I’ve been thinking about the value exchange and how we communicate it when selling business services to other businesses.

With a product, it’s simple. A banana costs 50p, the customer feels that the banana is worth 50p, and a sale is made. 

But if you walk into a shop and an item doesn’t have a price, what do you do? Do you walk away because you expect it will be too expensive? Or are you sufficiently interested in buying it to ask?

Transparency of Pricing

What dictates the value of a B2B service?

With a B2B service, is it a simple X costs Y, or is it a bespoke price depending on how much skill, experience, qualifications, and service you receive, and what the value of those are to you?

In the context of selling services to other businesses, the value exchange is often more complex than a simple X costs Y equation; and service providers offering (on the face of it) similar services, often charge very differently. 

There are several factors which can influence the value of your service, and therefore your pricing:

  • Expertise and Experience: People are often willing to pay a premium for services delivered by experts with specialist skills and extensive experience. Your price may reflect the value of your expertise and knowledge.
  • Quality and Results: People are looking for tangible results and outcomes from the services they invest in. Your price may be influenced by the expected quality of service delivery and the potential impact on their business goals.
  • Relationship and Trust: Building a strong relationship and trust with your clients is essential. Your pricing may reflect not only the actual service  you deliver but also the trust and confidence your clients have in your ability to deliver results.

Communicating the unique value proposition of your services is crucial.  Your current and future clients need to understand how your services can solve their specific pain points and add value to their business.

So how do you know whether to advertise your prices?

The decision whether or not to display prices for B2B services depends on things like  your industry, target audience, what your competitors are doing,  and the complexity of the services you offer. 

Questions to consider if you’re wondering whether to include pricing on your own website: 

1. How tailored/customised are the services you provide?

B2B services are often tailored to the specific needs and requirements of each client, meaning your price can vary from client to client and making it difficult to promote a standard pricing structure on your website. 

2. What are your industry norms?

Some industries, like software as a service (SaaS), have moved towards transparent pricing models where prices are prominently displayed on their websites. In contrast, other industries, such as consulting or custom development services, may not typically display prices upfront.

3. What is the competitive landscape?

If your competitors are typically transparent with their pricing, you may need to follow suit to remain competitive. On the other hand, if your competitors don’t display prices, you might gain a strategic advantage by being transparent if you can, as it can build trust and credibility with potential customers.

4. How complex are the services you offer?

If your services are straightforward and have fixed pricing tiers, displaying your prices can simplify the decision-making process for potential customers. However, if your services are highly customisable or require a tailored quote based on specific client needs, transparent pricing may not be feasible for you.

5. Target Audience Preferences

Consider what you know about the preferences of your target audience. Some B2B buyers prefer to see clear pricing upfront to quickly assess whether a service fits within their budget and needs. Others may prioritise personalised consultations and negotiations over transparent pricing.

6. Lead Generation Strategy

Transparent pricing could support your lead generation strategy, as it can attract prospects who are actively seeking solutions within a specific budget range. However, if your sales process relies heavily on lead qualification and personalised pricing discussions, it may not be feasible to show prices up-front.

Depending on your answers to these questions, it may be possible for you to adopt a flexible, hybrid approach, by providing starting prices or price ranges while also offering the option for potential customers to request a custom quote. This approach combines transparency with the flexibility to accommodate varying customer needs.

Publishing pricing on your website for B2B services can be challenging because the value proposition and customisation often can’t be adequately demonstrated through a simple price list. 

As a Marketing Consultant, I have tried publishing my pricing on my website and it didn’t work. The main reasons being that a price list wasn’t the right vehicle to show the value of the different services that I offer, and that my services are customised to each client’s particular needs.   

If this sounds like a familiar challenge, I recommend instead focusing on showcasing your expertise, experience, and the outcomes you can deliver for clients, an approach which may be more effective in attracting potential customers. Offering personalised consultations or providing case studies that highlight the results achieved for previous clients can also help you to demonstrate the value of your services beyond just the price.

Ultimately, the decision whether or not to display prices for B2B services should align with your overall business strategy, customer preferences, and market norms. You may need to experiment and adjust over time to find the approach that works best for your specific situation.

If you’re looking to work alongside a marketing consultant who understands the B2B services industry, then contact Tabitha Beasley at The Marketing Associates: tabitha@themarketingassociates.co.uk or call 01233 720379