Potential clients often approach me with an immediate request for coaching. Usually they’ve attended one of my classes or heard about me from a colleague. Literally 90% of my business comes from these two sources.
Now usually they’re in a hurry to get me in. Often they want me to “drop everything” and come in for emergency agile training / coaching within a few weeks. I have to explain to them that my pipeline is usually fully engaged 3-4 months in advance, particularly for longer engagements.
Quite often I’ll try to recommend a solid colleague, but they often have the same constraints as I do. So the client usually will schedule something and wait. Often that waiting interval will allow “things” to calm down and for us to better plan our engagement.
Getting to know you…
Now this is something I do that on the surface might appear strange. Instead of diving in and immediately signing a contract based on a few email, phone conversations, or videoconferences; I like to schedule something I call – It’s Just Lunch.
I’ve found that a successful agile coaching relationship and partnership requires getting to know prospective clients. And the best way to do that is via face-to-face conversations.
I think I’ve heard that somewhere in my agile journey ;-)
The IJL is a 1-day visit I make to the prospective client in order for us to get to know one another. I usually offer a team-wide workshop and some point coaching. It’s done for free and all I ask is that the potential client pick up the tab for travel expenses.
What’s in it for the client is some free coaching & training as well as checking to see if I am compatible with their culture, strategies, and team. What’s in it for me is that I gain information on the clients’ true needs as well as assessing their current state of agility and their intentions around becoming seriously agile.
I think it’s a win-win for both of us.
Here’s a link to a better description of IJL. If you’re thinking of engaging RGCG, this is a great way to get to know us. And remember, it’s just lunch.
Stay agile my friends,