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Something You Don't Know About Private Investigators – And You Should

There are dozens and dozens of articles written by private investigators telling you the many things you can do with a private investigator. They go something like this: "_____(fill in the blank) things a private investigator can do to help you." But, sometimes, it's good to put the focus on the ones conducting the investigations, rather than what the investigator can do.

This article will share a topic you don't know about private investigators that you may like to know.

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The stuff and things you want to know about private investigators

Unveiling the Mystery

Private investigators often hide behind a veil of mystery. In some ways, this propels people's interest, but there is a reality that is completely distinguished from Sherlock Holmes, Magnum PI and other pop culture icons.

Our focus is to share in this article something you may not have considered, and should know about private investigators and the private investigation industry.

Why Don't Private Investigators Charge For Consultations?

This is a head scratcher since other professional services do, and since private investigators are a part of the legal community, they need to look no further than at a local law firm. They charge for consultations! Why don't private investigators?

I will answer that question, to the best of my ability in a moment, but consider other professional services that charge for consultations:

  1. Lawyers/Attorneys: They often charge for legal advice and consultations regarding various legal matters.

  2. Doctors/Medical Professionals: Charge for medical consultations, diagnoses, and treatment advice.

  3. Financial Advisors/Planners: Offer paid consultations for financial planning, investment advice, and wealth management.

  4. Architects: Charge for consultations on building design, construction projects, and renovations.

  5. Business Consultants/Analysts: Provide advice on business strategy, operations, and management for a fee.

  6. Psychologists/Psychiatrists: Charge for mental health consultations, therapy sessions, and psychological assessments.

  7. Accountants/CPAs (Certified Public Accountants): Offer consultations on tax preparation, financial records, and accounting services.

  8. Interior Designers: Provide advice and consultations on home or office decor, space planning, and aesthetics.

  9. IT Consultants/Technology Experts: Charge for advice on technology implementation, software development, and IT strategies.

  10. Career Coaches/Life Coaches: Offer consultations for career guidance, personal development, and life planning.

These professionals typically have specialized training and expertise in their respective fields, justifying their consultation fees.

So, again. . . why don't private investigators charge for consultations?

This firm charges a paltry $50 for a premium discovery consultation. We do so to ensure we are dealing with serious clients that are ready for our expertise. Our time is valuable, so is your case.

Should a Private Investigator Charge For a Consultation?

Yes. 100%, without a doubt. Why? Because it is more beneficial to the client (likely you) to spend quality time understanding what your matter entails. Rather than talking to you while driving, working on another case, or over a hamburger – a good private investigator will be at their desk taking notes and asking questions to really understand the depth of the situation, and provide you with valuable feedback.

As we have already discussed, professional services of all sorts charge for consultations. Private investigators should too, and this is one of the first signs you should look for when hiring an investigation firm, among their professional marketing presentation (website).

If a private investigator does not value their expertise they share with you at the outset, how will they value you and your case?

Private Investigators Don't Charge For Consultations Because. . .

Fear. Insecurity. Lack of self worth.

Let me point out that this is not a slam on professional and ethical private investigators. It is simply what I believe to be the facts. If you are a consumer and reading this, then you probably feel like a "free" consultation is a good thing. It's not. I will explain.

Fear, insecurity, and a lack of self-worth can indeed impact private investigators, or any professionals, in terms of their willingness or ability to charge for consultations. Here's a breakdown of how these factors can play a role:


This can manifest in various ways. Private investigators might fear losing potential clients if they charge for consultations. There's often a concern that clients might turn to competitors who offer free consultations. This fear can stem from a lack of confidence in their unique value proposition or uncertainty about the competitiveness of their services in the market.

Fear of Losing Business: Many private investigators might worry that charging for consultations will lead potential clients to seek services elsewhere, especially if competitors offer free initial consultations. This fear can be particularly pronounced in highly competitive markets or where clients are perceived to be price-sensitive.

Fear of Rejection: Charging for consultations involves asserting the value of one's time and expertise. For some, this raises the fear of being rejected or perceived as overpriced by potential clients. This fear can be rooted in personal insecurities or past experiences of rejection.

Fear of Judgement: Professionals might fear being judged negatively for charging for consultations, worrying that clients might view them as greedy or solely money-driven. This is often tied to the individual's personal values and the desire to be seen as helpful or altruistic.

Fear of Inadequacy: This is the fear that their skills or knowledge might not be sufficient to justify a consultation fee. Even highly skilled investigators might suffer from imposter syndrome, feeling that they are not as competent as others perceive them to be.

Fear of Financial Discussions: Some individuals are uncomfortable discussing money or fees, stemming from personal or cultural reasons. This discomfort can make it challenging for them to set and negotiate consultation fees confidently.

Fear of the Unknown: Charging for consultations might be a new and untested approach for some investigators. The uncertainty of how this change will affect their business can be a significant source of fear.

Fear of Setting a Precedent: There might be a concern that once a consultation fee is set, it might be difficult to adjust it later based on market dynamics or their evolving expertise.

To overcome these fears, private investigators can benefit from market research, understanding their value proposition, and gaining confidence in the unique services they offer. Professional development, peer support, and client feedback can also be instrumental in mitigating these fears. Establishing a clear and justifiable pricing strategy for consultations can help in gradually overcoming the fear of charging for their expertise and time.


Insecurity in their professional abilities can lead private investigators to undervalue their services. They might feel that their skil