Many agencies, consultants and vendors hold their best ideas back until they get paid. Free advice or strategy during the initial business pitch? Good luck.

Why? Most agency heads and consultants will tell you that their entire business is built on those ideas, and that giving them away is like giving away their product.

But I don’t buy it.

Any consultant or agency worth their weight in salt should be FULL of ideas. Should be a bottomless pit of brainstorms and strategies.

If a consultant won’t give me an idea unless I pay them, then I assume this must be the only good idea they have. If they had more great ideas, why not give me a very real, direct sense of how they think, and how smart they are, before I commit to a paid relationship?

This same issue comes up occasionally in the blogosphere, especially as pundits and marketing thought leaders spill their guts in their own blogs.

But it should be very telling that visionaries such as Tom Peters, Seth Godin and more regularly and freely share their new ideas and insights for free online.