Monday, May 12, 2008
Take Five: Executive Coaching Success Tips
Field Notes from Top Businesswoman in Government Contracts
Congratulations to Marilyn Edelson of OnTrack Coaching -- she just won her first government contract! She provides executive coaching, especially for top IT professionals.
I asked how she did it, and she was glad to share these keys to success!
Marilyn admires her government clients, and is proud to help them. "These are real people who work incredibly long hours, doing yeoman's work for our government-- that is, for us! I am amazed at their diligence and dedication, and communicating that genuine admiration never hurts in winning business!"
1. Define the Signs
What are symptoms of the problem you solve?
"A re-organization or turnover in key personnel -- especially if the position would be vacant for a while -- usually suggests the organization will be struggling with the kind of issues we're really good at easing such as change management."
2. Research for the Need!
Marilyn constantly scans industry news for people with those symptoms.
"Sure enough, we noticed a government agency that had that kind of change. Then we researched the specific challenges they were facing."
3. Know Who You Know
How strong is your database? Among your current and past clients, personal and business contacts, is probably someone who can open a door to the person you need to meet.
"My business partner had done a contract for someone else in that agency. He made the introduction and set up the meeting. The trusted relationship and track record gave us a hearing...but we had to be prepared and offer the specific value they needed at that time."
4. Offer Something Easy To Try.
Know the purchasing thresholds and offer some small-scale options for people to try you out. "When they had a group of senior decision-makers at the first meeting, we knew we'd identified a need, and we were ready with ideas. I told them about an analysis tool we could use, and they were thrilled. We also let them know we could offer our services as a 'pilot' project which lowered their risk."
5. Nurture the Right Relationships
...to Move the Contract Forward Once Agreement Has Been Reached
"We knew they were serious but were fortunate enough to work with a Contracting Officer who moved our contract forward with lightening speed. I grew to have a genuine liking for this person as well as for the executive who sponsored us.