Free Consultations?

Should you as a small business owner that is providing a service offer a free consultation to a potential client? This question is debatable and there are arguments for both cases.

For example, a paralegal once charged me for an hour long initial consultation. The main reason may relate to the revenues from the majority of their clients are one-time jobs. Another reason could be that they have had trouble converting their consultations into clients. I have also dealt with a landscaping company that gave me an initial consultation for free, however they would not provide a quote for free as there was fear that their leads will take their plans elsewhere to get it quoted or possibly the lead does the work themselves. This company was more than willing to provide me with a quote for free if I provided them with a quote from another company.

As an accountant I am advocate of a free consultation. I feel it is a way to network and if I provide some good advice for free in a short period of time I am either going to convert the lead into a client or the lead is going to possibly tell his network good things about me. As well, an accountant’s revenue stream is typically recurring from year to year providing they are giving good service to their clients.

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Shawn Oldridge