Re: Tired of giving out technical advice for free

Subject: Re: Tired of giving out technical advice for free
From: Nora von Gerichten <wlg -at- pacificcoast -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2002 14:43:46 -0800


Can you suggest some polite way for me to reply by saying, "I'm so glad you liked the piece I published. Wouldn't you like to hire me as a consultant so I could feel good about answering your question while also feeding my family?"

This is an eternal problem. Recently I took a client to a funding intermediary for a $300k lease of 100% plus installation (not an unusual situation). I later received an invoice of $1,500 even though we did not go ahead with that source, we found a better deal somewhere else. That situation is like the car salesperson sending a bill for his attempt to sell a car. Crazier still, that intermediary calls me all the time to pick my brains and I have never sent a bill.

I ask myself, and sometimes the person requesting info, "what's in it for me?". If the answer is negative, then I ask them to engage my services.

There are groups and causes that I find worthwhile. I answer their questions freely. As a reward, I have gotten lots of referrals or direct commitment for work that does pay.

Sometimes I give free advice to dangle a carrot of knowledge and skills I have. Sometimes that works, sometimes that ends in non payment. What I really do not like is when an agreed upon fee for services ends in a bounced cheque.

I have friends and colleagues who are very tight with their info to prospective clients and out of the blue enquires. Generally, I end up with more contracts, more diversity, and more interesting projects.

Nora


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References:
Tired of giving out technical advice for free: From: Emily Berk

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