IT consulting companies provide a wide portfolio of solutions where there are basically a discovery phase and an implementation phase. I’m referring to consulting areas, not to products that reproduce reports based on input information.
Some companies give it for free. The two main arguments are simple:
- If you understand in deep the problem your customer has, then you have a good % of the deal.
- In addition the customer knows its problem and s/he does not want to pay for something s/he already knows.
Nothing is free in this world; and you can say that a good salesman will sell this discovery phase for a good bunch of dollars simply because is able to convince the customer about the value of working with him.