One of the most common conversations I have with professions is regarding when should they begin to get paid for what they do as compared to what should be considered part of the sales process.
I usually begin my response by showing this video.
I think the answer to the question of when should I start getting paid is another question, “When do you begin to provide value?” Let me give a very specific example.
Many professionals will provide a free needs analysis. OK, fair enough, but what if the prospective customer has not developed a complete list of needs. Should the professional give away an engagement in which they help a customer develop such a list? Isn’t that providing value? I believe it is.
So here is my new answer to this imponderable question: When you are confronted with a prospect who thinks that the needs analysis should be free (i.e., part of the sales process), I would say, “Fine, the analysis of your needs will be free, however, we charge a fee of $X to develop a needs assessment.”