Over the last 10 years I have increasingly moved from product businesses towards a services business.
In the world of private jets we had simple rules: if the trip is not paid, the plane doesn’t leave. It was policy, not decision.
In the world of coaching leaders to build cultures of disciplined high performance, there is often a wide grey area between free discussion and paid consulting. I find it very difficult to mark that line clearly. I love talking about psychology and high performance and getting the best out of people. I am interested.
My landlord only accepts money for rent. Not good intention. So I have to do the same myself.
6 Steps to Stop Being “Free”
- Be clear on the results you can help them achieve – Can you explain what success looks like in a clear, concise, specific and compelling way? in language that your target customers can really understand?
- Show testimonials, examples, logos of past successes – capture testimonials and make them as specific as possilble
- Find common passions or interests (liking) – build relationships that are broader than pure business
- Respect yourself – know where you draw your line (Let the prospective client know that you are the most capable, dedicated and solution-oriented consultant they will find and that you normally charge X-amount for your time.)
- Blog, write, speak, publish – direct your potential client there rather than give custom answers – thought leadership is free, customising the advice for a specific person and access to you should be expensive
- Ask for the sale – Make yourself a product, set clear prices – and ask for the sale. “Look, I think you value my advice – lets set up a 6 month deal – two meetings per month for €XX”
More on the fine line between free and paid consulting