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cpa-barrykaufman
Community Member

One-Hour Consultation Before Contract Accepted

Hi team!

 

A client responded to my hourly rate proposal asking for a one-hour consultation within the next hour.

I agreed and suggested the UpWork video chat.

 

However, I am not sure how this time will be billed. We do not yet have a contract. The project looks to be a solely consultation based.

 

After reading posts in this community, I saw there are suggestions to do a fixed-price one-hour milestone.

 

What should I do?

 

Thanks!

 

Barry

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petra_r
Community Member


Barry K wrote:

Hi team!

 

A client responded to my hourly rate proposal asking for a one-hour consultation within the next hour.

I agreed and suggested the UpWork video chat.


Tell the client you'll be thrilled to consult with them as soon as you get the contract, either as an hourly contract or at $ XX (whatever you decide)

 

Obviously you don't spend an hour of your time for free.

 

And good luck with the Upwork video chat. There is anecdotal evidence that there are people who have managed to make it work, but only a couple of people I know "personally" (in real life or via the forum) seems to have managed to do so.

 

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9 REPLIES 9
petra_r
Community Member


Barry K wrote:

Hi team!

 

A client responded to my hourly rate proposal asking for a one-hour consultation within the next hour.

I agreed and suggested the UpWork video chat.


Tell the client you'll be thrilled to consult with them as soon as you get the contract, either as an hourly contract or at $ XX (whatever you decide)

 

Obviously you don't spend an hour of your time for free.

 

And good luck with the Upwork video chat. There is anecdotal evidence that there are people who have managed to make it work, but only a couple of people I know "personally" (in real life or via the forum) seems to have managed to do so.

 

Thank you, perfect!

Barry:

I have plenty of clients who hire me just to consult with them. There's really nothing to it.

They just set up an hourly contract, and schedule a time to talk with me.

I log time while talking to them, or add manual time. And when the consultation is over, they close the contract.

 

re: "UpWork video chat."

I can't recommend this. If it works for you, that's great. But as far as I have heard from people in the Forum, and based on my own personal experience, this feature usually does not work. Alternatively, try Skype, phone, GoToMeeting, etc.

Thank you for the advice!

 

The video chat works flawlessly.

 

The client just needed the talk for 60 miunutes. One time chat.

re: "The video chat works flawlessly."

 

Thank you for your report!

 

If Upwork's video chat system has been improved upon, I'm glad to hear it.

 

I hope that Upwork will make some announcements if they have been improving this tool, so that users will know.

All,

 

thanks for your question and suggestions, they are very helpful.

My experience is that potential clients have many "what is important" or "how would you solve that".  etc. questions, also during the initial chat. So they get a lot of in-advance knowledge. Also a contract for a chat? So far I've considered these chats/discussion similar to a job interview at a company.

 

Is there a mechanism in which the client gives positive feedback (kudos), even if they do not award the contract?

 

Thanks,

 

Andreas


Andreas H wrote:

All,

 

thanks for your question and suggestions, they are very helpful.

My experience is that potential clients have many "what is important" or "how would you solve that".  etc. questions, also during the initial chat. So they get a lot of in-advance knowledge. Also a contract for a chat? So far I've considered these chats/discussion similar to a job interview at a company.

 

Is there a mechanism in which the client gives positive feedback (kudos), even if they do not award the contract?

 

Thanks,

 

Andreas


If you find it works to give clients an hour of free time ahead of a contract--if they wind up hiring you for a big enough engagement to make it worthwhile to give away the time up front--that's great. For the benefit of inexperienced FLs reading along: I did that 2-3 times, early on, thinking I was demonstrating my consultative value. Each time, the client simply used the convo to learn from me how to execute their project, then disappeared (gone on to hire someone less knowledgeable but less expensive, I'm sure). 

 

No, there is no way for a client to leave any kind of feedback about you except upon closure of a contract.

 

petra_r
Community Member


Andreas H wrote:

 

thanks for your question and suggestions, they are very helpful.

My experience is that potential clients have many "what is important" or "how would you solve that".  etc. questions, also during the initial chat. So they get a lot of in-advance knowledge.


There's a fine line between "a chat" and "a consultation" - it takes experience to tell the difference, and a degree of firmness to draw the line...

 

If you end up giving the client the tools to fix what they need done themselves, or have a cheaper person do it, then what was provided was not an interview or a chat, it was a consultation.

 


Andreas H wrote:

Also a contract for a chat? So far I've considered these chats/discussion similar to a job interview at a company.


And how's that been working out for you...? (Yes, purely rhetorical question.)

 


Andreas H wrote:

Is there a mechanism in which the client gives positive feedback (kudos), even if they do not award the contract?


Nope. If you provided enough value to warrant feedback, it was a consulation 😉

apheiner
Community Member

Well, learned my lesson. I'll make a low-cost contract for the discussions as well. If I get the final contract they can deduct the cost of the total, if they wish

I console myself with the thought that execution of any of my half-baked ideas discussed is not enough for success, but it may put them in the right direction. Or maybe they misinterpret my half-baked ideas duch that it will be a complete failure on their part 

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