Is Offering a Free Consultation an Effective Marketing Tool?
Talking tech to a non-technical audience. Helping you make sense of our ever-changing technical world.
Free consultations can be a blessing and a curse for businesses. Let’s pretend you’re a lawyer. On the one hand, you don’t want to lose out on potential clients just because they aren’t sure they can afford your services or because the client doesn’t want to pay to ask an attorney a few questions.
On the other hand, offering free consultations to everyone can mean a lot of time spent talking to people who may not hire you in the end. Your time is precious, and you probably want to ensure you get calls from clients you can really help. No one wants to waste time, so you might be wondering whether offering a free consultation will help or hurt your law firm overall.
It Might Depend on Your Business
Again, using lawyers as an example, one must realize that every firm is different, and there are many factors that can play a role in whether they choose to offer free consultations. For instance, if it’s a newer firm, they might want to offer free consultations to build their business. A free consultation can get more people to call their firm, even if the cases won’t generate a lot of revenue at first.
Eventually, clients that are helped will refer other clients and this can grow their business.
Another consideration is that free consultations allow them to choose your clients carefully. Just because they speak with someone in a consultation, doesn’t mean they have to take their case.
Another consideration is the area of law practiced. For example, a Chicago personal injury lawyer might decide to offer free consultations in order to encourage more leads. However, a family lawyer or criminal defense lawyer might not need to do this, as they can generate enough business without the consultation.
Additionally, a traffic ticket lawyer might charge a small fee for a consultation because some clients might not require full service to handle a traffic ticket. They might need one-time legal advice before they head to traffic court on their own.
Free Consultations Can Help Many Business Types
This can translate to other business types, too. For instance, a photographer might consider offering a free consultation so that potential clients can get an idea of the services the photographer offers and the fees associated with different services. They might be turned off by your business if there isn’t enough transparency up front.
Free Consultations Can Be Effective
It’s obviously up to you whether you choose to offer free consultations to your clients, but it can be an effective marketing tool. When a potential client sees the free consultation call to action on your website or ads, this can encourage them to reach out to your business. If there is a fee to speak to you, they are much more likely to hesitate to call.
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