Why do some consultants charge a fee for consultation?
In retrospect of my first blog post pertaining to hiring an immigration consultant, consultation and consulting fees this post will shed some light. Perhaps the most common reason for seeking consultation services is to obtain distinct information, special expertise, accurate, up-to-date information specific to your needs. There is a lot of information over the internet, but is it specifically for you and is it the most current? If you need specific immigration information or advice from an immigration specialist you should expect and be willing to pay a reasonable fee.
As a first step, verify if the immigration consultant is on the Public Register of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) in good standing. Please refer to my last post for the link. Find out, how much does it cost to hire an immigration consultant in Canada? How can they help in your situation? Each case is unique and may need more time and attention than another. With this said, do not compare your situation to someone else’s, because some or several factors may make your situation or needs different then theirs. Licensed immigration specialists go through formal education, independent studies, research and work hard to get where they are and be the best they can be to help. Paying for professional advice illustrates the client’s’ seriousness and brings value to their consulting session for their particular situation. The information they will get through consultation will be specifically for them.
Consultation with a professional in the field requires patience. Why? We ask the client for personal information, prepare a consulting agreement, email it to the client and ask for the signed document in return with personal information, then schedule a mutual time to join together for a call or meeting. Once the consultant has a copy of the signed contract, information and documents from the individual, the immigration consultant reviews their information, documents and prepares notes prior to the consulting session. Research may be required to get specific detail according to the situation, while checking to be sure the immigration information they will be providing is up to date, as immigration law and processes change regularly. All these tasks are conducted prior to the 30 to 60 minutes of consultation. During consultation, the consultant will provide the client with information, make a determination of the type of application is required, make recommendations, inform how to resolve or strengthen their case.
Honestly, when I began my business 13 years ago, I did not charge consulting fees until I took the time to calculate what was involved. Hence, I charge a minimum fee for consultation to first time seekers and in return give them the extra mile to get them on track and head towards their journey. During a private and confidential consultation, the client may ask all their questions and share their concerns. Usually, they get more time allotted than what they paid for. The consulting fee is deducted from the service contract fee if they use my full services for their application.
Free consultation may only provide minimal information, nor specific to your situation. As they say, you get what you pay for.
Trust between the professional and the client is an ultimate factor towards a good relationship. Consultation is an initial stage of getting to know the client and the client know my competencies and gain confidence in me.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below and tell me whether you agree or disagree and why.