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Do you get irritated when people expect free advice?

2010 July 14
by Malcolm Sleath

When people ask you for advice, hoping to get something for nothing, it is an opportunity to engage with them and demonstrate your value.

Does this mean that you should give advice for free? No.

Does it mean that you have an opportunity to help them define their need and the value to them of having it satisfied. Yes.

Does it mean you have an opportunity to engage them in the search for a solution (for which you can charge.) Yes.

Frankly, if you don’t know how to do these things, there is a very good chance that you will be wasting much of your client’s time when you do start charging because you and they will not be focused on the value in your professional service.

Do think about your value, but remember, the value to the client is not something you define. They do. You have a part to play in preparing their mind so they can grasp it. Admittedly, this requires technique and a certain skill, but you can learn that.

If many people are asking you for free advice, and you know it is worth something to them, but you are not converting a fair proportion of them into clients, perhaps you should think about how much fee revenue you are losing.