You could argue that giving free advice to prospects is part of the sales process.
By “kicking the ball around” with prospects (i.e., brainstorming and sharing ideas), you’re allowing them to assess your expertise.
But unfortunately, some prospects will gladly spend hours picking your brain. And then never contact you again.
If this becomes a problem, you’ll need to put limits on your free advice. One way to do it is to combine a qualification form with a time-delimited phone call.
You start by requiring new prospects to complete a qualification form, which you can put on the contact page of your website.
Most of the time, prospects who only want to pick your brain won’t bother to fill it out. They’ll simply move on to the next expert who will answer their questions for free.
When a prospect does complete your qualification form (and they look like a good fit), you can offer them a free 30-minute strategy session over the phone.
You’re still providing them with (some) free advice. You’re giving them the opportunity to test you out while also getting the chance to test them out too.
At the same time, you’re putting limits around what you’re giving away for free.
If the prospect still has questions after that, no problem. Suggest a road mapping engagement to scope out their project.
You’ll get paid for your expertise, and they’ll have a clear path to move forward with the project if they should choose to do so.
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