When I am initially approached by an organisation thinking about improving their search experience they not only have a substantial number of questions to which they need answers but also want to be aware of the questions they have not asked!
I encourage a potential client to have as many discussions with me as they feel are necessary to be certain they have a good sense of the roadmap they are embarking on. Sometimes my advice is not to invest in technology but to consider investing in skilled people in a search support team. It is quite common to find that organisations are not getting the best of their current applications.
These discussions help me to decide whether I can make a useful contribution as a consultant and a prospective client can judge whether they feel comfortable working with me. The only proviso I have is that I cannot give specific advice on the actions they should take as I would not have enough information about the organisation and the way in which it works at both a strategic and operational level.
There is no charge for these discussions and there is no obligation to use my services as a consultant.