By James Stanfill
Editor’s note: James Stanfill is the president of the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association.
I had this thought in regards to a question someone posted on Facebook. They asked the group the following:
“Customer just called. He has a 4-5k budget on a mountain bike. Wants to pick my brain for advice. Talked for 20 minutes already. Considering a Stumpy or even a Canyon. I told him about a Yeti I am borrowing. At some point, I should charge him for my time … How to hand this professionally and make it profitable?”
This got me thinking about some questions which this person should ask of themselves, such as: “What is the value of this customer to me? Do they have a history of business with me? I know the retail dollars on the bike aren’t going to put food on my table. Are they good bike owners (i.e. they bring their trusty machines for regular service from their favorite mechanic)?”
So, to address the idea of charging for “consulting” time, we should consider the following: a consulting fee is relevant and fair but should also be disclosed up front. “We can help you choose just the right bike, including x y …read more