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Hiding our prices in 2022 (Part 1)

Most industrial and scientific websites either have an online store where every last configuration can be priced up (and ordered online) by the prospective customer… or they take the other extreme, and simply refuse to mention prices, as if it’s not of interest.

There’s really not much middle ground.

Over the years, I’ve come across four main reasons for having websites where prices simply aren’t mentioned. They have varying degrees of merit.

The reasons are:

  1. It’s a bit unprofessional/not very British/potentially offputting to discuss prices up front;
  2. All of our sales are bespoke systems or customised products, so there’s no simple quotable price;
  3. Revealing our price list to competitors puts us at a huge disadvantage;
  4. Our products and services are very expensive, although justifiably so.

I thought it might be worth discussing each one over the next few articles. But in every case, it’s worth remembering this: by not giving prospective customers an idea of the price, we’re immediately classifying them into two groups – those who insist on knowing prices up front, and those who’ll enquire without knowing – and simply writing off the first group.

We will never hear from those people.

Does it matter? Is this a significant number of people? Of course, making a good assessment of this is one of the skills we bring to the table with experience of our own market. But I would suggest that there are an increasing volume of prospects who will browse around from supplier to supplier until they find the ones who’ll give them an idea of the price up front. Can we afford to ignore these people?