There should be a new song, “Who let the moochers out” because they are everywhere. They are friends which are the worst kind, because they manipulate you, because they are your friend. And then there are  strangers you meet networking and they are super, friendly, nice folks too.  I ran into three this week. They want your time and expertise, but don’t want to pay for it. And HELLO!!!, this is what you do for a living.

They are no different than another crook you learn about in the media, except they are stealing from you.

Many service providers face this ugly group often. Some of us fold, because we feel guilty about sticking to “we are in business to make a fair profit in exchange for value we deliver”,  or sometimes we feel sympathetic, because these moochers cry “I’m poor (that’s not your fault) and others convince themselves that this giving of time and talent will translate into new business (sometimes it does, 80% of the time it doesn’t), and others like me, will just say NO! and stop the time sucking, energy and value wasting drill and get back to business.

Here are the clues friends and other nice people don’t value your stuff enough to pay
They want to meet for lunch. In the invitation chat or call they don’t offer giving you anything back like: leads for your business or even indicate they may buy your services in the near future. But they do stay focused on what they hope to get from the lunch, your expertise at no cost to them.

You tell them you are happy to meet for a small consulting fee and they back off, even when your fee is less than a round of golf or a few bottles of wine. If a company or professional can’t shell out a couple hundred bucks, this is big red flag.

You tell them about a low cost investment, an ebook or service that you offer that is in line with their goals and they don’t buy one. If a company or professional can’t shell out 10 or 20 bucks, this is big red flag.

Please don’t get me wrong, giving is good, generosity is golden, but not knowing the difference between a moocher/time and talent crook and a flat out homeless business person, is a crime.

If you truly believe a friend or contact is interested in buying from you (they have the money, they are a decision maker and they value you) then it may be worth giving a bit, before you ink the deal, but when you put out some fairly low cost investments and they don’t move on it, it usually means they don’t value you.

It’s also important to note that there is a big difference in someone who has no money and someone who does not want to part with their money. After nearly 28 years in business, I learned to spot the tire kickers from the buyers.

If you do a great job in communicating your expertise and knowledge and they don’t buy in to a small fee or product, you are asking for trouble.

You and I both know expertise and experience are not free to acquire.

Here’s a great clinching question.
When a friend or stranger wants a couple hours of your time, before your shell it out and do the pre research on their issue and tap into your brain which you invested thousands to be so smart. . .

Ask the moocher if they’d give you $500 of their product before you begin your free session or maybe ask them to contribute 2% of their weekly pay to this project or your favorite charity.

If that does not  help you say NO!  Just think about the five other things you could be working on that will earn you revenues while that time/talent crook steals from you.

Thinking about starting a consulting practice so you can earn what you are worth?

Tired of giving free speeches? Get paid to speak.

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