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YES I CAN Help You AND NO You Can’t Pick My Brains For A Coffee!

Nowadays, we can all buy our own coffee.

Since marketing my services over the last month or so I have been inundated with work AND offers of coffee/lunch for a chat/ picking my brains/ sharing my thoughts.

Here’s 1o reasons why I am politely saying ‘No’ and if you’d like to be a credible consultant, YOU MUST SAY ‘NO’ TOO!

I was inspired to write this article after reading an awesome blog post from Adrienne Graham for Forbes Magazine’s online blog.

I wanted to harness this perspective to enhance our relationship and also give a voice to other entrepreneurs who ‘sell their time’ so that they can just ‘share’ this article without losing their clients.

Whilst my story is different from anyone with expertise, the essentials are always the same.

Time is cheap, if you are a corporate executive and your company salary always covers yours, plus bonuses plus overtime. Time can also be cheap if you have no product, service or value to offer anyone.

The biggest issue is most of us (until reading this article) don’t realize that time is the most precious commodity we have and when mixed with the giving of information (as a consultant) we are both our biggest advocate and enemy depending on how we position ourselves.

Read on and I will explain…

Actually, BEFORE you read the rest of this post, YOU MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO.

Consultants will understand why immediately, and my potential clients will have 99% of their questions answered…

1) Get An Expert In And Don’t Cut Corners

I am a lousy plumber.

Guess what? I don’t care.

I pay for good to great plumbers to come in and fix my pipes.

I also pay for electricians, painters, carpenters, car repairs etc etc etc. I also pay them full price because I want to hold them accountable if they do a lousy job. I DON’T want to learn their job. My hourly rate as a speaker is about $6,000. My plumber may charge $150 per hour.

I fix companies.

He fixes leaks in my kitchen.

My time is better spent looking for more speaking events, consultation contracts and networking opportunities than it is standing over the plumber to see  if I can save $50 by doing some of the work myself next time.

Get an expert in, pay them and let them do their stuff.

End of story.

2) You Want The Best Use Of Their Time

I have somewhere else to be. It’s true.

I work because

a) I love what I do.

b) I am one of the best in the world at what I do (helping industry experts to find their voice and  brand themselves both online and offline).

c) The money I get paid helps me to make a better life for my beautiful wife Azizah and our gorgeous baby daughter Maya.

The reason why I work - Azizah and Maya Crane

I am not short of friends, nor am I unable to buy my own lunch or coffee. It’s 100% in my interests to give you my very best service, get paid what I deserve and leave you with an amazing experience and a million times better off than before you first met me.

When you start raving about how amazing my work was, you will create referrals and automatically start my phone ringing with new excited clients.

I will do everything in my power to give you everything you need for the success you want.

I also know how precious your time is too.

Neither of us wants to re-edit, rethink, reschedule or regret. A truly great consultant will give you a hard time if you don’t know this and will also fight ferociously to make sure that your time is respected by others too.

3) Look For The Evidence And Check The Calibre Of The Consultant

Nobody wants to go to a horse race and put their money on a donkey. Neither do you. Any consultant worth their while has evidence from plenty of satisfied customers that what they do will rock your world.

Check out a few of my testimonials:

4) They Must Be Able To Ease Your Pain

When you pay for anything there is a simple exchange of energy, money, product or services. It must balance from both sides.

They must be able to:

a) Save you time.

b) Save you energy.

c) Lift most of your burden (learning a skill, producing a product, contacting relevant suppliers etc).

d) Give you a substantial return on investment.

Money, like time or energy is a very important currency. Whilst not every transaction brings back instant cash, it must leave you free to concentrate on finding better ways to use your time.

Your Time Is Everything

The pain must go away. Yours NOT theirs.

5)  There May Be Freebies  Too

I have written hundreds of articles, made dozens of videos and finished 4 books on self-improvement.

Many of my products are free because

a) They introduce people to my brand with zero financial barrier to entry.

b) They solve a problem remotely that otherwise would take me valuable time to fix.

c) They allow me to spend more time working with the people who value my work enough to actually pay for my best materials AND me.

When you read my blogs or watch my videos you can see how much evidence is available to prove that I can really help you when we work together. That’s why I created it.

Nowadays information is almost 100% free. Google any subject and you’ll find the suggested answers. The truth is you’ll only find the best related key words to the phrase you entered. You can then spend days sifting through enough clutter that you’d wished you’d hired an expert in the first place.

Google is the world’s biggest search engine.

You Tube comes next.

More people go to websites through recommendations of friends on Facebook than either of the above.

It's ALL out there FOR FREE!!!

A friend isn’t an expert. Their advice is free because they don’t promise accountability. I do.

6) Someone Has To Invest To Become An Expert

Malcolm Gladwell in his groundbreaking book ‘The Outliers’ stated that talent is the least likely factor involved in someone’s success. Above that are persistence and practice. Ruthless, disciplined and accountable practice. You have to be stretched at practice so it’s always difficult and many times you don’t get the results you want.

You also need to spend 10,000 hours practicing your craft before you can be anywhere near an expert.

Bill Gates worked on computers from the age of 13.

The Beatles spent the required time working 10 hour shifts for 3 year in Hamburg.

David Beckham was the only kid in the park practicing his spot kicks from his early childhood.

Similarly, I have spent the last 3 years learning internet marketing, over 20 years before that I was helping individuals and businesses to find their voice too. Since I began my current line of work, I have invested over $100,000 USD in my education (including BBC journalism training) and amassed a network of the highest calibre experts and practitioners on and off the internet.

How much have YOU invested in YOUR education?

My CV reads like no other in my niche.

You Are In Great Company.

I believe that what I know as a life-long learner will be able to change your life within 15 minutes of talking business. Make it an hour and we will have a road map for  success. Extend that to 90 hours and you will call a halt because you need to start taking action immediately rather that forget anything we’ve discussed.

Nowadays, we can all buy our own coffee.

If you could promise me that, how would you feel if I offered YOU a coffee and a sandwich in return?

7) You Don’t Pay For Someone’s Time

There is a very simple equation for how you, me or anyone else gets paid.

It’s not time spent, sweat poured or dollars for your nice smile, six-pack stomach or sexy perfume.

You get paid because of 2 factors:

a) The job you do.

b) How easily you can be replaced by someone who can do the same job cheaper.

That’s it.

This is the reason why certain jobs drain every ounce of energy for lousy pay and others give specialists the ability to name their price, take long holidays and drive the best car in the parking lot.

Remember this fact. It’s not personal.

It’s just life. Communism didn’t work because some people are more equal than  others.

How many times can you afford to cut corners and risk losing everything because you didnt want to pay the full price?

Good luck with the repairs.

8) Just Because It’s Information Does’nt Make It Worthless

When James Bond ends up fighting for his life because of a micro film or Ethan Hunt sees his boss swap sides for cash they will do anything to prevent that vital information getting into the wrong hands. Even kill.

Information IS Power.

Similarly, the ‘other side’ will pay anything to set their beady eyes or get their clammy hands on that information (forgive the dramatic effect).

The amount of information readily available on the internet on any subject is doubling almost daily, but so is the mis-information and the clutter. When someone can decipher the coding, laser focus your targeting and bring everything into the right and relevant perspective THAT information is worth paying for.

9) People Don’t Value Free

When you give something for free, people are grateful but will never pay for it the next time you meet. They will probably tell others about the great service you provided gratis and then they won’t want to pay either. If you run a charity, this can be a big issue.

‘Not for profit’ organization means that bills still need to get paid. Many charity organizers also have a full time job that pays THEIR bills, once that is taken care of, their time is free and that’s what gets unpaid.

You can’t reset free.

The Life Design Systems

A nominal fee (not a sandwich) means that the client takes you seriously and will also start the subconscious process of  valuing your time and paying for it.

10) The Oxygen Mask Lesson

You have a lot to give the world. That’s why you are in the business of helping others, but take a hint from the universal message given at the beginning of every flight. If the oxygen mask pops out, tend to yourself BEFORE looking after any of your dependents. Simply put, if YOU pass out, your kids may not be strong enough to carry you from a burning plane.

Your customers want you to be successful and in business for a long long time. If your stuff didn’t work, they wouldn’t want to talk to you. Remember that when you prioritize how the potential cash sitting on your table could best be spent. Allowing you to study and get better at when you do because you are not desperate to cover bills, or back in the pocket of your client to give to other suppliers who don’t work for free and have a simple ‘Don’t pay – Don’t get it’ policy.

McDonald’s won’t give you an IOU no matter how hungry you get, or how much you promise to bring other customers in next time!

So What Do You Do To Avoid Being Taken For Granted?

1) Send them this article.

2) Chat on the phone instead.

3) Offer to barter information(what can they offer you).

4) Don’t give all those solutions at the meeting (just teasers).

5) Tell a story about a ‘hypothetical friend who gave away all their information for free and went out of business.

6) Send them some free information online.

7) Show them your testimonials/qualifications.

8) Make them promise not to talk work during your lunch break.

9) Bring a friend.

10) Limit the time of the meeting.




Who Values My Time Now?



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