Let’s talk about prices and websites.
The Fitness Business Thought Leader Industrial Complex has many strong — and conflicting — opinions on this topic. Here’s my personal take.
In a vacuum, your best bet is often something like this:
“Prices start at X, but depend on what customized plan we create for your goals. [CTA for them to find out more]”
Now let’s add some context to consider.…
This middle ground is a great way to go, as you’ll get some pre-qualification, but you’re doing so with your lowest price. If people are disgusted by your cheapest offering, it stands to reason they may not be a fit.
This move is also helpful when you have complex membership offerings that could be daunting at a glance.
Speaking of, if you’re a training gym with lotsa lotsa options:
- Stop it. Kill your darlings. Complexity is the enemy of growth (and happiness). I get why this “creep” happens. Your clients will always ask for the exact variation of services they personally want. Your job is to politely and kindly tell them “no” if it’s not best for the business as a whole. You just can’t be everything to everybody. And you can’t have a thousand membership options. Unless you like to make your business confusing and annoying to clients and staff alike.
- If you INSIST on having lots of options, at least you won’t confuse and horrify prospects by showing your Quantum Physics-complicated rate sheet. You can simply make your prescription in the Strategy Session/ Discovery Call once you know their goals, preferences, budget, time constraints, etc.
FULL DISCLOSURE: At MFF, we’ve been reducing our options for years and STILL have too many. This is medicine we’re continuing to take ourselves.
But what if you have a relatively simple set of options? Does it make sense to show your prices on your website then?
Maybe. However, the typical modern training gym is going to be more expensive than Planet Fitness. And since most prospects will first look to price, sometimes you’ll miss the chance to show the value of what you do.
Sure, the people that come through will (in theory) be more qualified. But you may be missing the chance to help other people who ran away after seeing your pricing.
You may be tempted to go this route if you’re “getting too many tire kickers.” But more often than not, lack of pricing transparency is why you feel you have “tire kickers.” If you’re getting lots of people turned off by price, it means you’re not good at building value in a sales conversation.
Very few people are actually tire kickers. Even with a low barrier offer, they still pay the price of time, energy, and face the potential that you suck.
True, some people may legitimately not be able to afford your services. But if you could actually analyze their yearly spending?
Here’s what the data would say most of the time: they absolutely have the discretionary income, but they value other things more than your services.
Ok, well in that case, should I just not mention price at all (outside the free or low cost Low Barrier Offer/ Trial)?
Maybe. But many prospects will feel annoyed if they can’t get a ballpark idea of your pricing.
So this is essentially the inversion of having your rate sheet on your website: you won’t scare anyone away based on price, but the lack of transparency may also turn people off.
For what it’s worth, this describes your faithful penpal Mark. I’m a wildly impatient person, so if I don’t see pricing on a product or service, I will almost always bounce.
That said, even here, if I reeeeally want the product or service and the company has built sufficient value via content marketing, I’ll likely still reach out. So based on your market and services, this can also work.
Ok, got it. Maybe I just split the difference and go with “Prices start at X, but depend on what customized plan we create for your goals. [CTA for them to find out more]?”
Oh my gentle friend, how I marvel at your insightful analysis!
Many of your prospects won’t spend that much time looking at your website anyway. So whether your prices are on there or not, you’ll need to expect a fair number won’t have any context for pricing when they come in to discuss membership options.
So while you can test the above options, the biggest piece of your success will be how skilled you are at building value and making offers in your sales conversation.