More and more, we are finding ourselves discussing with other vendors whether or not to make pricing public. It seems to be a really hot topic these days in professional circles, likely because, in the days of instant gratification and easily accessible information, clients expect to get what they need without delay. While we understand this desire (as clients of other businesses, we too expect a certain speed), there are certain pros and cons to listing your pricing on your website, for example.
One of the best pieces of advice we’ve ever received is this: not everyone is your client. Armed with this attitude, being very transparent about your pricing online or during an initial inquiry makes perfect sense. Establishing your baseline pricing up front allows you to meet with serious clients only and helps those couples who are simply price shopping. You may lose a few clients to sticker shock, but would you take them on as a client anyway if you weren’t in their budget?
A different perspective is one that many of us understand: giving a client a number before ever speaking with them about their wedding, their needs, and their budget is unrealistic because, like each client is unique, each package is, as well. It would do your business (and your clients!) a disservice to advertise a price as established when in reality, it is negotiable.
Here’s our advice: when you’re faced with that ever so friendly email asking for one thing and one thing only (Quote, please?), respond in the same way to all inquirers. Ask for more information and goal to meet your clients on the phone (or better yet, in person!) Speaking to a client not only develops your relationship, but it also establishes your expertise in the field. Often, clients are coming to you as a first time bride or groom, meaning they may not know what it costs for your services. Take time to educate them and help answer any questions they may have (namely, why the heck do weddings cost so much?!). By helping your clients see that you, too, understand that they’re spending a lot of money (for quality services, mind you), trust can be built and a relationship formed, which, of course, is what this business is all about!