How do you handle consultations?

HI, all!

Let me just start out by saying that speaking with new and potential clients is my favorite part of web design because I am helping making someone’s dreams come true.

When I first started out, I would do free consultations for as long as the client needed.
However, that started not working out as I would potentially spend up to 2 hours speaking with a client about how to build their website but not close the project deal.

That’s when I decided maybe I should put a time limit on the consultations a little better.
I started limiting free consultations to 60 minutes, and even 30 minutes. This still didn’t help because clients would still want to discuss their project past the time limit, but would not want to schedule a time to continue the conversation further when I mentioned politely that we ran out of time.

The other issue I faced simultaneously was clients being late or not showing up at all to the appointment.
That’s when I decided to start charging for appointments, thinking that would make potential clients respect my time a bit better. And it did. A few clients scheduled appointments and that went well, but now I receive significantly less inquiries for website design because the consultation fees act as a deterrent to contacting my company at all.

So that’s my dilemma. That’s why I want to ask the community:

  1. Do you prefer free or paid consultations?
  2. How do you handle late clients or no-shows?

Thank you so much for your time and guidance. I’m seriously at a loss about what to do!

Warm regards,
Katerina Lescouflair
KGL Design Studios

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Hi Katerina! You brought up some strong points and asked some great questions. I look forward to seeing how other partners approach this matter.

Dear @info81961

Trial and error is the best way to grow a business. Every business is different which is why every business may have a different approach to Client Consultations.

What works for me may not work for others, but let me share …

I offer a 15 min complimentary discovery call (video or phone).

If a person is a no-show 3 times in a row, they get no more complimentary discovery calls. The only way to book an appointment is via a paid booking session.

15 min is usually enough time to figure out whether or not the project is possible, how long the project will take and how much it will cost.

What happens in the conversation counts. Be the first one to introduce yourself, thank them for scheduling with you and remind them what the appointment is for.

Things to remember:

  • 15 minutes to discuss a brief overview of your project

  • The goal is to find out if the project is possible

  • If yes, to find out how long it will take to build

  • Gather enough information to provide a quote

  • The specific of font, color, etc, is a conversation that happens after the project is booked (this is not for the discovery call)

  • Basically you need to find out what they are missing, what they need and if you can help

  • This is not a time to provide customer support or train them on how to make the changes

Sometimes the clients forget this. So it is important to remind them at the very beginning of the call. Again, limit the call to find out what they need created in order to provide them with a quote.

Make sure to space the appointments enough apart so they do not overlap in case they go over their time. (I have made the mistake of ‘squeezing’ people in between appointments ----- this goes terribly wrong because it creates a domino effect of ‘being late’ for the rest of the appointments.)

If a person needs more than 15 min with us, then we offer a project planning session which is charged per hour. A client will always have ‘one more question’, it is your choice to answer ‘one more question’ or kindly remind them that you offer hourly consultations for advice or planning.

“15 minutes” is just the time frame we chose for our business. You can choose whatever time frame works best for you. These consultation calls are essential to building rapport with a client. They take time and practice to ‘perfect’. This is a part of your companies ‘customer service’. And customer service is extremely important in our industry.

I hope this gives you some insight.

Yours Truly,
CQ
www.codequeen.co

P.S. I also offer consulting sessions to Wix Experts :wink:

I offer a free 30-minute consultation to any potential customer–it’s a good way to learn more about each other to determine if we are the best fit for each other professionally. And, it’s a good way to build a relationship.

I am a service user I commented on this because I as a customer sometimes feel very dissatisfied with what I buy to increase my sales traffic by switching to using premium services, but there are no results, and try to ask the experts and ultimately lead to repurchases.

For me who do not understand once about seo, is it better to try to give direction to where to get the best traffic on google or by seo can be explained in advance, unfortunately for me if I have bought premium funds plus paid consultation. Thank you for the time

https://daftarpokervvip.com

This is how I handle mine as well. If you are skilled in communication and how to redirect clients to stay on topic the outcome is better for both of you. I try not to chit chat too much, quick hello’s and I always start with “let’s dig into our consultation shall we” I also offer a 5 minute “warning” and then say " ok lets get into our wrap up and go over what I heard from you…" I follow up my consultations with an email no later than 15minutes after we hang up summarizing the tasks and offering my price quote. I like offering the rpice quote that way, it shows you were listening and followed up quickly.

hope this helps too!

Please send me an email too shannah@avanidigitaldesigns.com . I would be glad to discuss this free of charge with you and get more details in order to provide proper feedback. I know quite a bit about SEO