Free consultation is one of the best ways to get people interested in your service and encourage them to come in for a free trial. However, there are arguments for and against offering free consultations, and you need to consider your own circumstances before deciding whether or not to offer them. In this article, we are going to discuss more about free consultations for service businesses.We'll also go into detail on the pros and cons of free consulting as a service provider, whether it's good or bad for your business. There is no clear answer as to what you should do in this situation - it depends largely on your own circumstances before deciding whether or not to offer them.
Why you SHOULD offer free consultations
First, let's take a look at the pros of offering free consultations.
1) A free consultation captures leads and builds trust.
Offering a free consultation gives potential customers the chance to meet with you face-to-face before they make a commitment to paying for your services. In some ways, this is similar to how car dealerships work. They give test drives in order to build a relationship with clients and get them interested in buying their new cars.
When someone can see what you can do for them before paying for it, they are going to have more confidence about purchasing from you after that point. This helps increase sales tremendously because then you avoid having one or two initial meetings that don't conclude in deals won .
2) It's a great way to get new clientele
It is always more difficult to convince someone that you are the right person for them if they've never heard of you.
Offering free consultations tells people interested in your services about your business and what you can do for them. This builds trust and credibility so that people will be more likely to work with you once they understand all the benefits of doing so.
3) You gain experience while offering a service
Allowing potential clients to see how you work firsthand, on their own time, allows them to judge your skills appropriately.You're not just acting as another unqualified photographer on an expensive wedding day or unlicensed real estate agent at tax season. This also benefits your future clients by not wasting their time at the consultation. You're able refine what you do for them and how you can help them get the most out of their money, which then makes it easier to close deals.
Why you SHOULD NOT offer free consultations
Now that we have gone over some positive reasons why offering free consultations might be beneficial, let's discuss why it may be problematic for you as a service provider.
1) Clients aren't comfortable with "free" consultations
Offering free consultations can potentially create awkward situations for both parties involved because there is no agenda or goal set in place other than getting to know each other better while they try figure out whether hiring you would be worth it.
2) Clients are only interested in the free consultation to get a sense of you as a person or business before asking for your rates
Before even consulting with you, some people will already know what they want. They may have specific questions about how much it would cost before they want to discuss anything else. So would a free consultation be worth anything to them?
3) The free consultation becomes another task on your to-do list that can't be ignored
When clients reach out to ask for more information regarding the benefits of contracting your services, instead of just accepting their request and moving forward, you need to dedicate time and energy into satisfying their curiosity and answering any pressing questions they might have during the free consultation period. Suddenly this simple step has turned into another part of your daily routine.
So where does your business stand?
In conclusion, offering free consultations can be beneficial but is not always worth the time and effort it takes to coordinate. It's a good idea to consider what you want as a service provider before making this decision for your business.
Whether or not it makes sense for you will vary from person-to-person, so ask yourself some questions first:
- Are you comfortable with keeping all of these incoming requests organized?
- How invested are you in becoming the middleman between clients and potential clients?
- Will you be able to effectively manage your time with everything else going on in your schedule?
If any of these three factors sound less than ideal, then perhaps trying something different is the best route for now. At least there is no harm done by simply offering a free service.
At Caliph Digital, we took the chance. We want to show Edmonton small businesses how we can help them achieve growth. That starts with a no obligation (free) strategy call.