Business Development Training: Services reaching Maturity?

Are you seeing more competition for each engagement?
Is it harder for you to get a decent price for your services?
Are the Purchasing Dept involved in getting you to drop your price?
Are longtime clients putting out RFPs for “your” work?

Maybe it’s time to recognise that your services have reached the Maturity stage or commodity stage of their Cycle.  It will get more and more difficult to make money on that particular work.
You’ll begin to see lower-cost competitors, off-shoring, or begin to lose to in-house teams as the mystery goes out of your services. The symptoms above are reliable indicators that it’s time to begin reducing your dependence on that work and find new problems to solve

One of the big factors that causes price pressure in mature categories is decreased risk. The first time a company tackles a problem the perceived risk is high. They want to get it done right, and quickly, so they’re less sensitive to cost and place greater value on external expertise as a way to reduce risk.

After something has been done a number of times, the risk of getting it done right goes way down, so the perceived value of the service declines,and the client no longer feel the need to pay expensive external consultants.

When risk and business impact declines, so does your access to key people. While the top people pay attention to unfamiliar matters with potentially high stakes, once the risk goes down, they delegate downward and move on to emerging issues that have greater risk and impact. They’ll still like and respect you, but it you’re associated with issues that are no longer relevant to them, neither are you. This is why when your problem matures, you need to be associated with a different business problem within the same industry.

To avoid suddenly realizing that you’re in a tough spot such as described in the opening paragraph, become an industry expert, knowledgeable about your clients. Challenges and opportunities, and keep yourself well informed so you can recognize the early signs that the problem that drives demand for your service is maturing and declining in significance. If you know what’s going on in the industry, you’ll know which problems to shift your association toward.

Always invest in emerging issues, preferably in robust, growing industries.

Rainmaker Training ; A Cross-Selling Workshop?

Can the people across your company describe what you do for your customers?  

Can they really describe it to your satisfaction?
Could their descriptions motivate a client to ask for more information on the service?

Try these workshops with your team as a test.

It helps if your cross-selling workshop facilitator has had some exposure to Sales and Marketing concepts and References /Case Studies.
If you need help You can email us on  info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

Conversational Elevator Pitch and Value Propositions

This workshop is designed to get your teams to articulate what benefits you and your people deliver to your clients.
First you go around the room explaining that you are the Chief Executive of one of your major clients.
Shake people’s hand and say ” Hi I’m John Smith. I’m Chief Executive here. Who are you and what do you do around here?”

We suggest that you try this now (go on stand up from your desk now! )
Go and see what your team actually say!!

Common things we hear are….

  • I’m a Q.S (that’s a Quantity Surveyor for the uninitiated)
  • I’m an Enterprise Solutions Architect…  ? Well if we ever need one we’ll ask!
  • A few use technical jargon loaded statements that are unintelligible to the non expert
  • Others give a detailed description of the project that they are working on and the people they work with
  • Or One Wag just said …”Do you know where the loos are here?”

If your people give you sensible short and succinct answers then stop now.
There’s really little to be gained by continuing ..
HOWEVER if they can’t deliver that kind of message then carry-on

Step 1. What are the long / the medium / the short answers?

  • Introduce the team to the 5 areas of Business Benefits
  • Get them to describe something that you and your team do that delivers …
    1. An ability for your client to increase their revenues
    2. An ability to reduce their costs per transaction
    3. Increases their employee productivity
    4. Allows them to increase their customer satisfaction
    5. Makes the business compliant with one or more laws of the land
  • Have the teams connect what you do to one or more of these benefit areas
  • Get them to come up with a 5 or 6 sentence answer to the above CEO’s question
  • Get them to shorten it and make it punchy
  • Next job is to have a 2 sentence summary that still mentions major benefits

Expect to see people deliver sentences that are full of techno-speak. Disallow those
However you’ll see people come up with benefit connections you hadn’t seen.
You might also see that the team does not know what benefits you bring to your clients at all! 
You might also see that given some of your answers that your marketing collateral does not make benefit statements at all!! ( We did only find that in one case)

You should now have your Elevator Pitch and you should make sure everyone in the company can say it.

Step 2: Describing your Value Propositions to parts of your client decision making unit (DMU)

  • Ask each team to describe the various players in the typical DMU for their customer
  • Ask ”What do these people worry about?
    • Senior Executives  (MD, FD, ITD, Engineering):
    • These??  Courts / Cash / Customers / Competition / Competency
    •  Middle Management (Business, Financial, Technical)
    • Specialists (Business, Financial, Technical)
  • Have them describe your value proposition to each category and segment
  • Capture and share the output with the team
  • Get the team to own sharing stories on clients

If this sounds like something you could see working in your team…

If you’d like us to act as a Cross-Selling workshop facilitator and run this workshop for you

Call us or email us info@rainmaker-coaching.co.uk

 

Rainmaking Training : Preparing for the initial meeting

Here are my 6 Steps to have a Great First Appointment with a new Prospect:

We do cover this and other topics on our sales training and Rainmaking Training workshops

Your first step is to establish with your prospect that this is what we call an “All Ears” meeting.
In that we will be “All Ears” whist you tell us about , you , your business and your issues.

1. This is a fact finding trip
Explain that you are on a fact finding mission with the prospect.
Yes, you have a service that may improve their business.
However you need to learn more about them and their business in order to know for sure and to make any suggestions or recommendations.

2. Agree an outcome for the meeting with them …
You should have sent an email with an outline agenda to them to cement the meeting in their diary.
Go through that quickly with them if you did.
If not, then agree early on what you want to cover with the prospect and ideally how long it will take.
Say something like “I think this meeting wil take about 45 minutes of your time. Is that ok?
How about we jointly conclude at the end of the meeting whether it’s worth taking a next step together or not?”

3.Get down to business quickly.
Please do talk about the weather and traffic and do accept a drink if it’s offered.
Some small talk can develop a little rapport and start to develop a relationship with the prospect and putting them at ease.
However do keep it to a minimum.
Respect their time and yours.

4.Don’t talk about you and your solution too soon.
(See also the blog on the trap door question)
The purpose of this meeting is to learn more about your prospect’s business.
Then you can determine the best solution for them and if it’s what you do at all.

5. Prepare your questions:
The questions you ask need to yield the answers you need. Poor questions will not do that.
With good questions you can and will control the meeting and get your prospect talking and you listening.
You can use thought provoking questions to challenge the thinking of your prospects.
You can also demonstrate by good questions that you have knowledge and interest in their business.
Over time write down the questions that work for you and build a library for yourself that you refer to before key appointments.

6. Have a conversation:
Having a clear goal and outcome for the meeting is great…
However please have a conversation with a fellow human being.
Don’t make it an interrogation of a robot.
Srike a balance between asking questions and putting your prospect at ease.
Use a conversational tone.

If you can do these 6 steps I think you will have a great first sales appointment

You might also like our appointment Planning guide . It’s FREE to download Simple Rainmaker meeting Planner
T
ry it out the next time you meet a new prospect. See if it helps

Let us know what you think of it. How do you plan your initial meetings. info@rainmaker-caching.co.uk

Business Development Training: Do you have an outcome and plan in mind?

Vision without Action is a Dream
Action without a Vision is a Nightmare

I think lots of business development actions I hear of seem to be doing something but with no clear purpose or plan.
For me they fall into the Nightmare category.

Often in the context of business development people say things like
“I’m having lunch with…”
“I’m writing an article about…”
“I’m speaking at…”
“I’m going to this networking event”.

However they often don’t consider what’s the goal? And What’s the return on investment? is that activity for its own sake? Is it TAMO management (Then A Miracle Occurs) and business is generated.
We should really ask and “Then what? What happens next”?  Can we define a credible sequence of events that may lead to a desirable outcome?.

Here’s an example.

“I’m going to the XXYZZ Conference this November in Birmingham.”

With the conference fee, travel expense, and four days out of the office, that’s a pretty significant investment. Let’s ask what’s your goal for the event?

“My goals are to
1. Associate myself with the problem of the industry talent shortages.
2. I also want to find six people who are willing to discuss the topic in more depth with me after the event.”

What will you do between now and November to raise the odds of achieving those goals and justifying your investment?

“I’ll email my industry contacts to see how many are attending.
I’ll try to arrange to see them at a specific time/place during the event.
For those unable or unwilling to commit to that now, I’ll exchange contact details
and get permission to contact them after the event.”

Then what?

“I’ll develop a profile of the size and type of companies, and the key stakeholders within them, for whom my big enough to invest problem is likely important. ‘I’ll scan name badges looking for appropriate titles and appropriate companies; no match, no chat. I’m not networking; I’m hunting for prospects. After a minute or so of their response, I’ll graciously say I don’t want to monopolize their attention, and ask if it makes sense for us to continue the conversation after we return from the event.”

Then what?
“When I get home, I’ll send ‘follow up’ emails, reminding them of our topical discussion and that they thought it made sense to pick up the thread this week, and ask when it would be convenient to do so.”

Then what?
“During that discussion, after drilling down into the industry-specific topic, I’ll transition to exploring their company-specific version of it. If they acknowledge having the problem, or likely being subject to it before too long, I’ll learn the Cost of Doing Nothing. Assuming it’s significant, I’ll have confirmed that this is a legitimate sales opportunity. I’ll then begin the stakeholder alignment process to identify the core decision group and logical internal champion.”

That’s what I mean by having thought the first action all the way through to the desired outcome.
Will it play out like this?
Maybe, maybe not, but it certainly could play out exactly like this.
The point is that you’re no longer hoping for the best, but are now applying a considered strategy that requires only reasonably predictable responses to succeed.
At a large multi-day event, you should easily be able to come home with six legitimate prospects — which was your measurable goal.

The “then what” discipline isn’t just for major events and investments like conferences or trade shows.
You should do it for everything.
“I’m going to have lunch with Steve Jones.” Then what? Or, “I’m going to write an article for Computer News.
” Ok, then what? Or, “We’re meeting with CIO at XYZCo.” Then what?
If you can’t envision a sequence that results in getting what you want, the odds of it happening are miniscule.

Sales Training : Why? Why Now? Why You?

I’ve spent many days in Sales Training sessions where the usually very enthusiastic sales trainer
has absolutely insisted that in all major sales you have to meet the M.A.N.

For the uninitiated that does not necessarily mean a male person merely the person
male or female with the Money, Authority (to buy) and the Need . Hence M.A.N.

The trainers are right. When you can, you must meet the M.A.N.

However you now see a caveat to that from me and that’s the “When you can”.

Sometimes in large and medium sized companies the MAN does not want to see you.
Sometimes the people you are dealing with are a little frightened of her themselves and
they may not be sufficiently comfortable with you and your colleagues (you are after all Salespeople!!) to introduce you all to the MAN.

If the MAN’s door isn’t open and you can’t see her,  you now have three alternatives.

  1. Qualify the opportunity out because you will never meet the MAN
  2. Risk making yourself unpopular with your contacts and going straight to the MAN.
  3. Delegating responsibility to your contact and assisting them to sell internally.

 

I have never personally gone for the first option.
Perhaps my sales funnel has never been full enough of prospects you say,
and I have only on a few occasions tried the second option with mixed results.

That therefore leaves us option 3.

If we are going to go for that option we do need to be careful with our assumptions here.
There are many dangerous assumptions that we can make here and they’ll all get us nowhere.

  1. That your prospects have a robust process of building a business case for doing anything different.
    This could be like buying a new product or outsourcing a service or whatever your company does.
  2. That your prospects have a method or criteria for choosing between possible suppliers
  3. That the person you are working with in your prospect is a decent SALES person.
  4. That the person you are spending time with knows the buying process and it’s people

That means that we can take option 3 but we need to do it professionally.
We need to DELEGATE responsibility not ABDICATE responsibility.
Let me explain what I mean.

Abdicating responsibility would be to send a boiler plate proposal that talks about us and not them.
Adding the standard sales blurb about our solutions in general not specifics and a quotation.
Then we can follow up with a phone call or an email a week until we think that they might now be thinking of us as stalkers not sales people…
That would be ABDICATING responsibility …

DELEGATING responsibility to our contact is very different and we make the following assumptions

  1. Assume that they have NOT built a business case for buying your product or service or anything like it.
    This means that you will have to build a business case using their numbers, which you will have to help to dig out,
    for both potential costs and potential business benefits.
    This exercise will have to answer the WHY? And The WHY NOW? questions
    A cynical and suspicious Finance Director, who will be part of the decision making process
    somewhere along the lines, will want these answered.
  2. Assume that the person we are working with is NOT a sales person.
    They have never been on a sales training workshop and may not have presented their ideas before.
    That means we need to give them a PowerPoint based presentation not a WORD document
    This will be more useful if they are going to present their idea to someone.
    Your quotation is important but the quantified benefits are much more important and the references need to be in there too.
    You need to ask your contact to find out what the buying process is and who is involved.
    Tailoring the presentation that your contact will make to make sure the messages resonate with all in the process will exercise your sales skills.
  3. Assume this presentation must also have enough detail on WHY YOU?
    to make it obvious to an uninvolved person that you are the right choice.
    Probably best to use their logos on the slide deck rather than make it in your corporate colours that could appear biased ?

A final thought … If marketing knew that this was how the majority of your sales completed would they build you some different tools to use on your journey with the prospects??

Sales Training – Rainmaking: Is it a Feature or a Benefit? How do you know?#1

Is it a Feature or a Benefit? How do you know ?

This came up again last week in a Sales Training workshop.
This time to a group of experienced business advisors.
Mostly Grey-Hairs, like me ?

We were on the Workshop session called Building your Compelling Business case…

There was lots of push back voiced as
“You don’t understand”
“People buy from people”
“They’ve got to trust you to go on the journey with them”
“It’s not just about the numbers”
“You can’t ask these kind of questions because they won’t know the answers” …

I have to say that for most of it I did say that I was in “Violent Agreement” …

However I did stand my ground and we agreed that at some point in the buying selling process that there is a “Weigh-In”
In the red corner is the COSTS AND RISKS to the business of going ahead with the project.
In the blue corner there are the BENEFITS to the business of going ahead…

Our job, I would suggest, is to help them and us to QUICKLY assess whether the Blue outweighs the Red…

If the Red outweighs the Blue then we need to move on quickly.
Why? Because unless TAMO selling is your trade (Then A Miracle Occured) your chances of success are low.
You will need to find a new prospect because this one won’t give you the deal you seek.

A little on Features VS Benefits
Working definitions…
A feature is a fact, detail, or description about your services.
A benefit is the positive result your client achieves from working with you.

Simple? Hmmmm Sometimes features sound suspiciously like benefits.

A few examples:
An IT consultant: He says “I help small businesses that are losing time and money due to computer problems.”
Sounds like a benefit. Looks like a benefit. It has money and time in the sentance..
Ahhhh NO it’s actually just a description of the consultant’s target market: businesses with computer problems.
That’s a feature of the consultant’s business.

A graphic designer: “I produce creative and attractive logos, business cards, and brochures.”
Should be obvious. It’s describing a feature…

A management consultant says “We conduct Strategy Planning Workshops using the Rainmaker Accelerate Process”
Describing the process they will use rather than the results is often a trap fallen into by services focused people …
Sorry again, this is a feature.

Is there ever a time to talk about features?
Certainly. Describing features can help you attract the right clients and let them know you have what they are seeking.
A copywriter who specializes in direct mail and ad copy should say so to distinguish himself from someone who writes primarily for websites and brochures.
An accountant who primarily serves business clients rather than individuals should make that clear.
But once you’ve covered the basics of who you serve and what you provide, it’s time to tell your prospects what they’ll get from working with you.

Ok Ok tell me then what is a benefit?
I believe that a Benefit can only come in 5 forms and answers these questions…

1. To what extent does what you do result in your client growing their revenues?
Finding new markets?
Getting to market quicker?
Getting to more prospects sooner?

2. By how much does what you do typically result in your client reducing their cost per transaction?
(Their costs may go up but their costs of processing an order etc should decrease)
Could they get more use out their assets?
Can they produce more with less effort?

3. In what way does what you do typically increase your clients employees productivity and engagement in the business
Can their employees do things faster (Pen vs Computer?)
What processes can be automated / Done away with?

4. In what way does what you will do with your client enable them to satisfy the needs of their clients?
Happier employees deliver better service to clients who become loyal and buy more at a lower cost of sales…

5. How do you enable your client to be compliant with the law of the land / Standards in place at the time?
Sarbannes-Oxley in the accounting world.
Disability access to buildings in offices

Don’t miss next times exciting episode when we give you a real example of a case of Benefits….

Sales Training – Rainmaking: Cross-selling is a major challenge for many companies.

Cross-selling is a major challenge for many companies.

Bringing in new customers is expensive.
According to research by Bain & Company, it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer.

So why do so many companies still have untapped opportunities for growing existing accounts

and yet they find capturing those opportunities so difficult

and  What is it that the successful cross-sellers do differently?

Here are our views..

1. Asking more Questions than their Competitors

Giving key people good sets of questions that will uncover opportunities
This rather than trying to get them to learn ALL about YOUR many services and their respective benefits
By doing this you force your team to be Interested in your clients businesses
This will feel really great for your clients
Your team will uncover buyers’ needs and drive demand for your existing services offerings.
After all there is No point asking a question about a service you don’t offer.
The most successful companies at cross-selling know where they provide value.
They discover what the customers issues are and they by asking questions create opportunities to connect the two.

2. Develop Strong Relationships up and down and across your clients organisation

Have objectives for account team members that measure how many relationships they’ve established
Viewing relationships as “our company to their organisation” as well as “me to my client.”
Develop deep relationships with their customers. That way when someone leaves the business still flows.
Your team are viewed by the clients as essential, Trusted and the “GoTo” people.

3. Have the Right Team and add to it if opportunities emerge

Once you discover an opportunity you need a great process for co-creating value with customers:
Successful Cross-sellers quickly assemble the right players on their team and work collaboratively with the client to construct new ways of delivering value.
High performers are much more likely to cite “creating team-based approaches” as effective for growing accounts.

4. Use Account Management Processes and Planning Tools

Having an effective strategic account planning tool and process is essential.
Develop the plan , execute the plan, review the plan and learn and repeat

5. Develop both Account Management Skills and Sales Skills

You will need strong sales skills somewhere on the team to be able to close the opportunities you create or your process and plan may fail

For many companies trying to adopt this approach may well mean an overhaul of culture and processes…

Maybe that’s perhaps why companies find cross selling so hard.
What do you think?

 

Sales Training – Rainmaking : Handling the Price Objection (and others)

Handling the Price Objection (and others)

“A person’s worth in this world is estimated according to the value they put on themselves.” Jean De La Bruyere

or if you prefer “If you really do put a small value upon yourself,
rest assured that the world will not raise your price”- Anonymous

“Your fees are just too high”
or  “We have an offer from someone who will do it for less”
or “I don’t see why I have to pay all that money just to have you create a plan”

When we hear those things said…How many of us try simply to lower our fees to get the work?
Especially if we are selling ourselves to deliver the service

However once we lowering our fees for a particular piece of work, we have established our value at that lower amount.
As above If we put a low value on our own work, certainly no one else is going to suggest our value is any higher.

Why do so many of us do this?

Let’s take a look at where objections fit into professional services selling.

Often an objection is seen as a sign of rejection.
However most objections can be overcome with a little effort.

Objections signal usually one thing.
There’s some kind of barrier to overcome in the mind of your prospective client.
Other objections, on the other hand, may simply be questions that have yet to be answered.
Others may be a true obstacle that may need further investigation to truly understand and a modification made to the plan

Your objective: Test if the objection is real and if so overcome it somehow:

We suggest that you might use our 4 C’s approach

1. Clarification :
Ask lots of questions to help you really understand the issue being raised
Listen with two ears and one mouth!
Establish that it’s real and not game playing or negotiating.
Explore the implications and knock-on timing effects

2. Communication:
Play back to your prospect (Parrot-Phrase not Paraphrase here!)
Say back to them what is your understanding of what they just said
Revisit the benefits and roi of the project. Do they really believe their numbers?
Reiterate and your track record of delivering

3. Co-Creation:
Work with them to come up with a solution that does not mean you drop your price.
Explore with them different options on payments
Explore different ways of delivering the benefits and changing the price or phasing of payments
Remember you are equal partners on this, you have a business too.
Ask yourself (a bit late) if you dealing with the right level of person here

4. Confirmation:
Get them to say that this solution is acceptable and there are no further objections.

Then … If all of these tactics still don’t work and you still firmly and confidently believe you have fairly priced your products and services…
and provided the solution you know will help the prospect….
And your prospect says “Your fees are too high” . We suggest that you are in the wrong place.
Walk away. Head held high.

Go find someone who does appreciate what you do. And will pay for it.

Business Development Training : ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME

Ever got yourself into the mindset where you ASSUME that the prospect should buy what you’re selling?

Ever found that making that assumption comes back to bite you?

Yes me too…

Because of our biased view we have moved from
“Based on what I know, if I were in their place I would buy”
to
“Therefore, they should buy.”

Two problems here:
1.”What I know” cannot ever be what the prospect knows
2.I can never be the person and know all they know, so any conclusions I make are guesses at best

Often we do this unconsciously and sometimes even with the best of intentions.
If we do not co-create our solutions, by definition, we cannot represent the buyer’s view;

Assuming causes us to begin presenting our service/solution.
We try to get them to agree that we’re right and that they should buy.
Now it’s almost impossible for us to explore what the prospect would welcome discussing with us.
We’ve effectively moved passed that phase in the selling buying process and it’s difficult to go back.
Because whatever we say , the buyer thinks we’ve shown our hand and now want to sell them whatever we said.

Instead, we should always start our business development meeting aiming to investigate with an open mind to learn whether or not the prospect’s circumstances, challenges have sufficient impact to require him to buy any solution, much less our own.
If there’s insufficient need to take action at all, there’s no chance of getting them to make any decision.
And that means there’s no need to take a specific action such as hiring you.

Don’t sell TO that prospect;
Co create a solution (with you at the centre of it) …
Sell WITH them.
And sometimes be prepared to work through a scenario with a client which leads to them not hiring you.
That will do loads for your credibility and they will come back to you when the chance arrives.
However you’ll have to go find another short term prospect.

You’ll find that his help will make all the difference in the world in your rate of success.

Remember: ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME  so don’t do it!

Realise that it’s you who are giving away free consulting

How to avoid giving away free consulting.

If you are a consultant, a consultative sales person or a coach, when you meet a prospect for the first time if you are like many people you are desperately trying to bring value.
You want to show that you know your stuff .
You fall into “consulting mode” and start doing the project for free.
You notice that the client is frantically making notes.
They are asking for the things you are showing to be sent by soft copy.
Then you wake up and realise that you are giving away your precious time by delivering  unpaid consulting.

You may have just stepped over the line.
The line between doing what you need to do to sell your services and giving free consulting.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind when your keeness to impress takes over.
They may keep you on the right side of the line, allow to deliver value to your prospects and help you win the projects you want.

Tip #1 :  Watch out for the client open questions …

Like

“What would you do if you were me?”
“What specific steps would you take in what sequence?”
“How would you suggest we overcome this?”

If you start answering those questions with details, you can find yourself  in free consulting land.
Be ready with an answer to those kind of questions … Try
“Right now I don’t know enough about your situation to answer that question…
However the first step we’d take after you decide to employ us is…”

Tip #2: Resist the urge to solve problems early

No one forces consultants to lay out solutions to a client’s problem.
However we all occasionally feel an urge to solve them.
We really enjoy it. It’s who we are and what we do.
However if we do it now …
We just lost track of the real reason for this conversation and that’s clear and simple.

Is there a here project to work on?

We think our willingness to consult will help win the deal.
We also know that whatever we say it’s premature and probably of little value.

Tip #3 Frame and Reframe the problem but don’t solve

Your client brings a tough problem to you. You have to
1. Understand the issue(s)
2. Define the scope of the effort
3. Frame and Re-frame the project to suit your approach
4. Work out with the client the value of resolving the issue.

Discuss these and you’ll demonstrate your fitness to do the work.
Plus, you’ll uncover everything you need to move the project forward to a proposal.
Do this type of project “Re-framing” at no cost.

If clients presses you for alternatives, say something like,
“I want to work with you on this issue, and I have ideas on how we can proceed.
However I don’t know enough yet to give you answers that you and I would be comfortable are the right ones.”

Frame and Re-frame a project for free.
Offer consulting services for a fee.

Tip #4 Define Boundaries and then Stick to them

Watch out for those clients who call (repeatedly) to get additional, unpaid help with a project.
Flattering isn’t it?  You take  it as a sign of trust and a strong relationship?
Easy to want to pitch in and help?
But you can easily cross that line again.

We suggest that you let your clients know they can contact you any time.
Be ready to take their calls or respond to emails.
Think about putting a time limit on “free help” ..
“30 days after we complete the project you can ask us questions for free”
Resist taking on unpaid work that requires extended effort.
You know the kind of work, editing a report or creating a new document, no matter who asks.
Let your clients know politely but firmly that you’re not able to take on such tasks without starting a paid project.

Most will understand the validity of boundaries.
Those who don’t are probably best left to someone else.

We think you can probably never really eliminate all unpaid consulting from your business.
However a good first step is to recognise what you are doing to create the situations where it thrives.

Good Rainmaking