I Can Buy My Own Lunch!

Have you ever had someone offer to take you to lunch while they “Pick Your Brain?”  Now I know I’m not the only one.  At least once a week I have someone offer to pay for my lunch in exchange for information.  Well, I have news for you. “I can buy my own lunch!”

Last year I made a sound decision not to allow anyone else to pay for my lunch. Here are 3 reasons why:

  • It costs you money. When you allow people to treat you to lunch in exchange for information, it cheapens your business.  You are giving away valuable information for a $20.00 meal.  Just like the rest of your clients, they should have to pay for your services.  Don’t allow people to utilize your services for FREE!
  • It’s time-consuming.  People will enjoy a 1.5- 2-hour lunch with you trying to soak up as much information as possible.  I’ve had people to bring a pen and pad to lunch.  I’ve even had someone to ask if they could record the conversation.  Your time, like mine, is valuable and unless you are charging $10.00-$20.00/hr for your work, you should not be satisfied with giving away your time.  And if you are only charging at that rate, you’re doing EVERYTHING wrong!
  • You’re not getting anything out of it!  What’s in it for you besides a free lunch?  Absolutely nothing!  How is this fair to you? It’s not. You even use your own gas to get there. And not only that, they will take your information for free and go and pay someone else thousands of dollars for what they have to offer!

People will take what they can because they don’t want to do their own research.  Just like you invested in yourself, do them a favor and allow them to invest in themselves.  I found that people appreciate things more when they have to pay for them.  They feel that it holds value.  And this is the reason you should be charging for your services and your time. So, the next time someone offers to buy you lunch in order to pick your brain, you just simply say, “I can buy my own lunch.”  Then give them the number to your assistant and let them set up a "paid consultation."

- Tammy Jurnett-Lewis