By Marija on April 15th, 2012
Dr. Angus McLeod is a Silver Author on EvanCarmichael.com – to view his articles click here. We asked him how he made his first sale – here’s what he said:
I was working full-time as executive chairman of part of Investco-Perpetual, the Unit Trust Group. My area of business development was their take on ethical investments as a fully-funded, pilot start-up. Almost immediately after joining the company, I had to lead a buy-in-management buy-out which I achieved some months later.
I’d already trained in counselling to ‘Certificate’ level and wanted some more development both for me and also skills to use with potential clients. My long-term aim was to move into the personal-development area.
My first three clients came from attending a training programme with 33 others – this was an NLP course (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and all three wanted personal coaching from me. Their interest came, I suppose, from the work we had done together during our 20 days of training over several months. These involved many exercises in groups, twos and threes and some rudimentary co-coaching with one or two observers to give feedback afterwards. I’d also been asked by many of the group to do a couple of extra group-sessions in the evenings and everyone turned up for those. Feedback suggested that one of the things people liked is my ‘authenticity’. The lesson must be that to fake an attitude does not impress; it is better to be yourself. That feedback and the three pieces of work gave me the confidence to think about discrete marketing of my coaching skills and perhaps leaving my full-time job. It is interesting that those contacts and others made through trainings, conferences since then have invariably led to work. That can take 3-4 years and come out-of-the-blue. At other times the time-frame is much less! The confidence of being wanted for my coaching led me to a better-paid piece of work gained through personal acquaintance. This friend knew what I was up to. That is another essential thing: let people know what you are doing and want to do. That had three key outcomes: It made it real in my own head; I had to be concise and clear about the benefits I brought, and, it got someone else to sell me!
The well paid piece of work came through just such a person. She told someone she knew about me and they became interested enough to set up a meeting over an early-evening beer at a local pub.
Early-on during that exploratory meeting (to talk about how he could get more edge (in his very senior role in a huge IT business), I offered to switch to coaching-mode to demonstrate what great coaching can achieve. Eight minutes later he bought my coaching to a stop. This halt was only to offer me the chance to give him six two-hour sessions. He asked about rates and as I was hedging, he said, “I’d expect you to be earning at least as much as me”. He quickly worked out a session rate based on 150 working days a year (three days out of five invoiced work) and it came out at £680 per session. He asked me to lodge an invoice for fees immediately because, “my company is a slow payer”.
Further work followed. I made mistakes as well as successes and paid the price of failures. I learned from the success and those mistakes. I’ve been majoring on executive coaching and the training of coaching-skills to managers, normally as part of strategic moves towards embedding these skills in the whole organisation. As a consequence, I and my team of coaches and trainers have worked in numerous organisation from Healthcare to aerospace, from Government to Insurance.
About Dr Angus McLead:
Dr Angus McLeod is author of ‘Me, Myself, My Team’ (Crown House, 2000 & 2006) and ‘Performance Coaching’ (Crown House, 2003) and many articles on coaching in the international press. His first book with John Wiley is about personal leadership and is called ‘Self-coaching Leadership (Wiley, 2007). He has written ‘Performance Coaching Toolkit’ under with McGraw-Hill under the Open University imprint. Dr McLeod is Visiting Professor of Coaching at Birmingham City University and supervises applied resreach in the Business School. He is co-founder of the not-for-profit Coaching Foundation and inventor of ‘Ask Max’ the internet mentoring offering first used by Sainsburys in the late 1990′s. He is Principal of the AMA Coachings School. He is also a published poet (and a healer following a miracle in 1995). Dr McLeod works from Pennsylvania and Worcester and can be contacted in the UK on (+44) 78220.127.116.11 or visit www.angusmcleod.com
Tags: authenticity, certificate level, counselling, ethical investments, executive chairman, full time job, group sessions, linguistic programming, nlp course, observers, out of the blue, personal acquaintance, personal coaching, personal development area, term aim, three pieces, threes, training programme, trust group, unit trust