How to offer a free consultation 

How to offer a free consultation 

Offering free consultations can be a valuable marketing strategy, giving you a chance to connect with potential customers or clients in a personal way. In fact, free consultations can help you form valuable relationships with potential customers, build their trust in you, and even convert interested parties into paying customers.

To make this strategy successful, you’ll need to carefully structure your free consultation process to keep it organized and effective. Don’t be afraid to revise how you handle consultations once you get started and see what works best for your business.

Here are some tips on how to offer a free consultation to introduce your business to potential customers.

Design consultations that work for you

When you start offering consultations, structure them so they work well for your workflow and your work style.

You might find that 15-minute consultations in the middle of your workday offer a welcome break and leave you feeling refreshed. Or you might prefer to schedule all of your consultations together in a single block just once or twice a month. Consider the arrangement that works best for you and makes the best use of your time.

You’ll also want to think about the medium you use for these consultations. Phone calls can be convenient, but a Zoom call allows you to share your screen for a more immersive experience.

Pro Tip

Book consultations and gather client information on any device with a free client consultation form.

Incorporate free consultations into your marketing strategies

A free consultation can be one of your key digital marketing lead magnets. A consultation gives you a chance to engage directly with your target audience, and you have a unique chance to convert warm leads into new clients or customers.

First, you’ll need to drive potential clients to a landing page where they can book a free consultation. You can do this in many ways, whether that’s using social media, email marketing, your website’s SEO content, digital ads, or other lead generation approaches.

Direct your audience to your landing page

Once you’ve established a landing page, set up all of your marketing to lead potential customers to that page. There, you can include all of the essential information about your free consultation offer. You can also offer online consultation signups.

With a platform like Jotform, you can create forms that will give your audience an easy way to sign up for a consultation. Using Jotform’s templates, you can customize a form to gather the precise information you need (like contact information and customer questions) and offer available appointment times for a consultation.

While the form is a practical and essential step in scheduling a consultation, it also has a second important purpose: It requires a small commitment from customers. In the act of filling out a form, customers are expressing their interest and also confirming their commitment to receiving a consultation.

You also might want to include a few questions that require your potential customers to put some extra thought into their responses. This technique not only gives you extra information but also confirms that the leads are truly invested in receiving a consultation.

Highlight the benefits of a consultation

Be sure that you also make the benefits of your free consultation offer clear on your landing page. Leads who arrive on the landing page aren’t necessarily convinced that the consultation will be worth their time, so provide detail about exactly what the consultation will cover. Show them the value that they’ll receive for their time.

Prepare for your initial consultations

The more you prepare for these consultations, the easier they’ll be, especially when you’re just getting started. Having key talking points can help you guide the conversation, and you may find it helpful to develop a template or a process to quickly identify the lead’s concerns or questions and to demonstrate the value that you’re able to bring to the relationship.

While it may be tempting to try to fit in all the information that you’ve planned to share, remember the importance of staying attentive to the lead’s concerns. Be sure that you spend plenty of time listening to the lead and allowing that conversation to guide the direction of your consultation.

Focus on closing

Be prepared with a goal that you want to meet at the end of the consultation, whether that’s getting the lead to sign up for a service, an appointment, or another offer. Having a clear idea of the next step in your marketing process can help you focus on converting your lead.

While you won’t close a sale during every consultation, remember that you’ve still made a valuable connection with a potential customer. Have a thorough marketing plan in place to ensure that you’re properly following up with your leads, so even if you aren’t able to close the deal on the call, you might be able to convert them later on.

A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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