Just Be Helpful
When you come out of corporate to start your own professional services practice, you think you’ll be chosen or referred because of your experience and your qualifications. If that’s your mindset, though, it doesn’t distinguish you or make you memorable. What does? Just be helpful, genuinely and authentically. The Price and Value Journey is presented by John Ray and produced by the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX®.
John Ray: [00:00:00] And hello, I’m John Ray on The Price and Value Journey. When you come out of corporate to start your own professional services practice – well, if you’re like me anyway – you drop in and you think, “What do I need to talk about that matters? Well, it’s the service I offer, right?” Well, that’s not really true. At least that’s what I found.
John Ray: [00:00:23] Nobody is waiting for you to show up to provide business advisory services, or legal services, or marketing services, or accounting and bookkeeping, whatever other business that you might be starting. There’s already plenty of folks out there doing that work. They’ve got their established referral partners and practices. So, how do you make a difference? How do you stand out? How do you make a name for yourself? How do you distinguish yourself in a crowded field?
John Ray: [00:00:56] Now, I think part of the answer, a big part of the answer, is just be helpful. Now, I don’t mean the kind of helpful where you’re offering what amounts to a lead page for some course or service that you offer. That’s not being helpful. That’s marketing a service. What I mean is being helpful without any intent to see something immediate from it, if at all.
John Ray: [00:01:26] When you go out and visit with people, just attempt to learn, to understand, to know about them. When you do a coffee or one-on-one, make it about them and learn what they do. You will distinguish yourself right off the bat. I promise you that this is true because I know.
John Ray: [00:01:46] Quite a few years ago when I came out of corporate to start my own practice, I had a pretty big network. But it wasn’t the kind of network that was oriented toward my local market that I needed to have to be able to support my business. So, I had to go build a different kind of network. And the way I did that was by learning about other people and helping them get to where they needed to be, connecting them with helpful strategic referral partners and, of course, a potential client.
John Ray: [00:02:20] When you do that, you’re showing a real concern for them and their welfare. And over the long term, if you do that and do that consistently, it will pay you back. You won’t know where those reciprocations or those vibrations from the universe – if I can say it that way – where they’re going to come from. But that’s part of the fun of it to me.
John Ray: [00:02:44] Recently, I had a lady who called me who I’ve known for many years, and she called to ask me about a family law attorney for her daughter, who unfortunately was probably headed to divorce court. “Now, John -” she said “- because you know everyone around here, you’re going to know the best fit for my daughter.” Now, we talked a little bit at a high level about her daughter and what this worried mom thinks that she needs. I steered her away, frankly, from a few attorneys I know who would be, probably, I’ll just say not good fits. But then, I gave her a couple of recommendations of others that I thought would work out well for her based on what she told me.
John Ray: [00:03:26] The point of it is that this lady views me as a trusted adviser to her. It has nothing to do with the service I offer. I mean, she obviously wasn’t calling up to ask me about my service and what I sell. But she needed help in a very sensitive situation, and she called me. Now, that’s just one illustration of how you get to be a trusted adviser. She knew that if she called me, I was going to be looking out for her best interest because that’s the experience that she had with me.
John Ray: [00:03:59] Now, in the future, she and her business, well, she may not need my service. But one thing that I can count on from her is that if she hears of anyone that even remotely might need what I offer, she would send them my way with a glowing review.
John Ray: [00:04:15] That’s the reputation you want to develop. That’s the brand you want to have as a professional services provider, whatever service you provide. I’m not saying it’s the quickest way to get there, but what I am saying is it’s the most sure and reliable way to reach the goals that you want to reach in your professional services practice. And I think it’s the most rewarding. Just be helpful.
John Ray: [00:04:41] I’m John Ray on The Price and Value Journey. If you’d like to connect with me, go to johnray.co. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And for past episodes of this podcast, go to pricevaluejourney.com or your favorite podcast app.
About The Price and Value Journey
The title of this show describes the journey all professional services providers are on: building a services practice by seeking to convince the world of the value we offer, helping clients achieve the outcomes they desire, and trying to do all that at pricing which reflects the value we deliver.
If you feel like you’re working too hard for too little money in your solo or small firm practice, this show is for you. Even if you’re reasonably happy with your practice, you’ll hear ways to improve both your bottom line as well as the mindset you bring to your business.
The show is produced by the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® and can be found on all the major podcast apps. The complete show archive is here.
John Ray, Host of The Price and Value Journey
John Ray is the host of The Price and Value Journey.
John owns Ray Business Advisors, a business advisory practice. John’s services include advising solopreneur and small professional services firms on their pricing. John is passionate about the power of pricing for business owners, as changing pricing is the fastest way to change the profitability of a business. His clients are professionals who are selling their “grey matter,” such as attorneys, CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers, consultants, marketing professionals, and other professional services practitioners.
In his other business, John a Studio Owner, Producer, and Show Host with Business RadioX®, and works with business owners who want to do their own podcast. As a veteran B2B services provider, John’s special sauce is coaching B2B professionals to use a podcast to build relationships in a non-salesy way which translate into revenue.
John is the host of North Fulton Business Radio, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Radio, Nashville Business Radio, Alpharetta Tech Talk, and Business Leaders Radio. house shows which feature a wide range of business leaders and companies. John has hosted and/or produced over 1,100 podcast episodes.