MSP Marketing 101: Should You List Your Pricing On Your Website?May 05, 2021
Should you put pricing on your website?
This is one of the busiest, most commented-on discussions that I've seen in my MSP social media feeds this past month, and I'm glad! I'm glad that people are now catching on to this because you know what? Marketing is changing.
Welcome back to another, probably controversial post in my MSP 101 Pillar Series.
Hi my name is Pete, and I'm sure you've heard it all before, but if you are new here - I started my own MSP in 2011, grew it to over £1m revenue, and then sold it in early 2020.
Therefore my opinion is from someone who has been there, actually run their own MSP who DID, towards the later years, display pricing on our website. So there, full disclosure - now on with 'My Opinion'.
I'm going to keep using that 'My Opinion' thing because people tend to really take these types of posts the wrong way. It's an opinion. Don't hate me. Speaking of which - why not comment down below with your own opinion. Should you show pricing on your website? Yes, No? Why? Genuinely interested to hear what others think.
My OPINION, following on from a blog post from Karl Palachuk, a couple of videos now from Dave on the MSP Show, and a very lengthy discussion going on in the Tech Tribe forums - of should you display pricing on your website?
Yes. Yes, you should.
Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk!
No really, I believe you should display pricing on your website - and here is why.
Have you ever been looking to sign up for something online, come across a website that looks to fit your needs pretty well, but you notice that it's missing something?
A pricing page. A page that clearly sets out how much you will be charged each month.
Now how many people have then just skipped past that page and gone to find another company who DOES show their pricing?
TWO SIDES TO THE STORY
There are of COURSE two sides to this story, and I won't lie and tell you that you won't lose out on some new business because you post your pricing. Because yes, some people will look at the face of it and think that you are too expensive, so they go shopping elsewhere.
But there are 2 responses to that.
- You don't want to be signing up customers who are shopping for the lowest price. If they don't have a budget for your pricing, then all that does is quickly scoop them through to the end of the sales process.
- The challenge is now with YOU to communicate what value YOU deliver in that pricing.
I always refer back to the book by Marcus Sheridan called They Ask you Answer. He owned a swimming pool business. You could say that is a pretty custom and unique service and product. Fairly big investment to buy a pool, then the ongoing maintenance. Kinda similar to IT, in a way.
But Marcus and millions of other businesses are building their businesses by communicating their value ahead of ALL else.
Produce written articles, blog posts, podcasts, audio, video, and social posts that answer every question that your customer is asking BEFORE they pick up the phone to call you, or book a meeting.
I'm not going to regurgitate Marcus's book here. But please, just read his book and you'll hopefully see the light as he provides real-world examples and stats for his results.
SO WHY DISPLAY YOUR PRICING?
Putting a price on your website completely simplifies what is always a very complex process for most MSPs. I'm always a fan of trying to nail your service down to one, single offering.
Yes, the 3 tier offerings are great - and it's always great to have a premium service that you can upsell and perhaps make a bit more profit on.
But the focus you can achieve with your business when you sell ONE thing and ONE thing only is incredible.
Come to us, pay X per month and we deliver this. Every month. Every day of the year, to you, Mr. Business!
It is niche marketing at its finest. Focus with pinpoint accuracy on what service you want to deliver, what service you want to become known for - a service that your competitors could only dream to replicate, and you will quickly find yourself dealing with inbound enquiries from interested customers.
Once all of your staff are focused on delivering ONE service, I mean, Just wow.
There's no - oh, is that customer on the 8 hour SLA or the 4 hours? Do they pay for On-Site support? Are they covered for out of hours?
Because you only deliver one service, guess what? You'll get to know your profit margins with immense understanding, and what you can deliver for that price, and then you can really focus on delivering value.
One thing I will say is that I don't think you should necessarily let them BUY online. For IT Support, yes - it is a relationship. A two-way relationship. You need to vet and be sure that the customers who are coming to you are a good fit, they have the right attitude and approach when it comes to investing in their IT, are good people who don't shout curse words down the phone to your staff, or those who query every invoice - you know the sorts.
I'm not saying that you can't sell other things, but why not bundle your core support offering into a single per user per month price? Then you can bolt on the variables around say, backup solutions, connectivity, or any other solutions which can't be easily priced.
One key example which I'm surprised I don't see more of.
Everyone sells VoIP.
Why not let people come to your website, enter their number of users, check a few checkboxes for any additional options, calling plans or hardware, installation plans, and they can sign up and subscribe to a monthly recurring service directly on your website?
You can already do this with other big outfits, ordering home or business broadband and telephone services - why not through your MSPs website?
One of the arguments I see around showing pricing like this at all is "Oh but then my competitors will see the pricing and then undercut me".
Yes, they may well do. But your focus needs to be on demonstrating the value that you uniquely provide for that price.
Putting a price on your website means that you know your margins, you know the service you provide and you 100% believe in that service.
For competitors to just come in and undercut you - well that just shows A) how desperate they are that they need to compete on price and B) they are either already ripping people off to be able to instantly drop their trousers like that, or 2, they just don't understand their margins. Which is a dangerous game to be playing - for them. Not for you.
You'll likely find that once you do something, others will follow suit, which is a compliment, because it shows that you are doing something right - OR at least, perceived to be doing something right.
But they're following you - it is YOU who is leading. You are the one breaking waves and pushing IT businesses forward into the modern era - whilst they are being dragged through by you, probably without them doing the right due diligence that they should be, which will only damage their own business over time.
Other benefits of showing your prices on your website?
It completely eliminates the tire kickers, those people who are calling you ONLY because you are the third rung on their '3 quote policy' where they must have 3 quotes before making a decision. Even though they've probably already decided they want to stick with their existing provider, but policy says they need 3 prices. That in itself is a whole lot of time saved.
And yes, of course, you may be able to convert some of those by going in, meeting them, deliver the value - yes of course. But what if the only enquiries that did come through are from those who are already happy with the pricing, and probably already happy with the service you deliver because you have communicated its value so well already?
Wouldn't you want to deal with more of those?
It's why I'm such a big advocate of video marketing, because one thing video marketing does, is attracting the right people.
People who watch your videos, people who get your sense of humour, and can appreciate the way that you do things as a business - THEY are the ones you want to be signing up as clients. They are the ones who are ready to buy, who are open and ready to work with you.
Yes, I know. IT is complex. There are tonnes of differences from client to client and not one size fits all. BUT. A barrier that all of us experience, is wanting to know how much something costs.
Introverted people like me, yes, even business owners with a team of staff can be introverts, don't want to pick up the phone and speak to someone, waste time on pre-sales, scoping calls, video calls, or on-site visits. We just want to know the answer to that question.
Just tell me how much it's going to cost. At least BALLPARK.
That's my thoughts and Opinion. It would also be great to hear yours, so head over to the comments where it's probably going to kick off, and we'll see who comes out victorious!
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