How to say no to a "Pick Your Brain" Meeting (but still help them!)
“Can I buy you a cup of coffee and ask you to tell me all your business secrets?”
Um no my hour (and years of experience) is worth more than $4.
When you become a little bit more well known in your field, people tend to come out of the blue and ask you for business advice. This happens to me a lot. And I've learned how to kind of field these requests in a way that doesn't make them come across as a total No. But it also can help me with talking about my coaching and other things that I offer. I only meet with people now who could potentially turn into a collaboration with my business.
I say no, but I always say in a way that doesn't sound like no.
Ask them specifically what they know and turn it into a piece of content
So the first thing I ask is, is there anything in particular that you want to know about? This is really important step because it allows you to know exactly why they want to meet with you. And whether or not you can create a piece of content that they could get a lot out of, but also a lot more people can get a lot out of, or maybe you already have a piece of content, like a podcast interview, or a blog post or a video that you've already made that can answer this person's question. Usually when people reach out, they kind of don't have an idea of what they want. But when you ask them directly, it really boils it down to what they want to know. This happened to me on LinkedIn, someone reached out and said they wanted to have a phone call with me to ask me about how I grew my audience. And I wanted to know more specifically, what they wanted to know. So what I did was I sent her back a very long LinkedIn message with the answer to her question. That way, I was still helping her, but I wasn't spending an hour of my time giving away free advice. So that's one option is to ask them specifically what they want to know and create something for them. That also helps a lot of people.
Tell them about your coaching services (or charge them hourly!)
Another thing I do is I talk about my pricing for my coaching, if they want to meet with me one on one. That to me is coaching. And so I tell them, Hey, I offer a two hour starter session. And here is the price. It really helps people realize that your time is valuable. Another thing is sometimes they might be asking for something that I don't offer. So what I like to do is I like to refer them to people. So someone else may be in that field that they're wanting to know about. Or if I don't offer something that they're looking for or information on, I also like to provide links to things on my website, like my podcast, or networking groups that we have. So people are looking for how to grow their audience, through networking, we have a lot of options for that.
Create FAQ answers
I've really started to kind of predict what people are going to ask me and so I'll have some commonly asked questions available for them. So every time someone asked me a question, it makes me think I should have a piece of content about this. So let it not be something where you're like I'm so afraid to say no to them, but also make it potentially a sale for you or a way for them to really respect you and your time. So those are my tips for how to say no to a pick your brain session.
Do you have any other tips?
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