No, this isn't a political post. I'm not talking about Washington, DC. Although . . .
As tempting as that topic might be, I'm talking about the "askholes" in your list of prospects. Those who are only there to pick your brain, take your information, and basically use you as a free consultant.
If you are the advisor/consultant you claim to be, you have to believe that it's your ideas, advice, and eventual results that people pay for. And when you deliver valuable ideas, advice, and results, reasonable people expect to pay reasonable compensation.
You would never sit down in your favorite restaurant and expect to be fed for free. Why would someone sitting down in your "restaurant" expect anything different? I don't think they do. Sure, they will take it for free it you give it away, but that's not what they expect.
Don't get me wrong; I believe that demonstrating/sharing value and ideas is a necessary part of the sales process. I strongly believe that even if you never do business with a prospect, you should leave them better educated because of the conversations they had with you.
However, sharing those ideas should be reserved for the legitimate prospects, the groups who know you are interested in possibly having them as clients and who are actively moving forward in your sales process.
When I say "askholes" I'm talking about those prospects who keep going to lunch, asking your opinions, coming to you for advice, but never take the next step to becoming a client.
You need to be paid for your time. One way is for the prospect to move forward and eventually pay you as their broker. Another way is for them to just pay you as a consultant, to write you a check for your advice and ideas.
Don't think they will pay for your time?
One of our member agencies recently proved they will. She was talking to a prospect who was wanting her help with ACA compliance. She described the solution she offered for which she charges $5000. His response, "I'm not sure I'm ready for, or need, that, but how much would it cost for me to pick your brain for an hour?" Without hesitation she replied, "$1000". To which he replied, "Great, when can you be here?"
So, get rid of the askholes. Not only are they a waste of your time, but they are also taking you away from your legitimate prospects.
Photo by Mike Baird.