There’s a common fear among consultants and freelancers that if they share ideas with clients before a contract is signed, they’re giving away their IP and not cashing in. That the client will then run away with their million-dollar idea and get a cheaper vendor to implement it or do it in-house instead.
Look, it probably does happen. But if you’re approaching every new client with a measure of distrust, you’re not inviting their trust. And by only focusing your pitch on what you’ve done for someone else, your client has no true insight into what you can do for them. After all, every business and every project is different and should be treated as such.
I’ve not been in this consulting thing for long – a half year or so – but what I’ve found is by sharing my ideas before any quote has been approved, contract signed or blood pact or ritual sacrifice performed, I’ve garnered respect and trust, and ultimately got the gig.
Thing to remember here is the best return on investment (ROI) is rarely obtained by putting in the least possible and hoping for the best. That’s not just from a dollar value of the client but also the idea value of the consultant.
What you’ve done (your experience) is the investment.
What you’ll do (for this client) is the return.
The bottom line
If you’re consistently pitching what you’ve done, you’ll keep doing the same thing and learning little new. I don’t know about you, but that’s not what I got into consulting for.
Oh, while you’re here, a little reminder: If you’re interested in hearing what I could do for your business, drop me a line and let’s catch up.