I was teaching my “Building Your Consulting Business” class at UCLA Extension and one of my participants asked whether it is better to simply devise and conduct seminars or to consult, to coach, to offer specific tips to businesspeople as individuals.
Sensing he had already made a decision about this, I asked his view and he said, “I’d rather do seminars because you’re not really responsible for on the job results; it’s less stressful.”
Of course, he’s right.
If you have packaged a well received seminar, it can almost work for you on autopilot. Promote it properly, get through the topics as planned, collect your check, and be on your way.
When I first started out in my own business, this is exactly what I did, quite profitably, and when I itched to do more, or to break the monotony, I expanded my menu of classes.
But I always wondered how my information was faring for people back at their jobs. Were they working the plan, as we had planned the work?
I decided to poll participants by phone, about two weeks after sessions concluded, and I was treated to an interesting fact.
Yes, they loved the class, but no, they really hadn’t employed a lot of what they learned, just bits and pieces.
And to prove the point, they recited what pieces they found most useful.
So, I reached a decision point in my consultancy: Should I continue offering public seminars, or bring my courses onsite, and add a “coaching” component as well as performance measures to assure that ideas translated into action?
I opted for the latter, and yes, it ushered in more stress, but a lot more satisfaction, too.
Although I was tentative at first about making the transition, I found it gave me a lot more confidence, ultimately. Instead of telling seminar participants, “This works for me and for others, so it SHOULD work for you,” I earned the right to assert, “If you do this, it WILL WORK FOR YOU!”
Bold stuff, isn’t it?
I went from offering information, to advocating it, and then to implementing it, and finally, I was convinced enough of its value that I could GUARANTEE RESULTS when my methods were employed.
In a sense I evolved from a seminar entrepreneur and trainer to a consultant-coach to a work process manager.
Instead of changing individuals, I began to change entire working units, and then the profitability of companies, directly.
This sort of evolution won’t happen by itself. Just as my student suggested, you need to make a choice about the challenges you’re suited for, and go from there.
But I hope my example shows you that there is also a career track that you can develop for yourself, one that increases your responsibilities, and rewards.
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com & The Goodman Organization is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, “The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable,” published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC’s Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: [email protected]
For information about coaching, consulting, training, books, videos and audios, please go to http://www.customersatisfaction.com
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