Open up the kimono, show what you have, and what it costs.
By Susan Saldibar
Should you be sharing pricing information on your website?
You may not like it, but the answer, according to the experts is increasingly becoming “yes”. Today’s prospective residents and their families want to know what your price range is when they visit your website, according to G5 (a Senior Housing Forum partner).
G5 recently wrote an interesting blog (which you can read here) about the whys and wherefores of not displaying pricing information. In a nutshell, old habits die hard. Senior living community marketers are still reluctant to share pricing information on their websites. Here are some of the reasons why. But do they still hold up?
Each resident will have unique needs, so how can you possibly share pricing? While it sounds reasonable on paper, to an adult child looking at communities, it may seem more deceptive than anything. Why not at least share a price range? Who out there wouldn’t like to, at least, have a sense of pricing before picking up the phone to call?
You want to engage the prospect first. This goes hand in hand with the “unique needs” argument. The idea is that painting a picture of how much mom or dad will love your community before you give out pricing will make them more likely to accept it. That may have worked for another generation, but today’s consumers want bottom line information, like pricing, up front. Communities are finding increasingly that most won’t engage until they have it.
Sticker shock. The concern is that, since many prospective residents and their families have no idea how expensive senior care really is, they’ll “freak out” when they see pricing. It’s understandable. But the bottom line, according to research cited by G5, is that 75% of family members complain when prices aren’t revealed on senior living websites. They’d rather know now than later when they’re sitting across a desk from the sales counselor.
And yet the “never share your pricing up front” mentality is hard to change. It’s been a staple of sales manuals for years. But, according to G5, that’s changing as communities get smarter about understanding today’s consumer wants and needs. And there are some pretty compelling reasons why you should be sharing your pricing on your website. Here are a few:
Higher conversion rates. When you think about it, this really makes sense. Prospects can “self-qualify” by either moving forward with your community or taking themselves out of the running altogether, thus making your job easier. Those who do contact you are already (at least somewhat) qualified financially.
Shorter sales cycles. How often do you hear the stories of sales counselors spending inordinate amounts of time with what seems like a “great” prospect, only to discover that he or she can’t afford their community? The reluctance to put pricing out on the table from the start can cause a lot of wasted time that could be better spent on a qualified prospect.
Transparency. Senior living communities are out to build trust with their prospective residents. Nothing does this like opening up the kimono, showing what you have, and what it costs. Being frank and forthcoming is what consumers now expect from organizations they do business with.
As G5 rightly points out, given the 24/7 access to the internet we now have, we don’t research things the way we used to. That goes for senior care providers as well. Prospective residents and family members now expect instant access to key information about senior living communities, pricing included. So, while it may take operators outside their comfort zones, the prospect of higher conversion rates and shorter sales cycles may make it well worth a little discomfort.
The more important questions here are: What do you think? Does withholding pricing information from your website make sense anymore? Will visitors, expecting to find it, click away from your community in search of a community offering greater transparency?
You can read the full G5 article on pricing transparency here.
For more information about G5, please visit their website.
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