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Why’s B2B Price Such a Big Secret?

Posted By Melissa Burdon On June 22, 2007 @ 11:12 am In B2B,Improving Conversion,Value | 21 Comments

Mr. Smith (not Brad Pitt) walks into a bicycle shop asking for assistance in finding a bike for his daughter’s birthday. He quickly pipes up that he’s got a budget; he needs to find a bike under $500. This constraint would easily narrow down the options and the store clerk could continue to ask questions to help qualify which bike would work best for Mr. Smith’s daughter.

Let’s say Mr. Smith finds a bike that meets the requirements and asks, “How much does it cost?” and the store clerk avoids the question. Instead, he responds by giving Mr. Smith more technical info, then makes him fill out a ridiculously long form (like the one mentioned in Holly’s recent B2B post [1]). Do you think he’d stand for this? Or would go to the next bike shop instead?

Some people are stuck on improving their online conversion rate with tactics–like button testing [2]–alone . The problem is that, in order to really boost conversion, you need to sell in the way that the customer wants to buy. And that requires answering their questions and concerns in the order they’re likely asked.

B2B sites seem especially stubborn about listing price, but they omit at their own risk. Answering this would-be simple question is a critical step toward helping visitors gain the confidence to take action.

It’s usually companies that aren’t competing on price who want to keep price a secret. If a company doesn’t compete on price, they’re probably competing on quality; customer service or other factors. So, why avoid the question? Tell the visitor what your price is, even if it’s higher than your competitors’–just explain WHY it’s higher. If you don’t compete on price and your visitor is shopping on price, then that visitor isn’t your customer. Give him what he came searching for and sell him on your unique value. If that doesn’t work, don’t shy away from sending him elsewhere. That level of confidence is contagious, and often results in higher conversion, anyway.

mi8_price_button.jpg [3]Here’s an example of a site that asks you to fill out a form of very personal information in order to get a quote [3]. The only price listed here is “…mailboxes can start as low as $6.00 per mailbox,” but this doesn’t give the visitor context for how much he’ll need to spend according to his specific situation. He’d much rather see examples of different customers and what their service packages look like, along with (at least) ballpark pricing.

click me [4]Here’s another example of a site that asks the visitor to contact them in order to get a quote [5]. It’s understandable that in some industries you can’t give the visitor the exact dollar amount for a product/service. Still, the visitor should be able to get an idea of a price range or the price that one of your previous customers paid in order to get an idea of the price they’re really looking at.

We suggest clearly featuring price next to each product/service, with a Call to Action immediately nearby. If the price is custom, give estimates and show previous customer examples so the visitors sees what he’ll get for the money. In a lot of cases, we even recommend showing a comparison chart that allows visitors to easily view your price, feature and benefits right next to those of your competitors. If your price is higher, no big deal–just explain why you’re worth it.

If you hide your price, you’re losing customers. It’s that simple.

Article printed from Conversion Rate Optimization & Marketing Blog | FutureNow: http://www.grokdotcom.com

URL to article: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/06/22/whys-b2b-price-such-a-big-secret/

URLs in this post:

[1] Holly’s recent B2B post: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/06/18/is-your-lead-generation-site-proposing-marriage-on-the-first-date-ready-to-edit/

[2] button testing: http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/05/24/push-your-customers-buttons/

[3] Image: http://www.mi8.com/QuoteApp/QuoteForm.aspx

[4] Image: http://www.grokdotcom.com/wp-content/uploads/Melissa/wdweb_homepage.jpg

[5] a site that asks the visitor to contact them in order to get a quote: http://www.wdweb.com/

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