Depending on the type of business you have, it might be a good idea for you to offer client consultations. This allows you to assess the needs of potential customers while also giving them a good indicator of your skillsets and expertise. Here are some of the things you need to know about client consultations.
Who Should Offer Client Consultations?
If you work in an industry where personalisation is key for clients, you should offer consultations. This is a key stage where you can get to know a potential customer and get a measure of their plans. They might want something simple, or they could have a massive project that will take up a significant amount of your time and resources. If you know that you want to offer a bespoke service to clients that they can have a lot of input into, you definitely need to make sure that a consultation is part of your customer journey.
Should I Charge for a Consultation?
No, most of the time it is better to offer free consultations. Though this will be taking up a portion of your time, it is just a taster of your services. There is no guarantee that the customer will want to work with you. You might even decide that you don’t want to work with them! There are so many factors that can go into deciding whether or not you will be a good partnership. Charging someone for your time when they have decided not to continue with you can be a bit of a mean move.
How Should I Meet People for Consultations?
Many people like to meet in person for consultations. It can help to break the ice a little, and can really help you to get the measure of someone. However, it is not always possible to meet in person. Your schedules might not quite line up, and it could be easier to have a virtual consultation using video conferencing software. It should not be too difficult for you to find a good alternative to Skype if you do not want to use this software – there are some better options on the market now. By using these alternatives you can set up a quick virtual consultation where you can ask all the important questions that you would if you were meeting in person.
What Should I Establish with a Client Consultation?
There are a set number of questions that you should always cover during a consultation. You can customise others to suit the particular client in the moment, but there are some basics that must be established first. Of course, you always need to find out the scope of the project the client has in mind. For example, if you are a wedding planner, there is a massive difference between a small intimate wedding for less than fifty and a grand affair with hundreds of guests.
You also need to find out the budget of the customer. They might have quite strict guidelines that you need to adhere to. Even if there is an unlimited budget, you need to make sure that you are finding some good deals for your customers. Finally, you need to establish a deadline. There will be a final date that you have to deliver by. You must know when this will be so you can plan the timeline for the project and how it might impact others that you have on the go.
What Should I Do After a Client Consultation?
During the consultation, make sure you collect some contact information from the customers if you don’t have it already. Send them a round-up of everything you discuss, and also offer them a breakdown of the fees that they would have to pay if the project was to go ahead. If you really want to work on this project then this is the last chance to sell yourself and your business – you can never know who else they have spoken to. Lay out your full plan here, and make sure to reiterate your passion for the project and how nice it was to meet the clients. This follow-up could be crucial in securing the project for you.
Nail Those Consultations
Though they might be free, consultations can form the backbone of the customer journey in many businesses. There are so many small details that you need to get from a client to be able to give them the service that they expect precisely, and the consultation is the time where you need to ask for them. Use this time wisely, and make sure that you are fully demonstrating your expertise and professionalism. With a good consultation behind you, you will hopefully be able to secure plenty of projects to keep your business thriving!
Also Read: 8 Ways To Reduce Customer Care Costs