No doubt if you are a Virtual Assistant (or have researched becoming one) you have probably heard about the ‘Great Rate Debate’.
That is, the continuing debate about whether it is best to post your rates on your website OR to leave them off completely and discuss rates with clients during your first consultation instead.
There are those who think that having rates available for clients to see will scare of prospects without giving you a chance to explain your value. Others feel that prospects deserve to know up front what you charge for your services. The debate rolls on with some compelling arguments from both sides. So I’m going to take the easy way out of this one and say “It really is a personal decision”.
That said, I will come clean with the fact that I DO post my rates on my website. So I’ve decided to share my reasons and let you make your own conclusions as to whether its a good idea for your own business, or not.
First of all, I prefer my clients know what to expect before we do a consultation call. For me, displaying my rates ensures the bargain-hunter clients looking for minimum wage assistants are NOT calling me. My schedule can be super-tight some days and I don’t have time to deal with long consultation calls with prospects who are never ever going to pay my rate anyway.
Second, I’m often told my rates are ‘on the high end’. I feel it’s OK because I know I bring a lot of value to my clients businesses – and my practice is full. BUT – I cannot deal with the ‘shocked silence’ I get when having to tell a new prospect my rates by phone. It makes me uncomfortable, and it makes the client uncomfortable too. For me, I would rather not have to deal with the ‘surprise’ factor. I think my website gives a clear picture of my rates and of the value I can bring to a client’s business.
Finally, customers WANT to know your rates. So why not give them what they want? When I go trolling around the internet in search of a contractor or a business coach or whatever, I prefer to see their rates. In fact, if I can’t find rates or prices posted online, I will quite often just move on to the next person. You see, I too like knowing what to expect before I get on the phone with someone. Interesting, right?
Whatever you decide, remember you can always change it. If you find posting your rates scares away clients then try taking them off for awhile to see if that works better. Never tried having rates on your website? Why not give it a go and see if it helps you close sales calls? Want to join the debate? I’d love to hear your comments below!