Lessons of a Lifetime: No Unpaid Consulting
As with Practice Quoting, Unpaid Consulting is something you must not do. Unpaid consultants meet with the prospect and work really hard to get the account, only to get a "thanks, but no thanks" from the prospect. Invariably, the prospect decides to stay with their current agent or — worse yet — go with another agency. This, even after the producer pointed out a ton of problems on the prospect's account. Don't let this happen to you!
Of course, they're going to thank you profusely for all the work you did on their behalf and apologize for not giving you their business. And then they're going to use the knowledge you provided to their benefit. For example, maybe their umbrella limits are too low. The unpaid consultant will work up the numbers for them. But often, the customer will turn around and have their current agent do the same thing. That's why you mustn't freely provide your knowledge or share your intellectual capital.
Certainly, you can point out where some of the issues are, but don't try to fix them or offer ways to solve them without getting paid! Your expertise is your most valuable asset. But if you give it away like it's no big deal, the customer won't think it's a big deal, either.
The Author, Roger Sitkins, is the Founder and Chairman of Sitkins International.