Should accountants show their prices on their website?

Are you in favour of showing prices on your website or do you think it should be left till later when you’ve met a prospect? 

There’s some big, challenging questions around this issue for your accountancy firm. 

If you go hunting for a solicitor or an estate agent or an architect or a private doctor do you expect to see prices on their website. Would it be a refreshing change if they did?

Would such pricing transparency prompt you to take them more or less seriously?

Would it make it more likely you’d get in touch with them?

In a recent conversation with Paul, who has ambitious plans for his start-up accountancy practice, we considered the merit or otherwise of making pricing front and central on his web site. I’ve not seriously considered this issue before but it raises some interesting issues and insights (thank you Paul).

A healthy debate on this would benefit us all. To kick the debate off here’s my mixed bag of views – please take issue with this and share your perspective too would you?

My mixed-bag view…

“Price is most relevant when a buyer is ready to buy. In a trusted adviser relationship purchase like accountancy, price is the end-game of the lead conversion decision-making process. Price shows up big time when negotiating. Negotiating happens once the decision to buy has been made. Price alone hinders favourable decisions when seen in isolation. Only when price is seen in the context of the present and future value delivered, and future costs avoided, does it result in favourable buying decisions. Put price on your website and you leave it to your website to manage this complex set of pricing, negotiating, context and value issues. I’m not sure a website can do this well.

Or can it?

However…

“If you are a committed ‘trusted adviser’ then pricing transparency is required. Any sales person who’s asked the price, who then does not immediately respond with a price, will be seen as avoiding the issue. And therefore seen as less trustworthy. Pricing transparency contributes to your trust equation with a buyer. I’ll argue for being up-front with pricing in your quotes for this reason and insist your price shows up on page one of any proposal (not at the back or hidden inside somewhere) so why not on your website? And research by more knowledgeable people than I prove that it’s important to be comfortable with pricing conversations which suggests making them open, upfront and transparent makes sense.”

What do you think about showing prices on your website?

If you’ve got prices on your website what impact does it have on the flow of prospects and the type of prospects you attract?

In what way has transparent pricing on an ‘advisers’ website influenced you to buy from them?

Paul Shrimpling

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