Does charging a consult fee help close the services you recommend?

by Delta223 2 replies
Dan Kennedy says that charging a consult fee is a far better technique than simply sending offers and hoping you'll get work. He said this in the context of copywriting and in the pursuit of bigger clients though. I've been thinking of charging a nominal fee, say $100, to small business financial services professionals (usually solo operators) for lead generation services.

I expect that people who take the paid consult will be better clients but I'm not sure how much good business I'll also lose by doing this. The decision for me will probably be influenced by whether or not paid consults are likely to close on the true service (lead gen). For anyone who has tested something similar, do you think paid initial consults convert to larger services at a sufficiently higher number to make it worth doing this?
#offline marketing #charging #close #consult #fee #recommend #services
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    In my early SEO business a free SEO audit got a lot of enquiries, but relatively low conversions. When we started charging, the enquires dropped, but the conversion went up... Saved much time with no drop off in income.

    I don't charge for initial consultations now, as I'm referral only and the enquiries tend to be high quality...
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Delta223 View Post

    Dan Kennedy says that charging a consult fee is a far better technique than simply sending offers and hoping you'll get work. He said this in the context of copywriting and in the pursuit of bigger clients though. I've been thinking of charging a nominal fee, say $100, to small business financial services professionals (usually solo operators) for lead generation services.

    I expect that people who take the paid consult will be better clients but I'm not sure how much good business I'll also lose by doing this. The decision for me will probably be influenced by whether or not paid consults are likely to close on the true service (lead gen). For anyone who has tested something similar, do you think paid initial consults convert to larger services at a sufficiently higher number to make it worth doing this?
    You have to offer real value in the consults. You sell the consultation as though it is the end product/service. Out of that consultation, opportunities will arise, but you have to really give them their money's worth in the initial consultation. And the value cannot depend on further services.

    I charge, and get $500 for a one hour phone consultation. Many times that's all that's needed. Sometimes, we find that further services will help. But I always offer the hour with an immediate money back guarantee if they feel they didn't get their money's worth.

    The huge benefit you'll get is that they will listen to what you say, if they paid for the advice. And now you are offering advice instead of pitching.

    I paid $600 to Bill Glazer for an hour on the phone, and it was a great investment. It went no further, but it was certainly worth the money.

    I think you would have a harder time offering this consultation if you are cold calling. A marketing funnel is what gets you these clients. My phone consulting clients almost always come from book sales or speaking gigs.

    I still get calls from readers of my books and people who watch my Youtube videos. I turn about half of them away, because they are in businesses that I'm not familiar with, or they have a problem I'm not able to help them with.

    If you set up a real marketing funnel, you'll find yourself saying No to some of these requests.

    $100 for an hour is about what any craftsman would charge for an hour of their time. So you aren't out of line.
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