I have been doing consulting for local businesses for a while now and this past month I had something strange happen to me.
I had two business owners approach me and ask for help which is not strange but they sort of wanted it for FREE.
They asked what can I do to get more customers ? and I said well you can do a number of things like identify who your target market is and bla bla bla.
I have no problem giving out a small tip like that but when they wanted more I said sure why don't we make an appointment and we can talk about your needs to determine what I can help you implement they both said that they didn't have ANY MONEY. This is before I even mention how much I would charge because I give out quotes after I know what Has to be done.
What does it mean?
Do they think that my service is not worth money?
Or do they think this is just fun and games?
Or that what I learned in college I'm supposed to give away for free?
I usually am very selective of who I work with, to avoid cheap clients but this time I was approached and I just gave them that "are you serious" look and simply said I can't work for free, thank you and goodbye and left calmly.
I am sure this has happened to others before so my question what is the most professional way of dealing with situations like these?