If you are a service based business owner, coach or consultant, being able to get more clients willing to work with you and pay for your services is a high priority. After all, it is your primary way of earning an income.
But many struggle with finding ways to get prospects to commit and deciding whether or not they should offer a free consultation, or just simply charge a fee. The opinions and experiences vary greatly across the board and are determined solely on how you choose to operate your business.
The benefit of offering a potential client a free consultation is that they get a chance to speak with you and get to know you (and vice versa). They can determine if you are qualified to help them, if they feel a connection, and if you can give them the results they desire, for the right price.
Of course, there is always a drawback to offering anything “free” when it comes to business, and consultations are no different. Depending on your services, offering a free consultation is an opportunity for some to just “pick your brain” and get as much information from you in the allotted time with no intention of ever paying for anything.
As a business owner who chooses to use this method to acquire clients, you have to set boundaries and have a firm structure as to how you will conduct your initial consult. The main purpose for you, should be to convert the prospect to a paying client.
3 Ways to Get More Clients by Offering Free Consultations
1. Take Control – You are the professional, your time is valuable and this is business. If you don’t take control of how you run your consultation, you will end up listening to a long winded story and giving your prospect the upper hand.
Don’t be afraid to be firm by leading. You have to be able to ask the right questions and keep the conversation focused. Be prepared by having your prospects complete a questionnaire prior to the session or have a set of necessary questions to assess their needs to help you better determine if you are able to help them.
2. Be Clear – Make sure you understand what exactly your prospect wants by reconfirming what they stated to you. This is a way for you to explain how working with you can benefit them when they invest in your services or products. It also helps to reassure you are listening to what their needs are by addressing their immediate concerns and allowing them to briefly ask questions.
3. Close the Consultation – This is an important step you do not want to bypass because you are unprepared. To convert your prospect to a client, you have to remember you are in the drivers seat and they’ve come to you for help. You have to assist them with making the decision to work with you by recommending the best service or product you offer to meet their particular need.
Explain what you offer, the solutions you provide and the cost. Always share the next step, which should be – how they can get started.
Following these simple tips will help you get more clients. For those who may not be ready to make the investment, you will have established enough of a relationship to follow up with them at a later time.
What’s important to remember is that these initial consults are designed to help potential clients make a decision and for you to share the benefits of working with you.