A Pest or a Relationship?

July 6, 2020

I recently connected with an individual on LinkedIn who I didn’t know, but he seemed professional in his connection request and was the type of person I normally connect with.

His first message after connecting began:  “It’s great to connect... I always love connecting with others in the Georgia area and am amazed by the relationships I’ve cultivated from LinkedIn… what a wonderful platform . . . .”

He quickly pivoted to a pitch on tax savings strategies, asking to set up a call to share “their insights.” He didn’t let himself be bothered with any questions on whether I’m happy with my current provider or whether taxes are even a problem for me.

I ignored the message.

Three days later I received four messages in the space of two days, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. As you might expect, each one was more urgent and insistent than the other. His final message began:

Hate to be that pest. But wanted to follow up with you one last time…..

“You’re a pest,” I thought to myself, “but you must not hate being one that badly.”

Now here’s a guy who went from being “amazed” at the “relationships” he’d developed on LinkedIn to admitting he was a pest, all in the space of a few days.

If I have a tax strategy problem in the future, you think I’m calling that guy?

Let’s assume this pest had actually gotten a bite of me and I’d fallen into his sales funnel. What’s the quality of the relationship that’s being built here? Is there even a relationship being built?

In contrast, I recently received a message on LinkedIn from someone who simply said:  “just wanted you to know I love your posts.” This person went on to mention one thing in particular they’d gotten out of a particular post I’d made. What they showed, of course, was that they were actually reading what I posted.

They weren’t trying to sell me anything. They were just checking in with a digital “hello” and a kind note. The note ended with:  “No need to respond. Let me know if there’s something I can do for you, though.”

Naturally, I responded to a note which clearly revealed a genuine interest in my work.

Which of these professional services providers would I see as a vendor who has a thing to sell vs. a problem solver who I feel like might have answers to vexing problems? Whose “ask” am I more likely to respond to in the future? Who’s the professional services provider I’m going to think actually has helpful answers to the problems I’m dealing with in my work?

Which of these providers is more likely to achieve better pricing for their services?


©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray

Image Credit:  JumpStory


About me:  I’m enthusiastic about how changes in pricing strategy can significantly change profitability for a business and enhance life choices for business owners. I live this passion through Ray Business Advisors, my outside CFO and business advisory practice, in which my pricing is exclusively value-based, not hourly. I work with business owners on how they can change their pricing not just to increase their profits, but better serve the wants of their customers. Click here to learn more or call me at 404-287-2627.

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