BillBelew.com
Business Advice

Free versus Money Back Consult1912

Member jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
In the past I've opened up my calendar more to chat with folks - I realize that I was opening myself up to that Forrest Gump "box of chocolates" thing - 'you never know what you're gonna get'..

While there have been some interesting conversations, now I realize that sometimes people won't value your time as much as you do.

Out of a dozen appointments there's about 25% no show, or "oh, sorry - I forgot.."

So, I thought about requiring a refundable deposit. You show, you get your $50 or so back. If not, I keep it..

Yes, it'll put off some people. But I think it'll also weed out the time wasters..

Just curious what your experiences have been with offering "free initial consults"..
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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
There's nothing quite like "having skin in the game" to know if people want what you have. Even if you charge a small amount, like $4.95, or even $1.00, you'll be able to weed out those who really want what you offer from those who sign up on a whim but aren't customers. You want buyers, not lookie-loos, so having to pay up front gives you those.
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Member jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
When I've worked on business valuations, I would never start work without them providing their financials / tax returns AND a nonrefundable deposit of $500.

No one ever argued with this policy. My price wasn't cheap, but most of these folks knew that they weren't going to get anyone to even look at their business for less than $3000-5000.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Pay up front and get your money back after the fact is a popular model.

There are a number of conferences that will charge an entrance fee and give full money back if they attend the whole session. It is understood there will be a pitch at the end.

I have experimented with both a lot with my Meetups. I have made them free and I have charged for them. I get a smaller but better attendance when I charge. Offering them for free people walked in completely unprepared.

I have settled on charging a fee.

I tell prospects they can pay me $500 for a 2-ish hour consult. If they decide to hire me the money becomes a deposit. If they are not completely happy I give them a full refund.

Prices and times will vary. Charge up front or you are wasting your time, imho.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
I was going to post something of value here but I'll need your deposit first...


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Member Summerbay private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev
Cheeky!
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Teacher SunilBhaskaran private msg quote post Address this user
I have tested out both models: Free and paid.
It really depends on the target market and the solution being offered.
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