The Power of the Free Consultation- Part 1 of 3
There are a lot of questions and controversy regarding Free Consultations. Should you offer them or not? What are the benefits of offering a free consultation? What are the downsides? And most importantly, how do you make a free consultation work for you?
Consider this: How would you feel if you called us to discuss possibly working with us on your Internet Marketing, and we said that we had to charge you to explain our services?
Benefits of Offering a Free Consultation
Before determining if you should offer a free consultation, let’s weigh the pros and cons. I’m the kind of person who always asks for the bad news first, so let’s begin with the cons.
- Tire-Kickers- You will get people who are just shopping around. They may not be looking for your services now, or may just want information, but aren’t interested in hiring someone.
- Pro-Bono- You will get people who need help but cannot pay. Not a lot you can do about this one. Everyone gets them.
- Giving Away Expertise- Specialists who don’t offer free consultations argue that they have paid a lot for their education, that it isn’t fair to ask that they provide their expertise for free. They haven’t paid for marketing degrees, so it makes sense that they do not know that loss leaders like free consultations are a proven marketing strategy.
- Waste of Time- Some business owners feel that meeting with potential clients who have not yet paid them is a waste of their time. They have missed the whole point of the free consultation and may have had bad experiences in the past due to their lack of a proven process to follow.
- Free Sells- Everyone is always looking for ways to save money, and it is no secret that the best possible price you can get on anything is “Free”.
- They Get To Know You- By providing them an opportunity to meet face to face, they can learn about you and your process without any monetary commitment, thus giving you a better chance of winning their trust and business.
- Referral Potential- Even if the person does not hire you, it could still be an opportunity for you to refer them to a different business leader for brownie points, or they may refer other people to you in the future if you provided a good experience during your consultation process.
- Dealer’s Choice- When you offer free consultations, they do not have an obligation to use your service after the consultation. The same is also true for you. By offering free consultations, you have the opportunity to select which clients you want to work with, and the client is not offended because they do not yet have an investment with you.
- Pro-Bono Opportunities- While most businesses are not looking to do work for free, those in the legal profession you have a professional obligation to “provide legal services to those unable to pay”, according to Rule 6.1 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Offering free consultations can help you to meet that obligation.
- Present Your Case- Your free consultation should not be an in-depth analysis of their needs. It is simply an opportunity for you to present your case on why they should select you as their service provider.
Your Process Determines Your Growth
There are many reasons why we only work with law firms and service providers that offer a free consultation. We feel that the benefits far outweigh the negatives. When the proper process is in place, our clients receive a steady stream of opportunities, resulting in a steady growth of their practice or business.
Remember that you are in a competitive business. You are not the only option that any potential client has, so treat them like the valuable client they could be.
For more information on Mark My Words Media and how we can help promote your business, complete the form or contact us at (800) 243-2077.
Next in the Series: The Power of the Free Consultation- Part 2 of 3