You want to sell it to me? Well, what does it cost?

Surveys have shown that B2B buyers go online for product information and comparisons, as you’d expect, but equally they go online for price information. This is remarkable given how rare it is for business websites to talk numbers, but is there an opportunity for us here?

I understand that it’s inappropriate to quote fixed prices for certain products, which might always be supplied customised in some way. But I also know of several companies who have taken a step back from their usual policy of keeping their price list more of a secret than the recipe for Coca-Cola, and asked themselves if the gains to be made by publishing prices might actually outweigh the drawbacks. If I visit half a dozen suppliers’ websites, and only one publishes a price, and that price is acceptable, I might well go with that supplier and not bother with going through the time-consuming enquiry and negotiation process with the others.

But what if the Sales Director is too old-school to countenance such radical thinking? Can we at least partially impress the people who’ve come on to our website hoping to find out what our products might cost? I don’t see why not. Perhaps a price range could be quoted? Or a comparison chart which shows a relative cost against alternatives? Maybe you could give an outline of the way your company works out its pricing, or the way it charges? A little brainstorming here might go a long way.

For example, I recently followed up a couple of clients who’d contacted us, out of the blue, to ask for one of our “SEO Reports” on their websites. These reports explain what needs to be done to your website to get it to perform more strongly in Google, and like all of our services, we’ve always been quite open and clear about the cost, in this case £400 for a 15-page report. I asked the clients if they’d thought the reports looked like good value at the time of booking. They both said yes. I asked them if the price was lower than they might have expected. They said they weren’t sure, they’d never thought about it. But when I asked if they’d have ordered a report if we hadn’t quoted the price, they both contradicted that by saying possibly not, as they’d have expected it to have been out of their price range. And there’s the key. Are people failing to make enquiries about your products because they think – wrongly – that the products are more expensive than they actually are?

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