I set aside a block of time a few days ago to research a future purchase. No joke, I visited at least 25 different websites, all selling the product that I was looking for. Not one of the websites listed their prices. Instead, they all asked me to submit a form or call them for "more information." The problem is that I didn't want "more information;" I just wanted to know what a ball park price was. Quite frankly, I probably would have made the purchase immediately with my credit card had it been an option.
Instead of making my purchase and checking the item off of my to-do list, the shopping process has dragged on for several days. At this point, I don't really have the time or the energy to devote to that purchase - I'm back to my day job of running my business. And the purchase that was a "would be nice" but not "totally necessary" is now officially on the back burner.
The lesson? I can't treat my own customers like this. I need to list my own prices and specials on my websites. True, people might not be forced to call me any more... but it's not about forcing interaction on my terms. It's about solving my clients' needs on theirs. If they want prices, so be it. After all, that's what I want as a customer.