Is There Such A Thing As A “Complimentary Consultation?” And Does “Complimentary” Mean Free?

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Free Complimentary Consultations-Advantages:

Providing a complimentary consultation is a huge advantage  not only to the company offering this service but to the client as well. In the industry of Home Improvement/Home Maintenance Services, complimentary consultations are viewed favorably by our customers.  In most cases the general public is always looking for a bargain and at the best price possible for any product or service offered. Satisfied clients with a particular service or product  will spread the word about the incredible value they received. This could result in an increase in sales for any company. By implementing an offer as simple as a complimentary consultation,  you could see a potential  increase in the number of  interested prospects  contacting Home Improvement/Maintenance Services in search of a good deal. This could be even more beneficial than positive word of mouth from satisfied clients.

Free Complimentary Consultations-Disadvantages:

The advantages of providing free consultations must be weighed against the disadvantages. First, the potential client seeking a complimentary consultation may be Renovation or Home Improvement shopping—contacting many  contractors and meeting with them to determine who would be the best fit or perhaps the “cheapest”. Even if the contractor devotes substantial time to the complimentary consultation and answers all of the potential client’s questions, the potential client might still comment along the lines of, “I need to think about it, I have 2 more contractors coming to give an estimate—I’ll contact you at a later date.” Beware. Potential clients who look for the “cheapest” quote  may in fact not be getting the best deal in the end.  In these cases, the  contractor will not recoup the lost income for time spent during the free consultation.

Conclusion:

Remember, the commodity that contractors  sell is experience and knowledge—their opinion and expertise regarding a client’s project. Contractors  who offer complimentary consultations are giving away their commodity to that potential client.

And even if the complimentary  consultation does result in a new client, it might not be the type of client that the contractor wants. All Home Improvement and Home Maintenance Organizations want their companies to succeed  and make a profit. If a client contacts a contractor  based on the complimentary consultation, will the client be willing to pay for the contractors future work and time? And if the client is willing to pay for the initial retainer fee, will the client pay fees exceeding that retainer? These questions are difficult to answer—but contractors need to consider them all the same.

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