Why putting prices on your website creates the wrong anchor

value pricing Feb 27, 2017

Do you put prices on your website? I don’t. Here’s why.

As the Amazon number-one bestselling author of “Effective Pricing For Accountants”, in this post I’m going to explain why you absolutely shouldn’t put prices on your website. To illustrate what I mean, I’d like to talk about one UK firm of Chartered Accountants who does display its – shockingly low – prices on its website. In fact, one of their case studies even boasts about how much they can save you: “Their existing accountant charged them £650. We charged £390 – a 40% saving.”

With examples like that, is it any wonder most accountants and bookkeepers are working far too many hours, for far too little money? Or that they’re far too stressed?

If you prefer to watch rather than read you can watch the video here.

You get what you pay for

So, what's the problem? Well, generally, whenever firms put their prices on a website, it’s because they want to win more business. And, because they want to win more business, they keep their prices low. But what this does is create the wrong anchor. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase: “You get what you pay for in this world.”? We all know there's a link between price and quality and so, when we see something that's incredibly cheap, we assume – usually quite rightly – that it's not very good quality.

Would you like difficult clients?

Also, we all know that some people just want the cheapest option. And that often they're also the people who are most likely to complain, and the most likely to leave as soon as they find someone cheaper. And I promise you, by displaying its prices and boasting about how cheap it is, this firm is going to attract exactly those people.

Or great ones?

So what about the clients we'd all love to get? Those ambitious, forward-thinking entrepreneurs who want to build a great business? Well they’d take one look and say, “Crikey! That's so cheap there’s no way it can offer the quality I need.”

Beware the “prices from” trap

In a nutshell, when you start to compete on price, you simply lose good-quality clients. However, don’t try to get round this by saying, “Prices from ...”. Firms do this because they want to start a conversation and then, once they've hooked the client, hopefully get much bigger prices.

The problem is, “prices from ...” creates a reference price or an anchor in a client’ head. And then, when they contact you to set up a meeting and you start to talk about higher prices, they'll see these as expensive and are more likely to push back.

So please, please, please don’t put prices on your website. It's a mistake that I see all the time. All that you’ll be doing is focusing on and winning the price shoppers.

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Every month I provide free online training helping accounting professionals get results from value pricing. If you want to get access to that free training click here to register your place on the list of people I invite.

Wishing you every success on your pricing journey.

Mark Wickersham
Chartered Accountant, public speaker and #1 best-selling author of
Effective Pricing for Accountants


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