Price List Do's and Don'ts by Sandy Puc'
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Tuesday, June 04, 2013
By Sandy Puc
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When you go to a restaurant, the menu can have a big effect on how you order. Is it entirely in French? Are the prices listed clearly? Are there enticing pictures of the establishment’s best-sellers? When creating a price list, (or price menu) it’s important to create a sense of quality and value, while being accessible and honest about your products and their prices. No matter what pricing structure you are using, the way you design your price list is a personal decision that should be made based on what is best for your studio, your clientele and your profit line. The same line of thought applies to the number of price lists you choose to offer. Some photographers have one pricing menu that applies to every type of session they offer, while others may want to offer specific pricing for each photography session. In either case, your price list is a very important extension of your studio, and should be treated with care and respect. A good pricing menu will allow your client to easily select the products and/or packages that are right for them. Your price list must be simple to follow, easily differentiating between the options available and clearly stating the prices. It must also use simple wording so as not to overwhelm your clients, all while being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. That’s a big order for one small document.   Here are some key elements to creating a price list that does just that:  

Don’t - Over-communicate

It has been said that the more text you add to your price list, the more you increase the possibility of losing a sale. Your price list needs to be user friendly, easy to understand and simple in design and layout. Just think of it this way: the easier it is to read, the more time you spend selling and less time explaining it. By combining a visual sample and clear explanations, your price list will help clients make quick decisions and move on to the next item to order.  

Do - Show Differences

For each package you choose to offer, communicate what is different rather than listing the same things over and over again. For example, if all of your packages include eight wallets then say so at the beginning of your package pricing. What you want to emphasize is what is unique in that package which makes it more desirable and a better value for your customer.  

Do - Make it Clear

Your client should be able to easily put together their order from your price list without asking for input. Will that happen? Probably not. Your client will typically ask for your guidance as to the best deal, but the point is that they should not need to. Exceptions or purchasing rules must also be clearly stated. There should never be add-ons that your client finds out about later and only by you telling them about it. Do you charge to ship orders to out-of-state clients? List it! Do you get a discount for purchasing four 8x10s of the same pose? Put in on your price list! Teach your sales team to point out this kind of information. You would be amazed how many times an argumentative client will have nothing to say as long as you can show them that it was always in writing on your pricing menu.  

Do - Put a Date on it

Somewhere on your price list, you need to have the sentence, “prices are subject to change”. I also strongly recommend you put the date that your current price list was issued so that when you release your new list it is documented. Then if a client shows up with a five-year-old version of your price list, you will have those disclaimers to fall back on. When you update pricing, it is also a good idea to mention it in your quarterly newsletter. You can put a positive spin on it by announcing that orders on or before a set date get the old pricing, or by highlighting new products or features that you are going to include with the new pricing structure.  

Don't - Forget a Test Run

It’s also wise to test a new price list on a small focus group of existing clients to see how they respond to it. You can get more honest results by having someone who is not associated with your studio conduct the focus group. You can also offer complimentary “model sessions” to new and existing clients and give them the new price list to test it out.  

Do - Start Small

It is important to remember that the price list you design today will most likely not be the price list you are using two years from now. Over time you will add and remove products and you will raise your prices. When launching a new price list, I strongly recommend that you print only a few copies (even on a home printer) and get a feel for its layout and financial success. No matter how many times you review it beforehand, you will always find something later that you just don’t like. These considerations can help you design the ideal price list for you, your business and your clients. As a business owner, preparing for change and growth should always be at the forefront of your mind.  

To make life easier, here are a few different price list templates that are available on Ukandu:

Polka Dot Pet price list - Get it Here!

Limited Edition price list - Get it Here!

Set of Two pricing menus - Get them Here!

Events price list - Get it Here!

Folded price lists - Get them Here!

  Until next time,   Sandy Puc'  

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