Publish Your Pricing, or Pay the Price

By | June 18, 2012
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John McTigueThis is a guest post by John McTigue, executive vice president and co-owner of Kuno Creative, an inbound marketing agency based in Avon, OH. John is an avid blogger, tweeter and occasionally a golfer. Despite being a card-carrying baby boomer, John epitomizes the modern Internet teleworker, taking care of of his daily Ohio business from his mini-ranch in southeast Texas. You can find John on Twitter at @jmctigue or catch up on his blogs at


Let’s do a little role-playing. Imagine yourself as a consumer. Should be easy enough, since we are all consumers. Now, think about how you buy things—anything.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave the past 10-15 years, chances are you follow a familiar pattern. You research the product online, look for customer testimonials and comments, and compare prices. This is how consumers shop today, and the process applies to just about anything from sneakers to surfboards to houses.

A business shops for products and services the same way. After all, its buyers are consumers too. Knowing what we know about B2B and B2C buyers, why wouldn’t marketing agencies adapt their selling methods to today’s purchasing habits?

Selling Marketing Services is Similar to Selling Shoes

ShoesSuccessful marketing and PR agencies look for clients that will mesh well with their service offerings and company cultures. They know what they sell, and which clients are most likely to benefit from their unique strategies and services. Just like shoes, they know when there’s a good fit. And, they work hard during the sales process to make sure that a prospective client is qualified before closing a sale.

Likewise, clients (at least the smart ones) look for a good fit with a marketing agency, including goals, skill sets, expertise, personalities and reputation. Traditionally, the process of “fitting” took several live or telephone meetings in which the parties discussed goals and expectations, deliverables and, eventually, pricing. What’s changed in recent years? Everything.

Advantages of Presales Information and Pricing—Online

  • As an agency, don’t you want to limit your sales calls and meetings to those that have a very high chance of closing?
  • As a client, wouldn’t you want to narrow your search down to a few really good agency candidates that appear to be good fits for your needs?

The solution is easy—publish your presales information and pricing on your website. Make the following information easy to find and clear:

  • Who you are,
  • What you offer,
  • How you work with clients, and
  • What your typical engagements look like in terms of time, deliverables and cost.

Simple charts and graphics go a long way toward communicating this information and answering FAQs in advance. What does this accomplish?

  • It allows your clients to qualify themselves, and prevents wasted calls and meetings.
  • It lets you get right to the heart of the matter, relationship building, with the fundamental business parameters already understood.
  • It establishes a high level of trust and transparency up front. There is nowhere to go but straight into a deeper discussion of needs and solutions.

Is there a downside to publishing your workflow and pricing? Won’t your competitors “steal” your ideas and business strategy? Ask yourself this: What will it come down to in a comparison between you and your competition? If it’s price alone, maybe the client isn’t such a good fit for you.

If there are multiple agencies doing the same thing, you need to differentiate yourself on your innovative approach, talent, experience and reputation. Why not make that decision easier for your clients by publishing great content, by being an industry or community thought leader, and by giving them everything they could possibly want to get to know you better?

That’s what we do, and it works.

How do you approach pricing? Share your strategies below.

Image Credit: Samira Khan