If you're not careful, your IT sales call can become a very long, drawn out free consultation. Not really what we're going for here. So, how do you avoid it? First, realize why you're there – to determine whether there's good chemistry and the possibility of a future... hmmm, sounds kind of like a date, and in some ways, it is.
You want to make sure that you see eye-to-eye with this client and that your company could successfully work with them. If they're annoying and demanding from the start, you probably just want to walk away. Most likely this company will be more trouble than they're worth.
Usually you'll want to spend about an hour getting to know the company and their needs. At that point, or sooner depending on the situation, you want to lead the discussion toward hiring your company to complete an IT audit or technology assessment. It can be uncomfortable at first, but you have to make this move in order to gain paying clients.
You should know before ever going in what you're going to try to sell them based on previous discussions. If you feel that there's a legitimate opportunity for a $50,000 to $100,000 project, then you may want to spend more than an hour. If you're going to end up spending all day, though, be sure you've signed a contract.
Learn more about moving from fee to free in the full article (link above).
Posted by Computer Consulting 101