I often have previous, current, and potential clients contact me to ask for help. It might be to ask my opinion on an upcoming project, working with a specific company, or dealing with a certain personality. I’ve even been asked by a potential customer what would be required to provide my services in house, ultimately cutting me out. I’ve always been open to helping people out without expecting some “repayment” or trade (within reason of course). Plenty of people have helped me in the past and the thought of assisting someone else just feels good.
I have noticed a trend in people’s thinking in the past few years of tighter project budgets and schedules. People seem less willing to provide services/assistance without some type of reimbursement. Now I realize when there are extra services required on a project or additional scope added, there is a cost associated with that. But the mentality of not answering phone calls, or not providing additional details on a current design expectation because you feel you somehow owe them nothing more and have met your “obligation” is not productive for anyone.
In my business, working with others as part of a coordination team, assisting others and being a team player is critical to the success of the entire team, project, client, partners, and owner. The team is only as strong as the weakest “player”. The ultimate results we achieve largely depend on the ability of that team to work together toward solutions.
In the interest of delivering a good product to the owner/client, why not do your best to help out where you can? Be a good “team player”. When I make the effort to do that myself, it’s always benefited me in some way as well as that “feel good” spirit of helping others.