Prior to working for a digital marketing agency writing for a variety of B2B and B2C clients, I stumbled into a position selling complex salary survey and cost-of-living data used by large corporations to determine pay for employees based on job title, experience, location, and industry.
We had tons of data. And companies were hungry for the information. Often, they needed it in a hurry and didn’t have time to mess around. Although I was in marketing, I would answer the phone if our customer service department or sales team were experiencing a heavy load of calls.
Nine times out of 10, the first question new prospects would ask was, you guessed it: “How much does this survey cost?”
It didn’t matter if the prospect found us online, visited our booth at a trade show, received an email, came through as a referral, or found one of our mailers on their desk one afternoon. I knew this because we didn’t reveal any of our pricing structure in marketing collateral or on our website. Also, I asked.
And while it was encouraging to get calls out of the blue, I was left wondering how many prospects failed to pick up the phone to reach out. Were we missing out on potential leads because our pricing wasn’t easily researchable? Did that frustrate overworked human resources and compensation professionals needing accurate data, fast? My gut told me yes.
But management insisted that B2B pricing structures were too complex and too secret to provide any transparency.
They thought our company “was different” when it came to the buying process. They thought “we are the exception to the rule.”
This “exception mentality" is hurting B2B and B2C companies across the board.
Today’s consumers instinctively do an extensive amount of online research prior to contacting a company, and they expect to find answers to their questions on your website. If they don’t, they tend to browse on.
If your organization isn’t addressing price online, you may be losing out on business without even knowing it. This isn’t to say that you should provide each and every pricing option regarding your products and services; however, some basic information will help to retain visitors and to qualify leads.
There’s an old B2B notion that once you publish any pricing, you’re bound to that number. This may have been true in the past when deals were finalized on slips of paper being shuffled back and forth over a desk, but the buying process has changed. Consumer habits and expectations have evolved.
What scares buyers away, today, is the absence of pricing information to benchmark your company against the competition or to qualify your offerings under their budgets.
Buyers hold the power. Your company is not the exception.
Once you realize this, you can actively engage more prospects who won’t pick up the phone to ask the million dollar question. Answer it for them, allow prospects to move past the first financial question to evaluate how your product or service will offer solutions or opportunities for them -- the true value of your company -- not the expense.
If you want to learn how to position your company’s sales and marketing tactics in line with today’s B2B and B2C consumers, click below to schedule a free consultation.