I am quasi-famous in this industry, due to all of the writing, and speaking engagements that I do, and as a consequence, I get a ton of calls and emails from other professionals regarding those articles and seminars.
I always call the person back or reply to the emails, but one thing I won’t do is give someone an answer to something or tell them how to do something that took me several hours to figure out for myself. My response is always that I’m not trying to be rude, but you are a competitor and do your research, just like I did.
One lady called about an article I wrote. I called her back, and she was unavailable. I told the person who answered the phone that she could email me, which was met by, “Oh, no. [So-and-so] doesn’t do email.” I’m doing you a favor, and I’m not going to make it easier on you than it is for me. I feel it is completely rude of someone to set the terms at which I help them with something.
The notoriety also produces potential clients who make an appointment about an article I wrote. I will give you a free one-hour consultation, but for some reason some people will think that extends to follow-up emails.
After the initial consultation and receiving an email about some kind of tax planning, it is returned with an engagement letter and credit card authorization. I am either engaged, or the person goes away. I can’t spend a bunch of hours doing things for free.