Question from a consulting partner in the diversity and inclusion space:
A prospect reached out to ask for help, but on our first conversation it became clear that they didn't know what the problem was. Following your advice, I offered them a paid workshop to identify and explore potential issues. Here's what the director told me:
"I get what you're doing, but I'm a little confused about this... Am I paying you to learn about my business?!"
This may happen if the prospect is not familiar with hiring consulting or advisory services. Here's one way to address it:
"No, you're paying me to help you identify what you don't see. When you go to the doctor and he runs several tests to diagnose you, do you ask him to do that for free?"
In case they insist and try to convince you to skip the workshop, stick to your process and treat it like a company policy:
"You don't understand your problem. You don't understand how to solve it. But still, you're telling me how to solve it for you. Does that make sense to you?"
Always charge for your diagnosis. Problem definition is at least as valuable as problem-solving. Good clients will always pay for clarity.