certainly saves time!

 

Andrea Twarowski

Office Elle Solutions

www.officeelle.com

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