Consulting Website Design 010: Setting Your Anchor [VIDEO]

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In this episode, you’ll learn about publishing your pricing on your consulting website.

The website featured in this episode is Jonathan Stark’s consulting website. The concept of “Anchoring” is one I learned from Blair Enns book, Pricing Creativity.

[Slides]

Transcript

I’ve been reading a fascinating new book by Blair Enns which has taught me some great principles about putting your pricing on your website.

Now most consultants and small firms do not publish their prices on their website, and in most cases, that’s a good idea.

You want to price the client.

If you publish your prices on your website, you strip yourself of your ability to price the client, and therefore cannot price your engagement based on value.

That said, there are certain scenarios where it makes sense to publish your pricing.

Let’s say you’re a consultant like Jonathan Stark, who wants to use his pricing to keep out poor clients who don’t have the budget for his services. His pricing also helps him demonstrate exclusivity.

If we go to his Services page, we can see the first price listed is a $21,000 workshop, and right after that is a $12K per month advisory retainer. Jonathan’s demonstrating exclusivity — like consultants should — and not affordability.

When I first saw his pricing page, I thought — wouldn’t one want to lead with the lower priced services and offerings so you don’tscare any leads away?

But now that I’ve come to understand the concept of Anchoring, it makes much more sense.

Anchoring is where you use a high price to set the point of reference throughout the sale or negotiation.

So if you put yourself in the shoes of Jonathan’s ideal client, a decision maker at a credit union, the first possible price they see is $21,000.

As the scroll down, they will compare all of these other offers to the initial $21K number.

By the time you get to his introductory services at the bottom, they don’t seem like so much, compared to his first price.

Now if you were to put this in reverse, you would get the opposite effect.

If he leads with his Mobile Onboarding Teardown at $1,200, and the offers were ascending in price, you would start to measure the following services compared to that smallest price — and they would look much bigger in comparison.

So by leading with his most expensive offer and his highest price, he’s effectively showing his exclusivity, squeezing out clients who don’t have the budget, and perhaps most importantly, using his highest price to set the comparison of how clients will view his pricing.

Now what restaurant menu consultants often do is really highlight the high price that the customer will see first, making sure that their anchor is one of the highest priced dishes on the menu.

But on Jonathan’s page, you see that the prices don’t really stand out and draw attention — especially his anchor.

One Design change I might make to his website is to make the price stand out a bit more.

This makes sure that it’s one of the first things that draws the users attention as soon as they land on the page, ensuring that it becomes the anchor point for his pricing.

But either way, I really like how Jonathan’s service offerings are descending in terms of price — helping him set his anchor high.

I’m learning all of this from reading Blair Enn’s new book, Pricing Creativity, and here’s a quote that highlights how this works:

There’s an erroneous saying in price negotiation that I’ve been guilty of repeating many times: He who speaks first loses. The thinking was always that you’re better off letting your clients put a price on the table that you can respond to, rather than vice versa. Kahneman’s and Tversky’s work proves this idea is exactly wrong.

 

You’re better off setting a high anchor that skews the entire negotiation your way, than you are letting the client set a low anchor. The anchor serves as the mental reference point throughout the negotiation.

-Blair Enns, Pricing Creativity 

He’s talking mostly about proposals with this rule, but I think it applies just as well to your consulting website.

And most importantly — anchoring works EVEN if your prospects are aware of it.

Action Step

Today’s action step is to 1) Determine whether or not you should publish your pricing or a range of prices on your website.

If so, then move on to step 2) Make sure your anchoring by showing your highest prices first, and then using the design to highlight the highest price, making sure your prospects see that first.

Finally, make sure you buy Blair’s new book. It’s a great read for anyone who sells consulting services.

If you learned something helpful from this video, I would appreciate you giving it a like, share, or leaving your feedback.

And if you want me to cover a certain principle you’re curious about, or even cover your consulting website, shoot me a message and I’m happy to add your website to my episode queue.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get a free, 5-minute video tear-down of your consulting website to gain actionable tips to attract more leads and more clients by requesting a consultation on my contact page.