I was having a very good meeting today with a client and friend from my BNI group. This particular fellow is a sales trainer for the Sandler Sales Institute. I shared with him how valuable I have found one of the lessons he is consistently talking about. This lesson is the topic of unpaid consulting.
I like to think of unpaid consulting as when we are going through the sales process; we do a fine job of education the potential customer on our product or service. Invest our time and energy giving the customer the information they need, only to have them go buy from a competitor with their new found body of knowledge.
One of the most important lessons I have learned in sales and business is that it is perfectly acceptable to tell a client, “that is a great question, and that is exactly the type of information I will provide you with once we have secured this deal”.
In my daily routine I am always peppered with questions about blogs, and I am happy to answer the basic ones. However, when it comes to the questions about strategy and how a customer goes about achieving results, those I do not answer until they have cut a cheque.
Don’t be afraid to stand firm, your knowledge is worth paying for. Once you convince yourself of this you will be spending much more time working with clients, and much less time working with prospects. Trust me when I say, clients are much more lucrative than prospects.
These are my two cents on the day,