Friday, July 10, 2015

Do You Offer Complimentary Consultations?

Most businesses offer a complimentary consultation to talk with a potential client about whether or    
not their products and/or services would be of help to them and their business.  And as long as the business owner and the client have the same expectations, everything is cool. 

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.  Because as a business owner, I only want to do business with those I know, like, and trust. 
So here are my list of ‘Do and Don’ts’ for setting up Complimentary Consultations -  
  • Do set a time limit for the consultation – this is for your benefit as well as the client.  If the time runs over, it’s your call as the business owner to end the meeting.
  • Do provide an outline of what will be discussed.
  • Do 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.  Not every person you meet with is ready or wants to use your product or service.  If you are gracious about it, they will remember you when they are ready or want to refer you.
  • Do turn off your phone and put it away.   Focus and put your full attention on your client.
  • 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.
  • Do 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.
  • 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.  Who wants to do business with someone who talks about others behind their back.  Find some other way to vent your frustrations.
  • Do keep your pipeline full.  Even when you think you have all the business you can handle.  Things happen.   
  • Do keep ‘dripping’ on those potential clients.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised when the one you thought you would never hear from gives you a call and is now ready to do business.
What other advice would you give on this topic?  Your comments and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.

Happy networking,
Painted Lady Enterprises
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