The television game show The Price is Right has been on the air in various iterations since 1956. Millions of people have watched studio contestants as they are invited to “Come on down!” and try to guess the price on a variety of items. The contestant who guesses closest to the actual cost—without going over—wins the prize and moves on to the next round.
When it comes to marketing, many businesses have been playing a form of “The Price is Right” with their customers for years. While some businesses trumpet their “low, low prices,” many businesses are loathe to actually talk about price in their marketing materials—whether it’s on their website or in some other form of marketing material. And while you probably don’t want to get into a situation where price is the only thing that distinguishes you from your competition—not talking about price can actually hurt your marketing efforts.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you’re a custom home builder, trying to generate qualified leads through your website. You’re doing all the “right” things: You’re blogging about topics that are important to prospective homebuyers. You’re tweeting about events and other articles on your site. You’ve created special reports and white papers that go into more depth about key issues that concern homebuyers that drive readers to landing pages where you’re collecting contact information so that you can follow up. But you never, ever, talk about price. Why is that a problem?
First of all, it’s something prospective homeowners want—and need—to know. Withholding that information actually makes it harder for them to make a decision. Second, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice. Let’s say you specialize in homes in the $350,000 range. If your readers have a budget that’s closer to $250,000 they are going to be in shock the first time you talk about pricing. And they’re not going to increase their budget by $100,000. If you’ve spent weeks or months cultivating that relationship, you’ve wasted their time and yours. They simply aren’t your customers—and they never will be. By the way, the converse is true as well. If someone is looking for a $600,000 home, they’re not going to be happy with your $350,000 plan.
Companies have lots of reasons not to talk about price. Some of them are even legitimate: Every job is a “custom” job; talking about money scares people away; we don’t want to be held accountable for a price that doesn’t fit the specifications. What if my competitor sees my pricing?
Let’s be clear: there’s a difference between talking about pricing and actually giving a quote. It’s helpful to your prospective customers to give them a rough idea or a range of pricing for your products, goods or service. If your customer has an approximate budget of $1,000 and the services your offer range from $800 to $1,200 (depending on specifics) you’re still in the same ballpark. But if the person looking at you online wants to spend $150 for something that should cost $1,500, the two of you simply aren’t a good fit.
Don’t be afraid to talk about price in your marketing efforts. It can actually help you—and your potential customers—decide if you should keep talking.