I mostly dress like I just crawled out of bed even though I shower every day before work.
I just don’t get out that much except to go running. The dogs and I sit in my office where I bang out emails for clients and write product descriptions that sell plants. If you looked at me you wouldn’t guess that my absolute favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon (other than go bike riding) is to sit in the bookstore and page through fashion magazines.
I looooooooove seeing what’s on trend. The sparkly bracelets and rings, the outlandish high heels that I’ll never wear. The billowy dresses covered in hand-embroidered flowers or stars or chickens (depending on the year) that are at home on the red carpet but not necessarily in my local cafe where I treat myself to Friday lunch & work sessions.
I enjoy the strange styling: models draped over rusty playground equipment or necklaces erupting out of ice cream cones stuck in the sand.
With every fashion shoot there’s a list of the items pictured, the designer, and the price.
Except sometimes you see those three little words:
Price upon request.
Even though I’ll walk into a barbecue joint wearing threadbare black 3/4 length yoga pants on the regular, I’ll do it carrying my high-end handbag. Seriously. As my grandpa Elzer said, “Everyone has to have something they throw money away at,” except instead of throw, he said something less polite.
However, whenever I see those three little words, “price upon request,” I immediately write something off: I can’t ever have it.
It goes with the adage, “If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it.”
Bringing It Back to Business
There is much argument in the online world about whether you should publish your prices on your website.
I’m in the “publish prices on your website” camp for the following reasons:
- To me, not publishing prices is like having a big flashing sign, “price available upon request” on the website. In other words, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford me.”
- I don’t want people to hesitate to contact me because they think I’m out of their budget range when, in fact, I might be totally within their budget range, but I didn’t give them the opportunity to even see if that is the case.
- I want to screen for people who cannot or do not want to afford me.If I truly am out of someone’s budget range, we save everyone a lot of time if I make that budget range known.
- I want to establish boundaries early. I don’t do a lot of negotiating. My pricing reflects what I know to be the cost of giving my clients the best service possible. By publishing my prices, I let it be known, “This is me, take it or leave it.”
- Prices mean business. It’s all too easy to get jerked around if you’re a freelancer or a contractor. Saying, “This is my minimum. This is my hourly rate.” shows that you know what it takes to deliver good service and you know what it takes to make a difference for someone.
Why not publish prices?
I’ve heard someone say, “You should never publish your prices on your website.” I say, “HOGWASH.” Here’s why you might not publish your prices, though:
- Fear. Once you put it out there, everyone can judge you. (I say, buck up! Know your worth! And let it be known.)
- You WANT to negotiate. (If you want to do this, more power to you!) Whether you negotiate or not depends a lot on where you are in your business, how much work you have, and how much work you need. I would venture a guess, though, that you’ll end up quoting a lower price off the cuff if you need the work than if you had just put it on your website and stuck to it.
- You want to get on the phone to close the sale. I can see this if you’re selling a bigger ticket item or if you are phenomenal at closing a sale over the phone, but again, with no ballpark, you might end up fielding a lot of calls from people who can’t or don’t want to afford you.
Where do you stand on publishing prices? I’d really like to know why you do or do not make your pricing public.
Bookmarks of the Week
Website Resource For You: My web developer and I have some time to do website evaluations over the next few weeks. And if you know me, you know there is almost nothing I love more than making screencast videos! But we don’t have unlimited time, so the first five people to write back to me with their URL and “please send me a website evaluation,” will get one within the next two weeks. No sales pitch. Just an evaluation of how the website is working or maybe not working and some ideas for updating it.
Have a spectacular rest of the week!