Many B2B and B2C businesses face the same question: What will bring more sales, disclosing our prices or having prospects contact us?

The answer to this question varies. As consumers, we live in a world of instant gratification. We are accustomed to finding the information we need right away.

We rarely send emails. Instead, we look someplace else if we don’t find the information we need.

Worse, we grow suspicious when a company doesn’t disclose their pricing. We think, “Maybe they are so expensive that they need to sell me on it?”

Not to mention that we want to speed up the process. Who would like to be called by a sales team for wanting to buy a fridge?

Dan Meir, a creative designer and the founder of Hidden Depth, seems to have the answers to why companies publish their pricing guides.

”The success of online marketplaces like Amazon show the value in listing prices, but a higher end exotic car dealership may not show anything to encourage interested buyers into talking to the dealer directly. Consider your ultimate goal and audience, and the answer should become apparent.”

Your audience holds the key.

If you are a digital marketing company looking for a new CRM, you will most definitely need to have a talk with the sales team.

B2B clients are more informed when it comes to making purchases. They perform extensive research and they are prepared to negotiate. In big companies, there are people hired for the sole purpose of making informed purchases. When you are buying $1 million worth of office furniture, you need to do your homework first.

On the other hand, if your target audience doesn’t spend huge amounts of money on your products or services and what you offer doesn’t leave any space for customization, publishing your prices might be a good idea.

Let’s review the pros and cons of publishing your prices on your website and look at a few questions you should ask yourself before you take the big step.

The pros of disclosing your pricing

The companies that can benefit the most from disclosing their prices are usually B2C or B2B companies with a standardized service that leaves no room for customization.

That said, let’s take a look at how being transparent might benefit you.

1. Keeps bounce rates low

Price is an important step in the buying cycle, and we usually want to find out right away how much we will pay for a product or service.

When you don’t disclose your prices, your website visitors might look somewhere else for pricing info instead of sending you an email. Dealing with a sales team for a services package that leaves no place for interpretation is an extra hassle that nobody wants to deal with.

When it comes to products destined for consumers, not companies, disclosing your prices is a must.

Prospects want to save as much time as possible and compare the prices with other companies as well. When they don’t have this possibility, chances are that they leave your website.

2. Improves your SEO

Since many companies shy away from disclosing their prices out of fear that their competition might spy on then (to be fair, they can easily request a quote with a fake email address and find out your pricing), keywords that include “price” and “cost” have millions of searches.

However, few take advantage of this opportunity.

This happens because many companies don’t want to disclose their prices yet consumers want instant gratification. Writing an email, sending it, and waiting for the reply takes time. Most people would just leave your website and search for a company that is more transparent.

If you’re wondering what SEO is and why that would improve it – the average time users spend on your site and overall user engagement are ranking factors.

3. Helps your prospect’s budget until they can afford you

You’ve probably done this before as well.

You see something you like but can’t afford, so you bookmark it and you start saving money until you can afford it.

This applies to services as well, especially if you have a strong brand that will make some wait and save money until they can afford you.

But if they don’t know how much you charge, they will probably flee. Many times, not disclosing your prices causes your prospects to believe they’re too high.

The cons of showing your price

The cons usually apply to highly-customized services where companies have a lot to lose if the difficulty of the task the client brings to the table is higher than expected.

For example, take a fitness company who contacts you after reading about your social media management services. If you have a fixed price yet the niche in which the company operates is quite crowded and is more difficult to stand out, you will have to put in a lot more work to satisfy your client.

1. Leaves no room for negotiation

You may be losing clients who need a smaller package than the one already posted. On the flip side, some projects might be more challenging while you get paid the same money for more work.

If you want to disclose your pricing, make sure you post a typical range along with some factors that bring the price up or down. This way, your prospects will have a reference point and there is some room for negotiation as well.

2. Your competition lowers their rates

There are many companies out there that race to the bottom and use pricing as their main selling proposition.

This is one of the risks that transparency brings. But if you have a large number of testimonials, a few case studies, and a clear description of what you can do for your clients, your competition’s strategy will fail.

You should also keep in mind that a client that chooses you based on your pricing only will likely be more demanding and less flexible if the work you do gets increasingly complex.

3. You aren’t sure what to charge

This can be quite problematic, but it’s usually caused by a lack of understanding of the market, or by highly-customizable services and products.

For example, let’s say you are offering SEO services, and you aren’t sure what you need to charge. The problem is a lack of clarity.

SEO is a large field, so you have to be more specific.

What kind of SEO services do you offer? How do your prices compare with other companies? How much experience do you have in the field, and how large is your portfolio?

The answers to these questions should give you a pretty accurate price range in case you are constantly scratching your head regarding the value of your work.

Questions that will help you figure out how much you should charge

1. Do you attract more clients than you can handle?

This sounds like every business owner’s dream. However, at times the answer to this question is not hiring more people but increasing your rates.

2. Does your product or service leave any room for customization?

It’s very easy to sell a t-shirt with a quote on it, but what about a t-shirt with customized graphics made by the client?

What about services that aren’t well-defined? What happens when each one of your clients has unique needs?

If you don’t offer the carbon copy of the service you delivered to your first client to the second, publishing your pricing will work against you.

3. Do you enjoy negotiating with people?

Some business owners simply don’t like the idea of running a sales organization. The CEO of Hotjar, David Darmining, purposely cuts costs on certain products just so he can avoid having salespeople try to convince his leads about the value of what he is selling.

If you are more extroverted and enjoy having conversations with your leads, not disclosing your prices could be a good starting point for negotiations.

This approach can work both for you and against you, depending on your skills in sales.

What should I do now?

There is no absolute answer to this question. However, companies that sell physical products benefit the most from disclosing prices, while service-based companies have a hard time creating a standardized service at the same price, regardless of the client’s needs.

The nature of your business also plays a role. For example, some companies would rather cut costs and disclose their prices instead of hiring an in-house sales team to negotiate one-on-one with each lead.

“Many of the bigger companies that we approached for our comparison site don’t display prices on their site. They prefer to sell their services to other benefits. Smaller companies often offer more competitive pricing and look to beat their competition this way. It would, therefore, depend on your business model. On the other hand, consumers will always prefer for prices to be available.” – Says Matt Taylor from WhatStorage?, a storage comparison website.

In conclusion, the size, the nature of your business, and the types of services or products you offer should determine your final decision.