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Do you have any Questions?

This is always a good place to start—consulting is a vague field to the average person. Therefore, many people might not even realize that they need or could benefit from consulting services. This is your chance to educate them and to show off your skills. If people don’t know what a consultant is or does, how can they know that they need one? It might seem like a simple question to you, an industry expert, but to the average user, it’s a big question that gets huge hits in search engine results.

Explain all the details of what you do, what you don’t do, and give people room to ask more questions if they’d like. This is a great place to encourage people to reach out to you via email, live chat, or another means of communication to ask questions and discuss their specific needs.

First, note that we ask “why”, not “if”—this eliminates the chance for people to think they don’t need a business consultant. Use this question to point out all the perks that come from working with a consultant and help people see what value you have to offer for their business. SMBs, especially, can stand to gain a lot of valuable insight because they may not be as familiar with the consulting industry as others in business.

This question gives you a chance to sell your services and show people all that you can do. It also allows you to inform them of just what a business consultant does.

This is a question on everyone’s list. People like to know prices, even when they don’t realize it’s something that can’t just be quoted outright. Sure, there are “average” rates for consultants, and you can use this area to discuss what your rates are or how much the average business spends on consulting, but you will never be able to give people a locked-in price.

The point here is to be transparent about your pricing and make sure that people understand how you charge more so than what you charge (plus, that’s another question we’ll cover in a minute). Your explanation of the pricing and variables in estimating costs is more valuable than the actual numbers, anyway.

This is a big point of contention in the industry—most people will offer at least a phone call or quick chat without a charge, but some balk at the idea entirely. However, if you do offer some type of free consult to your clients or potential clients, you could gain a lot more business than you might expect. Be sure to explain exactly what you can do for people and how you can assist them, and then discuss what your fees will be if they decide to continue working with you. When you focus on problem-solving more than pricing, so will they.

Carried on from above, this is another common question and a different way of phrasing the good old “how much does it cost” question. Consultants have different price structures and ways of charging for services. Some charge hourly. Others offer services on a per-project basis with pre-determined hours or involvement. Still more may charge per service, per appointment, or in some other fashion.

You need to make sure that people understand how you will charge for the services that you provide. Explain to them how and why you chose this method and how it benefits them (for example, if you do project rates, they save on hourly costs and generally get more for their money).