Arlene Watkins, President, HCCS, INC.
My husband and I started our computer business 20years ago, growing from a home-based business with just the two of us, to a good sized office with 7 employees.
When I started working with Mike I was worried about our company’s future. I also knew I needed to make changes. What I found in working with Mike was that for an hour or so each week, we worked on the business, not in the business. Mike helped me pull back, look at the big picture and think differently about our strategies and tactics.
Perhaps the area of greatest impact from Mike’s coaching has been in sales. I love our company and the service we provide, but I have always dreaded sales! For the first decade of our business, we never seemed to have any problem growing and bringing in projects. But as the world changed and the economy collapsed, business no longer walked through the door. I hired sales managers but they did not make much of a difference. When my last sales manager quit, Mike convinced me that I should take on this role.
With Mike’s help, I have transformed my sales paradigm. For me, sales is not about convincing people to buy my service; it’s about being in authentic conversations, finding out their needs and seeing if we can help. This transformation had immediate pay-offs in terms of results. We went from a dry pipeline to one with over 20 leads, projects and proposals in development. It’s been an illuminating journey, and Mike has helped me in everything from creating a new paradigm, to role playing, to preparing for calls, to setting up goals and accountability. It’s incredible how far I’ve come.
Mike has also worked with me on being more effective and powerful in my role as president of the company. In the past I tended to be too nice in my communications, which meant I would often be vague with my requests or due dates. With Mike’s help, I came to realize that I was inadvertently undermining productivity and effectiveness. Mike facilitated a workshop for our entire company, going through the mechanics of requests, commitments and assessments to help us be more effective, responsible and action-oriented. I have seen some dramatic shifts within the company based on this new and powerful approach. Along the way, I am continuing to learn more about management and leadership without necessarily changing my personality or style.
I only wish I had access to Mike’s coaching 10 years ago!