Getting back to the topic of this post, which talks about the wisdom of putting your rates on your professional service site, I want to address a common sentiment.
One of the biggest complaints I hear from those in our industry and other independent professionals is having tire-kickers and price-shoppers waste their time. That’s usually the rationale they have for posting their fees.
They figure if they post their rates, the ones who can’t or don’t want to pay will go away and not waste their time.
The problem with that thinking is that without providing context for your fees that only a consultation conversation can provide, you will lose perfectly good clients large and small who then make wrong assumptions around what they think the cost will be.
There are lots of ways you can screen the price-shoppers and prequalify prospective clients without posting fees.
For one, simply having the standard that you have a consultation process and require consultations to be scheduled will eliminate looky-loos who aren’t serious about hiring a real professional.
This also helps you manage client expectations from the get-go. It shows prospects that you have a system behind the solutions you provide, and allows you to set the quality and pace of the relationship, if there is one to be established.
You can also use a contact form to help pre-screen prospects. For example, you can offer checkboxes for prospective clients to select that indicate their interest level (e.g., “I’m in the research phase” and “I’m in ready to partner with an administrative expert NOW”). Depending on which box they check, knowing the level or character of their interest will help you determine what starting point to take in your initial contact with each.
One indicates someone who is ready and actively seeking someone to work with, and therefore someone you may want to give priority access to your consultation time and attention. The other indicates someone who is more or less curious and possibly price-shopping. With those prospects, you may want to direct them to further information or other resources on your website rather than spending time in a consultation.
So don’t think you have to list your prices and put all your cards on the table (and thereby miss out on the opportunity to provide context) just to eliminate the tire-kickers. Because what you’ll really be doing is throwing the baby out with the bath water.