"Can you get me an estimate?"
"Why don't you write up a proposal for me?"
"Well, just get me an outline of your plans for us and we'll get back to you."
Do these sound familiar? Possibly a "free consulting" nightmare that sales professionals see way too often? Well, we've got some bad news for you. You're probably still going to hear these questions down the road. But that doesn't mean you have to actually do the work.
Listen as Sandler trainer Roger Wentworth explains Sandler Rule #25, you have to start a dialogue that gets the prospect to predict the future for you. It isn't invasive, it isn't a transparent question, and it simply forces both parties to understand the next steps in the relationship. If your prospect can't answer a question about what would happen if a proposal fulfilled everything they wanted, then you may have to seriously consider if you're in a "free consulting" situation.