Anyone in a profession that provides consultation or any form of advice have faced this situation of some sorts. In the advertising industry, I am speaking daily with a client or prospect. Often I receive calls from prospective clients who have sought us out or vice verse. During many of these meetings, at some point, the prospective client tries to turn the conversation to a discussion. The conversation goes from can you do to what do you do? I have often curbed the meeting in another direction, but the prospect continues, wanting you to consult them before you converse with them. This type of client wants all the answers from our team without any commitments or intent to move further.
Earlier in the year, I found myself on the losing end by consulting a business owner on processes, CRM systems, employees, sales and they wanted to keep the discussions open to their benefit without any benefit to our team.
When we implied that we must be paid for any future discussions or advice give any more advice the prospective client was very upset and said, ”Why do I need to pay you when you're trying to earn my business?”
My reply was a simple one, ”You continue to ask me for meetings, take notes in meetings, present specific problems to me and extract advice that is a consultation, not a conversation.”
His reply was, “In my industry, we go back and forth with customers all the time in helping them make a selection and in don't charge them for consultation.”
We walked away from that prospective client. I let myself get too deep into the conversation/consultation and should've ended it a long time ago this was a valuable lesson learned. You deserve expertise, you deserve Very Important Placement.
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