Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
My good friend, Annette Walden
Mason has a blog site, paintedladymusings.com. She recently published a blog that I felt would benefit those who follow my
blog. Below are her comments and her list of 9 things to consider when giving a
Most businesses offer a complimentary consultation to talk with
a potential client about whether or not their products and/or services would be
helpful to them and their business. As long as the business owner and the
potential client have the same expectations no misunderstanding takes place.
In today's world of 'transparency' not everything is as it
seems. Often times though a business owner will disguise their motive for a
meeting in many different ways. My advice, as a business owner, is to ensure
you clearly explain the purpose and agenda for the meeting ahead of time so
that your potential client feels comfortable meeting with you.
I offer my clients a complimentary consultation more so to
explain what and how I do things and to gain their confidence and trust. As a
business owner, I only want to do business with those I know, like, and trust.
So here is my list of suggestions to consider:
1. Set a time limit for the consultation - this is for your
benefit as well as the client.
2. Provide an outline of what will be discussed.
3. Bring your sales material with you and discuss it with the
client only if they want to move forward. If they are not ready to move
forward, leave it with them for future reference.
4. Absolutely turn off your phone and put it away.
Focus and put your full attention on your client.
5. Don't high pressure sell. More than likely you will lose
their trust and confidence and any potential at all of doing business with that
person in the future.
6. Send a thank you note after
each meeting thanking the potential client for their time. This is another way
to gain their confidence and trust.
7. Don't bash a potential client to another person and/or on
social media even if you don't mention names. People can figure it out.
8. Keep your pipeline full. Even when you think you have all the
business you can handle. Things happen.
9. Stay in contact with the potential client. Offer helpful
suggestions to grow their business.
This list is fantastic but I wanted to suggest a few more things
to consider when giving a free consultation.
1. Be honest. If the area where the client needs help is not your
area of expertise, tell the client and offer a recommendation to someone else.
2. Always do what's in the best interest of the client, not your
3. Win their heart. If you only win their pocketbook but not
their heart, when someone comes along who offers a better price, they will
leave you. If you win their heart, their pocketbook will follow.
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Author of The Networking Guru