Is it a good idea to put prices on your accountancy firm website?
The answer, as with most things in marketing, is “it depends”.
Pricing professional services of any kind is difficult. This is why most professional service businesses say “Our work is custom/bespoke/tailored, and so is your price, so call us or arrange a meeting/call/consultation.”
That is one option, but these days your buyer is much more educated by the time they come to you: so anything that doesn’t give them the information they’re seeking could put them off from contacting you at all. The key with pricing – as with any element of your marketing and sales – is to build trust. Show that you are the authoritative expert. Help the buyer to be confident in buying from you before they ever get in touch.
Because of this, if your site is a brochure-only site, or a bog-standard templated accountancy firm site, a vague statement about pricing could make them feel as though you’re winging it when it comes to pricing. That diminishes their level of trust (even subconsciously) and if another firm is more open about their pricing policy, you might have lost the opportunity without even knowing it ever existed.
Does this mean you have to state the prices? Create gold, silver, bronze packages and let people pick?
Here are some of the pricing options available to you on your accountancy firm site: and as you consider these options, remember to:
- Put the client first. Make it all about what is easiest and best and most helpful for them.
- Be unafraid to talk about pricing. Whether you state numbers or share sample pricing or push them to a discovery call, make it clear that talking about fees is something you are not going to avoid. You’re going to do it at the right time and in the right way, is all.
- Make it easy for the buyer to get in touch. Too many sites give great content and appeal to the visitor but then….it’s really tough to arrange a meeting or hear back. Have multiple options – forms, phone number, social media, live chat, online calendars…be creative.
- Follow up to the quotes you do send. However you prepare and send a proposal, always have a clear follow up process – because not everyone decides a yes or no straight away.
Ways to explain your prices on your accountancy firm site
Here’s my list – and it is not exhaustive. You may have another option still. Be creative, be client-focused, and be helpful!
1.Packages with prices
This used to be popular for accountants, and it seemed like every other firm’s website was displaying the Gold, Silver, Bronze packages from £99 to £499 per month (or thereabouts). Now, accountants are realising that this can really hold you back. When people see a price, it’s locked into their mind, and it can be hard to move further upwards if they have the preconception that the highest package possible is £499 or £799 per month. Think about what you’re locking into their mind with your package prices.
2.Packages with no prices
You can show what the packages are (Startup, Lean Growth, High Growth) but encourage them to get in touch to discuss pricing. On the positive side you’re being clear about the types of things most people want from an accountant; on the downside it could feel restrictive to those who don’t fit into one of your categories.
3.Prices shown on a private page
You can create packages or pricing, but only share the private page link with those who have had a call or discussion with you first. The positive thing about this is that you’ve had the opportunity to build the initial elements of a relationship before you showcase the prices.
4.Prices only shown within an actual proposal
Whether you use Goproposal or Practice Ignition or Quotient or your own proposal system, you can lay out the prices very clearly and specifically, and let your client choose their own package that suits them. If you go this route, make sure to explain the proposal and pricing process on your website so they are clear what’s going to happen when – and then trust is built when they discover that your process followed exactly what was on your website.
This is the “your business is unique and so is your price” approach. It can work, and it certainly has the benefit of weeding out the chaff, the tyre kickers, those who are looking for a set of accounts to be done for £30. (No joke – true story.) Again, explain what your process is and as much as possible to the potential buyer about WHY you’re doing this – don’t make them presume you are the same as every other accountant or professional service business out there who are doing this because…everyone does it. Make it clear that you’re doing this for a particular reason, and because you are discerning about the type of clients you will take on (or not take on).
Sharing a minimum fee can be effective if you have gotten into a situation in which most of your online queries are looking for the cheapest accountant, and you waste a lot of time in a discovery call or a prospect meeting only to discover that they are horrified to find they can’t get their annual accounts and tax and payroll and VAT done for less than £200 per year. If you do share a minimum fee, be absolutely, 100% committed to it. Never ever back down – that destroys trust and shows you don’t have faith in your fees. Be willing to reduce the fee if they reduce the services they’re receiving, but don’t reduce it simply to ‘be nice’ or to ‘get the client’. It won’t be worth it.
You can also share ranges of fees so that people can get a sense of what they might be paying. Make sure your ranges are accurate, and also that your fees generally fall within the middle of the range. For example, if the range is £400 – £900 per month, ideally your dream client buys at around £500 or £600/mo. This way they are prepared for a higher price and (for the right client) willing to pay it, but they may find themselves pleasantly surprised and therefore starting off the relationship in a positive mindset from the beginning. Also they could be more likely to upgrade or bolt on at a later time – which means they’re buying at their own speed, which is always more effective.
Give them a detailed proposal for a ‘sample client’, and explain who this imaginary client is in detail. For example, “Client X is a creative agency with 25 team members located in the city centre. They have asked us to take care of all their daily bookkeeping, monthly payroll for the team and directors, quarterly VAT, cloud accounting subscriptions, monthly management accounts and meetings, and the company accounts and tax returns each year. The fees are £x/month.” You could consider having two or three sample clients so your prospects can relate to the one most similar to them. You will of course want to be clear that these are merely samples and their own proposal could vary – but similar to point 7 above, it would be wise to ensure that the sample client fees are on the higher end rather than the lower end, so there are no discouraging surprises for someone who felt they related to the sample client.
9.Don’t mention price at all
This is of course an option open to you. You could simply ignore price entirely, and not ever mention prices, fees, quotes, proposals, or anything in relation to this. Generally in this case the presumption by the visitor will be that you are very, very expensive: so if this is the case, all is well. The downside is that they might presume you have no pricing structure and you randomly make up a price once you find out what their budget is: which is why we encourage you to be unafraid to talk about prices – however you decide to do that.
10.Really high prices
Finally, you can choose to have extremely high prices, and be honest about it. This approach works well if you have built a solid reputation as a visible expert (particularly in a niche market or in a certain area of accounting). In that case it is likely you have more business than you know what to do with, and leads come in on a drip feed without (seemingly) you even having to try. In this case if someone really wants to work with you they will not be put off by the high fees; and if they are put off by the fees, they don’t want to work with you (at all, or yet), and you’ve saved yourself hours of conversations and discussions and proposal preparations.
Regardless of which pricing option you choose, remember the underlying principle: be willing to have the pricing conversation, and make that clear on your website and in your marketing. Your prospect will thank you for it.