If you’re going to use introductory sessions at all, you’ll have to decide “free vs fee.” In other words, will you offer complimentary sessions, or charge for your initial appointment? If you have a choice between free or paid sessions, all other things being equal, no doubt you’d choose paid. After all, who doesn’t enjoy being paid?
Does it stand to reason, then, that it’s always best to be paid? After all, there are big advantages to mastering the skill of paid introductory sessions, such as higher conversion rates, better filtering and qualifying of prospects, greater cashflow, and an increased lifetime value of each client.
Perhaps then, you should completely abandon the idea of offering free introductory sessions or complimentary consultations. Not necessarily! Just as you wouldn’t want a car with only one gear, a one-size-fits-all-approach is also not going to fit for all service professionals, industries, situations, or prospective clients.
So, how do you decide which approach is best for you?
There are fundamentals and nuances to being successful with paid introductory sessions. There’s a learning curve, and depending on where you are in that learning curve, it might make sense for you not to charge. Although I can promise that if you become proficient at offering paid sessions, you’ll be even more effective with your free sessions!
There are also circumstantial situations where it simply makes more sense to approach clients with a different offer or process than a paid introductory session. Just like you need a lower gear for a hill, or a higher gear to cruise the freeway, you’ll want to consider the situation to determine the best approach.
Here are common situations and circumstances in which you should not charge for an introductory session: [Read more…]