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Creating Expert Perception By Giving Value First

by Travis Miller
We’re currently in the process of forming a cross-border corporate entity with some very talented marketers in Canada. As you may or may not imagine, doing such a thing is accompanied with a number of hurdles and roadblocks and red tape. It’s not nearly as easy as forming a new LLC or Corporation here in Florida. Of course, I’m going to need some expert advice. I checked with my normal accountant and attorney, and neither had a lot of experience with such a transaction and both recommended I seek some additional advice from someone with appropriate experience. So I began my search, which included educating myself, as much as possible, about the process. Before I started my first company, I bought and read a book on doing it. After getting all the info, the process was familiar and easy. So, I intended on doing the same thing in this scenario. However, I quickly realized that I was in over my head. Jargon was flying around that I had never heard of and really didn’t care to hear again. I was reading discussions in an Intuit discussion forum between accountants. Interestingly, from the clutter and confusion emerged some clarity. A woman named Sandy was being talked about, almost revered, in multiple discussion threads. “Well, maybe Sandy will check in soon. She’ll know the answer.” “Who is Sandy?" I thought. Well, before long I had my answer. Sandy popped into the discussion and cleared everything up. She spoke with authority and reason and actually made sense. She quelled the rowdy masses. And she was strategic enough to place her email address in the signature of her post. So I promptly constructed an email and fired it off to her. And she replied quickly, offering to speak on the phone about my situation. We ended up speaking for 20 minutes. She filled my brain with a wealth of information, that was easy to understand and comprehend. Not so easy to execute. The next day she spent another 20 minutes on the line with me and my attorney going over some additional details. Again, it was clear that Sandy knew what she was talking about, and that I would need her help structuring this deal. But so far…I hadn’t paid a dime. I got to thinking…why is this woman giving me all this free consulting? I appreciate it, and I’ll take it…but…how does she make her money? Then I got it. Smart. In one of her emails to me she pointed out that her first hour of consulting was free. Simple. Concise. Clear. And, let me tell you, a single hour is only enough to get my beak wet and my mind swimming with ideas. She had hooked me. At this point, why would I even consider going anywhere else? It would be foolish! She has created good will, established herself as an expert, and begun a relationship that will turn into a client. Good work, Sandy. And thank you. This is a model almost anyone can learn from.