I got my first new client in the New Year! We met at an Entrepreneur’s and Inventors Network group. She is a successful chiropractor with two offices and five staff members who wants to solidify the systems in her business to create more time to pursue outside interests including speaking and writing. Our phone meeting led to a CCS meeting which went great. She has a life coach and admits that her life coach is helpful to her personally, but isn’t helping her business. Interestingly, as I presented the Coaching Agreement to her during the CCS, she said she “wants to go faster, not slower.” Because of her need to phase out the cost of her life coaching engagement, we agreed on pricing of $1,500 for the Strategic Planning process, $1,500 per month for January and February, then a full coaching program of $2,250 per month starting on March 1!
Another client! I’m a member of my local Chamber of Commerce’s “E-Team,” which offers free counseling to local business people who want to start businesses. In February of 2008, an architect presented his new business plan to all of us on the E-Team and we stayed in contact. (I called every month to ask how he was doing!) After a successful and fast start to his business, his pipeline stagnated, and he started to realize he could use some help with marketing and sales. We had a face-to-face meeting and a CCS with his wife. The key to this meeting was my insistence that they talk to me about what they wanted their lives to look like in ten years, not just their business. The wife, who works an outside job she’s not happy with, became emotional as she described being able to spend more time with their 5 year old daughter as she grows up, and having the business allow her to work with her husband rather than in an outside job. Although they wanted to go forward, they hesitated because of the investment, even though his numbers in the Profit Equation showed him creating $220,000 of additional net income in two years with my coaching help! After Christmas, he had a chance meeting with another client of mine who told him that he just had to work with me if he wanted to achieve his goals. On January 6, we set a date for the Strategic Plan and the next day signed an agreement for $1,250 per month with a $500 fee for Strategic Planning process!
My latest new client has an HVAC business doing $1.8 million in sales. He’s owned the business himself since 1984 and has been in my BNI chapter for over a year, which is how we met. We had a CCS meeting in November, but he was reluctant to invest in coaching because he has been burned by consultants and brokers in recent years. His primary objective is to sell the business and he wants to enjoy the rest of his life without the stress of business ownership. A couple of weeks ago (after continuing to hear my message every week at BNI) he asked me if we could talk again. The wife, who is the accountant of the business turned out to be very helpful. Although we focused 90% on how a Comprehensive Exit Strategy could help them, when we talked about looking for increased value the wife was the one who said “we could probably trim a little more cost” and “our sales guy isn’t exactly a ball of fire”. I felt as though the turning point came when they expressed concern about how I could help them where the other consultants they engaged had failed. So I explained that as a coach, theirinvolvement was going to be the difference, but that I also had a system and a plan for how we would implement the strategy. I simply opened up my Comprehensive Exit Strategy “How To” slide, read the strategy point-by-point, putting particular emphasis on maximizing the value of the business. They were very impressed that I already had a plan and a system that made sense to them. So when I got to the Profit Equation, they stopped me and said “We get it, what do your program and fees look like?” The result was a signed coaching agreement!
Jerry B., Business Coach