Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pricing is not Social

It seems of late that a number of companies are very public, very social, very internet and web, yet very private about pricing.

What is it about price that makes companies hide behind their BS captcha's that are the "send us your information and we will get back to you with a quote" type?

On one hand, marketing says we need leads, services says each customer is different we can't possibly price it properly. On the other hand, we as a company want to be open, honest and above board with our customers.

Which are you? Which is it? Naturally there is a difference between a license MSRP and a services need but one might think these companies are safe guarding gold the way they act about their price.

If you worry about price, then you have no concept of the sales process. If you do your job correctly, then price, unless you are WAY OUT THERE, is rarely an issue.

Are you afraid your competition will find out? Hello 1950, what is this the Cold War? Your competition knows what you charge or how you bill, maybe not exactly but roughly.

Numerous examples exist, pick almost any company offering products online, not retail, but even there you get that "price available when in your cart" BS. I know, there are legal reasons to do that but still, that is just lame.

In my view this comes down to a silo mentality versus an open collaborative mentality. The open collaborative side does not worry about letting you know the price because their honesty is their integrity. If price really matters to you above all else, then they probably do not want you as a customer anyway.

The silo company has too many levels of "insert some euphemism" to be open and honest with anyone because in their world of CYA it is all about being safe, sound and hold back something from the customer. Old time sales tactic, make them ask me how much feels so great to me to be in control. Ugh. The reality is the power is not yours, by withholding the price, it is mine by ignoring you entirely.

Could social be leveraged to provide a more fluid pricing, similar to how much a Coke would cost in the winter versus the summer? Yes of course. While that may not be fair in theory, it is happening already, mostly because of analytics and testing of theories based on the raw data you and I provide in credit card receipts and online surfing as well as rewards cards.

Do we notice or care? Perhaps. But if we never knew the price of anything at a store would we still frequent it? Probably not, and your company website is really not any different.

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