I was recently asked to do a Q&A session for an online group. I thought the answers might be useful to you. Let me know what stands out to you.
Tell us a little bit about your business and who your clients are.
I am a full service executive coach and performance trainer. I help good people develop profitable business relationships and healthy personal relationships so they can create better harmony, success and happiness in their lives.
Why did you start your business?
I wanted the flexibility to be able to work with people who are serious about their success regardless of what they did for a living. The jobs I have been offered were with large corporations or big consulting firms that only work with large corporations. I started Champion Performance Development so I could help small and medium sized business owners, entrepreneurs and athletes as well as executives in large corporations.
Why do your clients decide to work with you?
Sometimes clients come to me because they know they’re stuck or they want to make a change in their career but most often it is because they want “more”. They aren’t necessarily unhappy. They just know they could be doing bigger and better things with their knowledge and talent. They come to me to brainstorm, work-through, gain knowledge and skills and have ah-ah moments. Those are my favorite.
Can you give us a few tips on how to find ideal clients?
Finding ideal clients is about knowing where to be so they can find you. It is also thinking about what your clients WANT rather than what the NEED. When I brainstorm this question with clients I like to ask them “who would pay for you to give this product or service to someone who needs it but doesn’t want it or can’t afford it." Schools pay for products and services for students that the students themselves wouldn’t be willing to pay for. You can also get sponsorships from corporations to work with groups (at risk youth, women, veterans, homeless, animals, etc, etc).
To market to your ideal client directly, go where they are and be willing and able to talk about what you do. I have gotten clients at the gym, from my biking group, at networking events, from LinkedIn and Facebook and sitting in waiting rooms.
You have a great time management tip. Can you share it with us?
It has become a culturally acceptable to say “I’ve been super busy” as an excuse for pretty much anything. If something doesn’t get done a simple “I’m sorry. I’ve been so busy…” is enough to get someone to nod in sympathy and let us off the hook. I believe there is no such thing as not enough time. It’s all a matter of priorities. My time management tip is to remove “I didn’t have time” and “I was too busy” from your vocabulary. Instead say, “That wasn’t a priority.” Then do a gut check. If you can say something wasn’t a priority and not get a sinking feeling, then it wasn’t important. Don’t worry about it. However, if saying “It wasn’t a priority” makes you feel “icky”, it’s time to look at your priorities and where you are spending your time.
You coined a great term “ambush conversations”. Share a little bit with us about what they are and how they derail our productivity.
An ambush conversation happens anytime someone grabs or calls you and says “Hey I need to talk to you.” They derail your train of thought, slow or stop productivity and can cause you to say “yes” to things you would say “no” to if you had time to think about them. When someone ambushes you, tell them you’re in the middle of something, ask them to send you an email with the details of what they need and let them know you’ll get back to them. It will give you time to think and it will teach the people around you to help you manage your time by not interrupting you. You don’t have to say “no”. You just have to say “not right now.”
Self doubt can be a huge stumbling block. What is one tip you give to help your clients trust themselves and move forward?
When I first started my business someone told me I didn’t know enough to call myself an “expert” and asked me “who do you think you are thinking you can help people?” He was right to say there were people in the world who knew more about my area of expertise than I did (there still are). But those people aren’t my clients. I’m not trying to teach people who know more than me. I’m trying to help those who know less and can benefit from my knowledge.
I share that story because that has been true of every single one of my clients so I’m sure it is true of everyone reading this. Sure there are people who know more than you do. Don’t target them as clients. Help the people who know less than you. It becomes a positive feedback loop for your confidence when you reach out to help someone rather than look up at everyone about you.
Also – don’t compare yourself to others. It is a constantly moving target and provides invalid data. I live by the motto “I don’t want to be better than anyone else. I just want to be better than I was yesterday.”
A challenge I hear from a lot of people is that their friends and family are negative and don’t believe in them. Is there a way to quiet that noise so we can focus our energy on what we need to do to be successful?
A mistake many of us make is going to our friends and family looking for their approval or wanting them to be proud of us. I know I spent a lot of years wanting that. Every time I would go to them with an accomplishment they would find a way to tear it down or tell me how I should have done it better. I finally realized there was no water in that well and I should stop going there looking for a drink.
What I mean is, stop sharing your dreams and successes with people who tear them down. Instead, focus on surrounding yourself with people who believe in you. When you need a drink, go to a well with water.
Being successful is all about creating professional relationships. What tips can you share about how to do that?
Get to know someone as a person. Be observant. If they tell you they don’t drink coffee but enjoy hot chocolate, don’t invite them to coffee. Invite them to hot chocolate. It’s the little things that make you stand out to someone. If you have the opportunity to help them, do so. And of course stay in touch. Sending my weekly blog out as a newsletter has really helped my business. Potential clients learn something from it and it keeps me top-of-mind when they are ready to take their career or business to the next level.
Being confident is a huge part of success. But a lot of people are afraid they will come across as arrogant or cocky. How can we keep that from happening?
The difference between arrogant, cocky and confident is in the intent.
Cockiness: Speaking or acting in a manner that shows you believe you are better than others.
Arrogance: The act of offensively displaying conceit about knowledge or skill with the intention of putting other people down.
Confidence: Understanding that having skills or knowledge that others don’t doesn’t make you better than anyone else, just different.
If you’d like to read the article I wrote about this you can find it here
If I wanted to work with a coach, how would I go about finding the right one for me?
Do a free discovery session (usually about 45 minutes) with a few different coaches to get a feel for their style. Visit their website. Do they offer useful information or is it just talking about what they “will” do for you? Don’t get too sucked into the stories about how they know your pain. Knowing your pain and knowing how to fix it are too different things. If there is a lot of emotional, “rah-rah hire me. This is going to be great” you are going to get more cheerleader than coach. If they can’t give you real insight, ideas, tips or suggestions on their website and during that first call you are likely going to get more sizzle than steak.
Where can we get more information about working with you?
You can sign up for my newsletter, read my blog, order my books, learn about me and even request a discovery call (from the hire Doc Robyn page) on my website: www.DrRobynOdegaard.com
I also just started a Facebook group called “On your mark. Get set. Succeed!” Good people who want more out of life are always welcome to join.
As always, I wish you the MOST from your potential!