Updated: Sep 11
Is Transparency Key? Why Or Why Not To Post Prices On Your Business's Website
I've been talking to several of my clients in the coaching program about this recently. Ever since I started my business this is something that I've gone back and forth between myself. I wanted to share with you my own experience of doing it, how things have gone, what some of my clients have done, etc. because I think that there are a couple of different factors that go into this. Hopefully this helps you decide what is going to be best for you!
#1 Why are you asking?
This is the first thing. The reason that I bring this up is because often I feel people ask, “should I put my prices on my website?” for a couple different reasons. One reason being, will it attract more people/ will it not attract more people? I find that it comes from a place of panicking about what people will think. If you are worried about what people are going to think about your prices I think that is definitely something to consider more. What about sharing your prices is making you anxious or worried? Because at the end of the day you want clients. They are going to find out the prices at some point, and if they find it on the website great! If they find it out by talking to you great! However, if you are coming at it from a place of, “Is this too much? Is it too little? What are people going to think? Should I just put it out there? If I put them out there then I don't have to talk about them…” Then, I would recommend sitting with those feelings for a little bit and diving into that more. To me, it sounds like it (potentially) came from a scarcity mindset or a place of insecurity about what you're doing in your business and a lack of clarity.
It’s totally understandable, especially if you are newer to business and newer to opening your practice. That's definitely to be expected. Even months and years into owning a business, you are still going to run into little hiccups here and there with feeling insecure and unsure about what you're doing. Over time you get better at coaching yourself through those. If you are asking about posting the prices due to a lot of fear and anxiety, you have to have a good head on your shoulders. That has to come first and foremost. A good mindset around the prices is needed in order to confidently sell your services.
#2 You're getting a lot of inquiries
Another thing that people bring up is that they are getting a lot of inquiries in their practice. They're getting a lot of people calling the practice, emailing, filling out forms, asking about services. However, when it comes to talking about the prices it is some kind of a barrier where, more often than not, the practice owner is having a lot of conversations. They get to the part about pricing and then the conversation goes downhill. It might seem like it's happening a lot where pricing becomes a barrier, but as we'll get into in a little bit, it also might just be the volume versus the quality of lead. It might feel like you are getting a lot of “no’s” due to pricing, but it also probably depends a bit on quality of the lead as well.
I remember having this discussion with a pelvic floor PT practice owner in Kentucky where she was talking about how she was having people book discovery calls with her. They were calling her practice and making inquiries via a contact form on the website. She would have a conversation with them and the pricing of the services was coming up as a barrier more often than she wanted. She felt like the leads she was getting weren't really her ideal client.
One of the ways that we decided to experiment with this challenge that kept coming up with pricing was putting the pricing up on the website so that it was readily available. That gave the potential leads or patients who were contacting her practice the opportunity to learn a little bit more about what the pricing was for services prior to contacting her practice. Since then, the number of inquiries has decreased. However, she was just telling me the last time that we spoke that she's had a lot less people bring up pricing as a barrier as to why they wouldn't be able to work with her. Now that we've put it out there she is talking to a lot more qualified leads and potential patients. The price is just the price and she works it out with the patient. She doesn't really run into that rough patch as much anymore.
The other side
I want to now discuss the flip side of having difficulty discussing pricing. If this is something that you are worried about, if you're thinking, “Maybe I will just post the prices on the website. Then, when people see it, I won't have to talk about it and they'll just know it. I won't have to worry about being uncomfortable talking about the different prices of my services.” Again, this sounds like it is coming from a place of fear and insecurity. If you're in a place where you just don't want to discuss pricing at all, so you think putting it on your website will fix that or help you get around an uncomfortable conversation, then I would really encourage you to dive into that a little bit deeper. Ask yourself why you're having trouble talking about the pricing.
My experience with it being too complex
I found when I first opened my practice, I had a couple of things come up. However, one of the reasons why it was so difficult for me to talk about pricing was because I had made it too complex. It was difficult to remember so it was difficult to communicate to the patient. I had different prices for single sessions, evals, follow-ups, half hour or hour session, packages, monthly membership, etc. (see how all of those options can be confusing??) I think that for a lot of us when we are first opening our practice, being a private pay practice, we think that this is going to be amazing, we have so many options, we can put everything out there and make a customized plan for everybody, and we can help anybody.
The thing is for people when they're looking for help, if you give somebody too many options it becomes very difficult for them to make a decision. You're sort of putting a little bit of a burden on them when they're coming to you and asking for your help, and they just want you to tell them exactly what to do next. If you have 20 different pricing and service options available and you present all of those to the patient, it's going to be like one of those restaurants that have a 13-page menu. It's too many things.
If you feel like you're having a hard time talking about the pricing because there's a lack of clarity , it's a little bit too complex, or you yourself forget what prices things are, you may want to reconsider your pricing. I know for me, when I was ending the price in the number nine or seven, (such as $149 or $197), that made it harder for me to remember. It also made it hard to do math as well! I ended up switching all of my prices to round numbers, ($150, $200, $225). That makes it a lot easier to communicate and really helped. So if you feel like you're having a hard time remembering what's happening and how to even tell somebody who comes up to you on the street about how much you charge, consider making it less complex. You should be able to tell them right away. If it’s complicated, you're going to lose them. You're going to lose their attention. It's going to get confusing and confused customers don't buy. The clearer that you can make things, then it will be better for you, the patient, your bookkeeping and accounting.
Plan of attack
The first plan of attack I would say if you're worried to talk about your pricing because you feel it's too complicated or you aren't confident in the situations: just simplify it. For most of the people I work with and what I do right now is I have an evaluation price, an initial appointment price, and follow-up prices. When I first started I was a huge supporter of doing packages where you would offer discounts if you pay for a certain number of sessions in full. I will still occasionally do that, and I'm not against packages, but I don't bring it up unless the patient's plan of care might require an extended period of time working together. If I'm just going to be seeing them for a few sessions or every so often I just stick with a single session price because it's going to be a lot easier to comprehend.
The other thing about this if you only have one price but you are really worried to say it's $150 a session, (maybe going back to being worried about what other people will think). You're not feeling confident about it. That is also something to dive into and talk to yourself about why you might be feeling that way. A great resource to look into is my blog What To Charge For Cash Based Physical Therapy Services. I go through what you should be charging for your services and it comes with a great spreadsheet that I put together to help you figure out exactly what you need to be charging based on your financial goals and the time that you have available.
As helpful as it is, take the spreadsheet results with a grain of salt. It's just an equation. Somebody just emailed me that the spreadsheet spit out that she needs to charge $300 a session in order to meet her goals, but she can barely say $150. Just because that's the math on what the pricing needs to be, you can always start lower and work your way up. If $150 makes you uncomfortable, but you can say $125 confidently, then start there! Make an agreement with yourself to reevaluate in three or six months and see how you're doing. If you feel more confident in increasing the price and going up to $150 and then $175 and then $200, (or in whatever increments to help yourself gain confidence), then do it!
"I just put my prices on my website. I did it because I realized I want to see prices when I'm researching coaches I'm interested in working with, so I know my client is like me in many other aspects. She probably wants to see prices too."
This is a really great point! You ultimately have to do what you feel comfortable with and that's something that I've gone back and forth with. I know for myself as a consumer, a lot of the times I'm looking for prices on a website. If I am actively looking for a service, I would like at least a ballpark of what services might cost. I've definitely done that. I've put the pricing out there and even right now for business coaching I have the prices up if you were to book a single coaching session with me. Also, on the application for the DPT to CEO program the price is on there as well. It's not in your face, but it is available for the person who is actively looking into the service. It is definitely really helpful because, going back to the previous example I mentioned, then the people that I am speaking with already know the price point that things are at and they know what to expect going into the conversation. We're not going to have a conversation, things go great, and then all of a sudden we get to talking about pricing and it's way outside what they thought. The people that I'm speaking with I would say are much closer to what my ideal client is for coaching than previously when I didn't have my prices on my website. I am not getting as many inquiries and calls booked, but the people that I am speaking with are a much better fit most of the time.
#3 You really need clients or you're at a plateau
Lastly, the overall piece of advice that I give and answer to "should you post your prices on your website?" is are you place where you just started your business and you really need clients. Maybe you've started your business a while ago, but you're in a place where things have plateaued or your case load is down and you really need clients. Then you most likely need as many opportunities as you can to talk to as many people as you can and build relationships, build rapport, and also get reps in for you to practice communicating and having dialogue around the service that you offer. Practice, practice, practice! It's going to help you rip the Band-Aid off.
When I started, any time I had some kind of Discovery call or somebody inquired about services I would get all amped up and nervous about it. The more that you do it though, and the more frequently you have conversations with people who might be interested in working with you or getting more information, it helps to alleviate that anxiety a lot. I've found it becomes a regular everyday thing that you're doing. If you DON'T post your prices then most likely that is going to help your business get more inquiries about services and about pricing. You might be able to create more opportunities for conversations with people. However, the leads that you get may or may not be the best fit, and that's okay for the reasons that I just talked about. It'll give you more practice and it helps to spread awareness about what it is that you're doing too. It's not something that is really going to hurt anything if you have the time to dedicate to those conversations.
On the flip side, if you are in a place where you are super busy and you have clients coming out of your ears, if you do post your prices on your website, most likely you're going to get less inquiries into your business. However, the people who do inquire are going to be higher quality leads for you, (AKA closer to what your ideal client is), and they've probably already seen the pricing information. That way when you do have that conversation with them and talk to them about the pricing it's not a surprise and it shouldn't be a barrier to getting started working together. You'll spend less time having conversations with people, but the conversations you do have are going to be with people who are probably a better fit.
What it boils down to
You may NOT want to post your prices on your website if:
You are a newer practice owner
You're wanting to practice your sales and communication skills
You want to practice talking about a new offer that you have. If that is you, it may be best to not post your pricing on your website.
You may WANT to post your prices on your website if:
You want to streamline your sales process.
You want less leads, but a higher quality or a better fit.
It's really important to you and of value to you personally and in your business that you are absolutely transparent with your pricing.
You want to put your prices out there so that everybody who comes to your website can find it easily.
You yourself as a consumer often do that so that your ideal clients are probably going to be looking for the information as well.
I hope that helps you make a decision! I know that it's always going to be the answer of "it depends", but posting your prices on your website one way or another other you're going to have to talk verbally. Patients and clients talk about the pricing at some point. Those other things that I mentioned about gaining more confidence in your services and your price point and gaining clarity about what the pricing is for your services, you need to do those steps anyway whether you post your prices or you not. Either way, I definitely recommend diving in to those things a little bit more.
Also, don't forget, if you are looking for more information or you want help figuring out your exact price point, check out my blog post. If you are just getting started with your practice, I have a mini course available called Therapy Business Basics that will help you get the business entity set up. Of course if you want to go all in you can look into my DPT to CEO program. All of these courses are geared towards helping you start and open your own practice, giving you the freedom to do exactly what you want. That is what I want for you (and everyone), to be able to practice in a way that feels good to you and still do stuff that you like to do. Make your business fit around your life rather than having to try to fit your life around your business.
Listen to this episode on my podcast!