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My Unpaid, Professional Opinion on Unpaid Professional Opinions

My Unpaid, Professional Opinion on Unpaid Professional Opinions

I love my friends. They are brilliant people, and many of them are incredible entrepreneurs. Often as we chat about work and the world, we end of trading thoughts, tips and tricks of the trade – and I LOVE that. A meeting of the minds is always appealing because it is mutually beneficial.

What I don’t love – is when we first meet with a potential client, and THEY want to pick our brains. Quite often in the initial process of gaining a new client we are asked questions like: “If you WERE going to do our PR, how would you pitch this new product?” or “Can you send us your sample pitch along with a few examples of campaigns plans you’ve created?”.

This is the equivalent of saying to a clothing store – “Let’s just say you were going to dress me, what would you put me in? I am going to try it on and walk out of here in your clothing, and I may or may not contact you again to come back and buy them.”

Not very appealing, right?

As a client, I think the better question to ask is, “what are some examples of the results your previous work has garnered?”, but as a business owner, the question comes down to – how to reply politely to the request for examples without losing the potential client.

In our case, I tell them (with a smile of course), “my unpaid professional opinion is that this would be very similar to the work we did with….” and then I fill in the client case study that best fit. I end the conversation with, “I would be thrilled for a chance to create a custom plan for you that would work best for your goals as well once we begin our working relationship together!”

Now we want to know – how do you handle these types of issues with your potential clients?