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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old October 24th, 2005, 07:06 AM   #1
Inner Circle
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Location: Richmond, VA
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Oh that darn money!

When I talk to prospective customers about my business, pricing always comes up. And while I have no problem giving my package prices, I always follow up with the caviot that my packages depend on how you mix and match our services.

I was going to rework my website to include my packages, as some do around my area.

My question is, should I list my prices, or just use 'Call.'

The reason I am hesitant is that my prices are right in the middle of what other video houses offer around here and I hate to get locked into a price. It's not unusual for me to give a bride a break or throw in something extra to get the gig.

So what's the long term affect of not posting or posting prices? What do you all think?
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Old October 24th, 2005, 11:06 AM   #2
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From a business perspective I can see some benefit to trying to get customers to call you before stating prices, but from a customer perspective I usually abandon any web site which doesn't give some clear idea of at least a range of prices. If you don't state prices you may lose some potential customers who might otherwise consider your services (because they'll assume you're too expensive), and you can always offer discounts as desired when someone does call.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #3
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Location: Lewisburg PA
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As my father says, if you have to ask you can't afford it . . .

You can generally characterize your price without giving an exact number as in:

"our services are offered at very competitive rates . . ."

"discounts are offered to first time customers . . ."

"are fees are among the lowst in the area for the quality of service provided . . ."

you can also explain that costs are generally dependent on the scope of the work and the story to be told. Film budgets are always generally derived from a specific script.

You can try the Wal-Mart approach and say that "basic packages start at $x.xx" and make sure the basic package does not include what most people really want so that they will consider the next step up. This is exactly what Wal-Mart does with TVs, microwaves and lots and lots of other products.
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Old October 24th, 2005, 11:34 AM   #4
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Location: Vancouver, B.C.
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Consider if you are targetting a certain vertical. Then the market prices would be clearer to you. At that point, consider where you are in that vertical. Then you should make it evident to the customer where you stand in that market.

*One* of the ways is indeed showing pricing. But instead of thinking that it locks you in, consider stating it as a starting price. So you may state: "beginning at..." What this does is cut out the low-ballers while also showing that you are serving a certain level of customer. You may also mention any elements that, if added, would be negotiated into a final price. However, make it clear that the price you have is a bottom required in order to make for a happy customer.

"Between X and X". Explain the size of projects you are comfortable in dealing with.

State price combined with all of the value that comes with it. "This is what you get..."

"Free consultation" should remove any doubts. "I would be happy to talk to you about your needs." Always give a nervous customer the option to use email or phone. "Call me ... email me ... " Make it easy for the customer to make the decision to contact you. Don't overburden with overly complex forms. "It takes just five minutes to begin planning your ..." "Leave a message and I will call you at your convenience..." Always put yourself in the place of the client. "Stress-free exprience" .. "You're in good hands..." "...with confidence..." "... relationship..."
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Old October 24th, 2005, 12:41 PM   #5
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As a consumer, if I'm on a web site (or shopping in a store, for that matter) and I don't see prices or a price range clearly posted the first thoughts through my mind is "What's he trying to hide? Is this a scam artist?" I think you can post a typical range but make it clear that actual pricing of a specific job is going to be dependent on the complexity of the situation and the services the customer chooses to receive. I hate a web site that says "call for your special quote" without mentioning any numbers or what such a quote might be based on almost as much as I hate a used car salesman who responds "Make me an offer" when you ask the price of a vehicle.
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Old October 25th, 2005, 08:26 AM   #6
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If you sell a standard product, post your prices. If you sell a custom product, post "Custom packages starting at $xxx". A "bottom" price will save you from talking to the bargain shoppers, unless your low end package is in their budget range. It will also encourage everyone else to call, without limiting your flexibility.
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