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"5 Reasons Why Offering Free Consultations Won't Help Experts Sell Their Expensive Product"

Why should preliminary consultations for an expensive product or service be paid? And what are the strategies to increase the likelihood of selling your consultation?

As a rule, selling an expensive product is impossible without prior consultation. But for some reason it is believed that preliminary consultation for such a product should be free. However, a consultation is not just about “chatting” and giving a price. If we take the sphere of a promotion expert or a web designer, then such a consultation involves diving into the problem, assessing the existing situation, be it an existing business or a startup. It is necessary to look at the website, if there is one, social media networks, evaluate the product, niche, competitors, audience. This is a multilateral analysis, this is a separate work. At least this is how I conduct my preliminary consultations before selling my services on a website.

If you are an expert and sell your expensive product through free consultations, then you are probably familiar with the situation when you waste your time and energy, and the client mysteriously disappears. “He/she promised to reply over the weekend, but never wrote...” You start digging in your head, like after the first date: “I probably said something wrong. He/she probably misunderstood me, and in general it would be better if I did a different hairstyle.”

I want to reassure you, it’s not about your hairstyle or what you said or didn’t say. Although, of course, there are many decision-making factors and no one has canceled expertise, neat appearance, clear presentation of thoughts, and simply a friendly tone.



Who most often signs up for free consultations? Well, we all love to get free benefits, but there is a type of people for whom it turns into a passion, these people love to GET EVERYTHING AND ALWAYS FOR FREE! They want to save money on everything, they love to ask for discounts and the most important thing to them is always PRICE, not the VALUE that they can get. Do you think these people will pay you for your expensive product?

BOTTOM LINE: You waste your time on an audience that isn't initially willing to pay.


You conduct dozens of such consultations and free site/Instagram account reviews, but the result is “0” or very little return. You are wasting your time and energy on freeloaders or just onlookers who may not even think about buying, but if it’s free, then why not take it! Such people are not used to paying, they are used to doing everything themselves, even if poorly, or getting everything at the lowest price. They will try to get the best out of you and then simply disappear.

BOTTOM LINE: Constantly giving free consultations may lead to burnout


If free consultations are mostly demanded by the above-described “freeloaders”, who are used to pay minimum price for everything and search for promocodes and discounts will they pay for your expensive product? Of course not! As a result, your self-esteem is low: “I’m probably not selling the right way... I’m a bad expert... and this one disappeared...” But, even if you give them what they need : BIG DISCOUNT, and they pay, this will not lead to anything good. In practice, these people are the most inadequate and most demanding clients. Their requests never end, because according to their vision: “I paid so much, but received so little!” They can make you depressed and significantly reduce your professional self-esteem.

BOTTOM LINE : Dealing with low-profile clients may result in diminished self-esteem and other related complexes.


How often do we encounter the declaration: 'Come in for a free consultation, no strings attached.' Essentially, this suggests telling the client, 'Take your time, shop around for a better deal. Despite investing significant time and effort into you, it's alright if you don't follow through – you don't owe me anything.

BOTTOM LINE: Unlike a free consultation, which doesn't commit you to anything, a paid consultation increases the likelihood of proceeding to purchase the main product. When people pay even a low price for something, they feel a greater sense of commitment.


There are people who like to buy everything expensively, who do not expect or ask for discounts, but buy the best products at the highest price at the very beginning of the season, online courses only with personal support. Offering something like a free consultation to paying clients can be detrimental on multiple fronts. Firstly, it results in a loss of potential revenue, as these clients are willing to pay for the service. Additionally, such tactics can undermine trust in your product or service, suggesting a lack of value and potentially lowering demand.

BOTTOM LINE: Paying clients prioritize value over price, which means they seek out the best options available. Ensure you have sufficient expertise to meet their expectations.


1. Offer consultations conditionally. Provide consultations for free conditionally, linking them to the purchase of the main product. In this model, the consultation fee is waived if the client chooses to proceed with the purchase. This approach ensures that your time is respected and that consultations are prioritized for serious inquiries.

2. Free voice/video message. Instead of a consultation, offer the client a free voice/video message in the preferred messenger, in which you will cover the main points of the topic under discussion in 2-3 minutes. This method saves time and can help the client quickly decide on further actions: to buy a consultation or to proceed directly to the purchasing the main product.

3. Service in exchange for service. For friends or close acquaintances from whom you prefer not to accept payment for a consultation, consider proposing an exchange of services instead. For instance, you could request their assistance with specific tasks aimed at promoting your business, such as tagging a post, sharing a story, referring a friend, writing a review, and so forth. This approach proves particularly beneficial for experts who are just starting out, as it helps them build their portfolio and promote their services.


1. Affordable consultation price: Offering an introductory consultation at a reasonable price acts as a filter. By setting an affordable fee, you attract genuinely interested customers while deterring two types who are unlikely to buy:

  •   Those accustomed to free services

  •   Indecisive clients

This approach ensures that you consult with individuals genuinely interested in future cooperation. They value their time and understand that quality services come at a cost.

2. Demonstrable benefits and value: Clearly outline the benefits of your consultation and its standalone value compared to other experts. By presenting a straightforward breakdown, clients can easily assess the Price-Quality ratio. If your offer aligns with their needs, they'll recognize its value and be more willing to pay.

3. Exclusive Limited-time Offers: Occasionally provide consultations at exclusive rates, but limit them to a short time frame and exclusively to individuals meeting specific criteria. This approach may not resonate with high-profile clients, but it can attract intermediate-level clients who are primed to make a purchase. Promote these offers on social media to drive engagement across platforms.

CONCLUSION: Preliminary consultation is the intermediate sale that will be that first brick of of the house, that very test drive. And unlike a free consultation, which “does not oblige you to anything,” this interimediate sale binds you more tightly, because psychologically, the purchasing process has already begun.

These principles help increase the value of your consultation, both for you and for the client, eliminating the possible negative consequences of free consultations.

If you appreciate my approach and are interested in exploring the potential of creating a professional website where clients eagerly book paid consultations, then I invite you to schedule a 'not free' consultation with me. The consultation fee will be deducted from the final project amount, providing you with a cost-effective opportunity to test all the functionalities firsthand.

Select a convenient date and time, complete a brief questionnaire, and receive a booking confirmation along with a Zoom session link via email. Additionally, you'll receive a reminder 24 hours before our scheduled meeting. Everything is efficiently managed, convenient, and automated.

I welcome any feedback, even if it differs from my perspective. Your insights are valuable as I continue to refine my approach. Despite my recent belief in offering free preliminary consultations, I now understand the importance of valuing expertise and time.

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