Help! I'm torn. I'm creating a brochure for my business and I wonder if it's better to list my service fee's in the brochure and on my website or leave it for consultation. What does everyone think?

 

Deanna

Fresh events

Cincinnati

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I have no doubts about this question whatever - I make my pricing very clear - it is listed on my website and I never back away from the question: when asked my response is something like "It depends on what you need, of course, but for (service x) my prices start at $xxx, and with the most popular inclusions, the typical cost is about $xxx. Can you tell me a bit about what you were hoping for, and what your budget is?". If I can't get a reasonable commitment at this point, I will usually tell them to have a look at the appropriate website (pets, portraits, weddings) and tell them to look at both the SERVICES pages, which lists what I do pre, during and following a typical shoot, and the PRICING page.

There are actually two price lists on the Wedding site: one for wedding photography packages, and a second for the various products and services that make up my various packages, with an invitation to make up your own package "a la carte". It becomes pretty obvious that the same services and products are a much better buy if you take a package (http://www.weddings.davidrichphotography.org if you would like to see and give any feedback).

However, I include a rider that says you can add anything to, or exclude anything from any package, and we can work out an appropriate price together.

I know when I am in the market for almost anything, and certainly for anything I feel is important, I will NOT deal with people who are not up-front about their prices. I will bargain hunt but I don't usually buy from the lower end of the price-scale.

If anybody thinks their products or services are unique they are almost certainly deluded - and no matter how well we present the "special" nature of our services, in the age of the Internet, potential clients will seek and find services that THEY believe are equivalent (even if we claim they are only similar or not of the same quality). And what (they ask themselves), are we hiding by refusing to show our prices?

I certainly get lots of clients who NEVER ask the price: they know me, or my work, or they have accepted a third party's judgement (a satisfied client's usually). For them it matters not whether I have published my fees and charges. For everyone else it is important - how important is going to vary from person to person. But it is useful to me not to have to deal with unqualified prospects: and part of qualifying a prospect is being sure they understand the costs involved in using my services and have chosen to to consult me anyway.

With you on this, agree 100% with everything you've said

I've been conflicted on this topic for so long. Based on what I read in this forum, I've added the prices for my services (wedding officiant) to my website. I also included a link to download my packages in a printable format.

What do you think?
You can see it here
Good for you!
Eric,

Looks great, you have certainly gone into more detail on what you offer, I may consider doing that.

www.weddingsbythesea.com/officiant.html is where my fees show and I explain my approach, but not fleshed out as to what they are getting for the price. In the SF Bay area it is easiest for me to have pricing by County. I also charge for a rehearsal and find that 80-90% of the time couples don't have me there, coordinators at the location handle the rehearsal; coming in, where to stand, how to exit. Since I walk everyone through the actual ceremony on the "big day" it is not really that necessary to be at the rehearsal. I will have met with them earlier to establish what the ceremony part will be. I average 50 ceremonies a year.
This has been an interesting topic with lot of varying opinions. And the good news is, it may work either way (depending on your business, your location and your clientele). However, there have been several comments like...

1. You can't provide a quality service cheap. WHY NOT? Just say you "won't provide a quality service cheap"
2. You can't provide a price until you know what the customer wants. After completing over a thousand weddings, we gotten pretty good at knowing what the customer wants, like and can afford. The customer will pay for this kind of experience. However, if you are new at this, you have to GROW into this, which is a slow process.
3. If there is a great difference between your prices and your competitors prices, then you had better be able to distinguish yourself to justify the price. One of my competitor charges almost twice per hour what we charge for the same service. There justification is "We have to charge this much to make a profit". They have a flawed business model. You can't just pick a number based on what you need to make a profit. You have to understand your industry costs, your capacity, and your market supply and demand. I see so many in this industry going out of business after six months because they didn't understand the dynamics of the industry and the demand in their particular area. http://www.classytransportation.com/
Our fees are posted on our website so when they are changed or updated it is easy to do. Our printed material does not list the fees that way when they change we aren't stuck with 100's of leftover brochures!
I definitely publish my fees on my site, it eliminates dozens of calls from people who cannot afford my services and it also makes the inquiries simpler, without having to explain the fee structure. I find that potential clients are happy that my prices are posted and they are equal for everyone.
When I got to a showcase and initially interact with my brides, I don't list the prices in the documents given out. Prices vary dependent on who is available on their date and what their rate is. When I go out on a meeting, I create a personalized brochure that allows my Brides and Grooms to feel like this is their personal rates.
Well, I list my package fees on my website with a brief description of the services entailed. I then list the price of the package and full description in my brochure as well as other services with prices. I think couples like seeing online how much services cost. I try not to give too much info about each service because I want the potential couple to call or email for further questions. That way it gives a one on one feeling when speaking with the couple and an opportunity to see yourself to them.
If the brochure is something you are leaving like a business card or mailer, I would leave it for consultation. You want to drive clients to talk to you. Listing an idea of what your packages start at, will drive them to you so you can talk to them and get on a more personal level with them. It's harder to say no at that point. I'm new in the business for myself, but I've worked it for awhile for others and found this technique is better. If they like your work they'll call you to inquire about pricing. If it is something you will hand them personally, I would put some basic package pricing and information in them. At that point you've made it personable and pricing would be the next step to match their needs and budget.

--Marilyn
The Light Box, www.thelightboxonline.com
Spring Hill, FL
The pros and cons of posting are something we all struggle with. I will usually post a few basis and
make sure the are labeled as basic. Such as 1 dozen roses wrapped in a clutch bouquet for $65.00.
A dozen roses is easy to visualize and I always explain that we price by the stem.

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