Dennis Yu

My #1 tip for instantly filtering out the good leads versus the time suckers

Especially if you’re a consultant or small agency, you have a lot of people wanting to sit down with you for a free consultation.
You probably even have a form where they can book a free initial consultation with you.

But most of these appointments end up from folks who don’t want to pay, aren’t qualified, are difficult to work with or need something other than is your core skill.

You waste a lot of time doing these, but don’t see another way.

After all, isn’t it reasonable to give them a chance to tell you what they’re looking for and then for you to explain what you do?
And certainly, you’d expect to answer their various questions to demonstrate your competency, show you care, and determine if there’s a fit.

So most agencies are resigned to this charade, accepting that if they do enough free consults, they’ll generate enough clients.
But the reality is they are wasting most of their time on freetards instead of taking care of their best customers.

And here’s the solution to avoid all this pain…

Have a low-priced tripwire to qualify them.

We charge $1000 for a mini-consultation and are not ashamed of the price.

To have me and another team member run them through the Strategy Assessment, get access to their accounts, perform quick analysis, get on the phone with them for an hour, and summarize the key points in notes we send later is super high value if they:

  • Are spending enough money that a few quick fixes and tips would be worth many times this fee– anyone spending more than $10K a month, it’s a no-brainer.
  • Value their own time and that of others– they could read free blog posts and buy courses here and there, trying to figure things out themselves.
  • Have true urgency– sales professionals talk about BANT (budget, authority, need, timeframe) to qualify leads, while we use the “emergency room” analogy.

You already know all the reasons why a potential lead may balk at the tripwire. They:

  • Expect you to volunteer your time, just like other vendors they call up, to meet– after all, they are dangling money in front of you.
  • Believe their needs are unique-– so they believe they need a unique solution and that “custom” somehow means better.
  • Don’t have the money-– or related, they expect that you’re only $20/hour (I get that a lot still).
  • Never intended to pay— in my youthful days, I’ve had many gleefully abscond with free consulting, like you’d make off with free samples from the little old ladies at Costco.

But you’re a pro.

You have:

  • Demonstrated your expertise in certain areas— published prominently, not because you merely say you’re a pro.
  • Built a series of checklists that you follow, which you carefully select from, depending upon the situation.
  • Have a team of people who are certified in specific areas— being clear about what they can do and what they can’t.

Like an emergency room doctor:

  • Your skills and expertise are what matter— not the brand of scalpel you use.
  • You don’t go canvassing door to door, peddling heart operations at 50% off if they buy today.
  • Have procedures and processes up-front, since the patient isn’t going to dictate what surgery to perform, how to perform it, how long it will take, or the price.

Treat yourself like a doctor and command the respect that you’ve earned.

Kyler Patterson of HostGator learned first-hand why you should have these points in place:

Don’t give away too much without getting money first. One of my first potential clients asked me for a proposal of what I’d do to turn around his ads. I poured over data that night and wrote out a bunch of things I would implement.
He replied saying he was going to go the agency route instead of a consultant. I checked his account two days later, he had implemented a bunch of my suggestions.
Now I don’t give specifics unless I’m paid. If I need to give more details, I’ll go high level, and require a formal call if they want the juicy information.
Probably seems obvious, but as a new freelancer at the time, I thought I needed to do everything I could to win the contract. Instead, I gave away all the magic for free.

But if you don’t have proof, a clear process, and a skill that’s demonstrated for all to see, then it’s okay to take on these free meetings.
Do them to help you build up your reputation such that all your business is inbound– people coming to you because you have authority in a particular area.

Gavin Bell of Blue Cliff Media discovered this for himself once he started charging for his time:

People really aren’t bothered about paying to talk to me. $150 for an hour with me seemed ridiculous to myself a few months ago. Now I’m starting to think that even this is too cheap! Yes, there are some people that can’t afford it, that’s okay. I shouldn’t be focusing on the people that can’t afford it, and instead, I should focus on the people that CAN.

Some of the people I’ve spoken to are using the hour to see how we can work together going forward… WHAT! People PAYING me, to see if they can work with me?! Charging for my time is actually giving me authority.

Have you set up a “tripwire” to filter your potential leads from the time-wasters?

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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