The Value of Showing Up

The Value of Showing UpDecember 8, 2022

The Value of Showing Up

Recently we had a leak in our basement which was coming from a crack in the main water line from the street. We got a recommendation for a plumber, I called the guy, and he came out that day to check out the problem.

“Give me a couple of days and I’ll get you an estimate,” he said.

That didn’t seem like a big wait, as the leak was minor and manageable.

Until it wasn’t.

Days went by as I chased this plumber for an estimate and a time he could come fix the problem. Finally, I gave up.

I got another recommendation (thank you, Anthony Chen!). After talking to this guy, he came out that evening (on a Friday night, mind you), diagnosed the problem, proposed a solution, named his price, and said he could get going at 10 am the next morning.

He got hired.

The next morning, after finishing the work and preparing to leave, I told him he was a great plumber.

“I’m a great plumber because I show up,” he said.

I’m not offering a searing new insight to say that showing up is one of the table stakes of having a business.

Here’s the larger point:  how you show up, whether early, late, or not at all, is an intangible, one of thousands that are deciding factors on whether you get engaged. As my new plumber implied in his comment, he gets hired because of an intangible which has nothing to do with his proficiency at plumbing.

When I hired him, I didn’t ask him what plumbing school he attended, his certifications, or experience. It didn’t matter to me because his expertise was assumed. I’d received a recommendation from someone I trusted.

The referral was what gave him the opportunity for my business. An intangible is what got him hired.

Professional services providers, it’s the same for you. Word of mouth and referrals may be the wellspring of your practice, but intangibles are what you scoop up the water with.

Yes, cultivate the clients who refer you and your strategic partners. But you’ll be even more informed about why you’re closing business if you’ll make it a practice of asking your clients, early in the engagement, a question like this:

“What was the tipping point that made you decide to hire me?”

Ask questions like this one and you’ll discover the intangibles which get you hired.



Image created using Craiyon (Formerly DALL-E Mini)

(This blog post was also posted on LinkedIn.)

©Ray Business Advisors, LLC and John Ray


About me: I help solo or small professional services firm owners with the confidence and positioning necessary to improve their pricing and change the trajectory of not only their business but their life.

I have a podcast called The Price and Value Journey, which features interviews with industry leaders and audio versions of my blog posts. You can find the podcast on your favorite podcast app.

I also have a book coming out in 2023:  The Price and Value Journey: Raise Your Confidence, Your Value, and Your Prices to Grow Your Business Using The Generosity Mindset.

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