In this interview, we spoke with past client Stan Baker of Restorative Solutions. His company manages data on school attendance and assists schools with improving the performance of chronically absent students.  He feels in many cases that students fail to attend school because they don’t think the school system truly cares about their education.  He works with school administrators, counselors and other professionals to deal directly with these students and create a more supportive environment where they know their school is on their side.

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Educational Institutions Are Complex, Work to Simplify the Issues

Solving for truancy is complex and requires interaction with a range of stakeholders. Stan needed a method to interact with the right people and navigate the nuances in order to limit bureaucratic slowdowns. Specifically, Stan needed a better approach for structuring and leading these complex conversations with decision-makers. 

The program gave Stan the framework he needed. With his new skills, Stan not only has better interaction with prospective clients, but the conversation flow creates enthusiasm for the upcoming project. On Stan’s first post-program call, the prospect said, “We have to keep this conversation going.”  On his second, the prospect said, “Yeah, we’re gonna do something together.”  

These conversations are natural, pleasant, focused and productive. Stan is able to establish his expertise and move the conversation forward without any uncomfortable or pushy sales tactics. 

When he speaks with a prospect, Stan now knows:

  • Let the prospect talk, and she will tell you what the problem is.  Stan’s new approach gives him a structure for conversation (NOT a sales pitch in disguise). Authentic dialogue makes it easier for the prospective client to articulate the problem and process appropriate solutions. Once the goals of Stan and his prospect are synched, the prospect can become even more excited about the idea of starting (maybe even more than Stan)!
  • Fight the temptation for “sales talk”. Choose to be quiet. Stan developed an ear for hearing his own “sales talk” - recognizing when he gets excited and pushes too hard in the conversation. His new framework showed him how to use strategic silence to re-direct the conversation back on the prospect and their greatest needs in the moment.
  • The conversations are short, powerful, and always lead to a profitable  next step.  An amazing amount of communication often happens in less than half an hour. Stan knows what to do with the information and how to recommend a next step that serves the interest of both parties. 

Now that he is through the program, Stan is actively learning through doing.  While working on his business he gets daily practice in skills that are already paying off.  

Follow the Best Practices of Top Consultants

Stan has a lot of good things to say about his experiences learning to streamline his business  with a premium service.

  1. Video Conference Calls.  The group calls kept Stan on track, and gave him positive accountability throughout the experience. This was a dedicated time for him to get clarity and support on each action-item of the program.
  2. Direct, helpful feedback.  In addition to the group calls, feedback was provided in both written and video format. This allowed Stan to refine his productized service down to the very simple approach it is now.
  3. Simplified thinking.  A main thrust of the experience is a singular focus on the client’s problem.  At times Stan felt his past experience interfered, veering him off course.  He learned to ask one simple question whenever distractions arose: Would that be part of the problem my prospect is facing?
  4. Excellent presentation and sequencing. The experience is sequenced to maximize his productivity:  presentations, followed by action items and then feedback.
  5. Learning from example.  Stan plans to incorporate elements of the coaching format into his own practice.  He will lead his own conference calls with the question he has learned to ask: “What is the most important thing?”

Becoming an Educational Consultant: The Process and Learning are Ongoing

Currently Stan continues to learn as he implements these new processes into his business.  He is doubling-down on concentrating on a highly effective LinkedIn profile - and has found that in just two days, he has attained six contacts who are exactly the people he set out to reach.  Each time he speaks with a prospective client, he learns more about himself, his business, and how much fun it is to focus on one streamlined, premium service.

Stan recommends, “Practice. It's really about practicing everything. Practice the LinkedIn habits. Practice the phone calls. Practice the tracking. It's just practice.”

Be Aware: You Can Break the Business Model

If you are considering working with Coveted Consultant, Stan suggests watching some of the videos on YouTube, where you can see what kind of structure and simplicity the process brings to a consultant’s business model.

When you join the program, part of the understanding is that you will be working hard and learning a great deal in a short amount of time - and it is totally worthwhile.

Stan admits he had to overcome some self-constructed barriers and limiting beliefs to succeed - mostly the idea of, “I’ve never done it this way before.” Once he moved past, he was able to embrace the idea of working on his business rather than working inside his business. Simplification creates space for new things in both his life and his work. The better-designed business plan gives him more time for the other parts of his life which, in turn, make him better at working on his business.

If you are considering working with Coveted Consultant, Stan suggests watching some of the videos on YouTube, where you can see what kind of structure and simplicity the process brings to a consultant’s business model.  

When you join the program, part of the understanding is that you will be working hard and learning a great deal in a short amount of time - and it is totally worthwhile.

Schools Keep Their Trusted Experts

School attendance data (the effects of truancy) are measured over months or years That said, the long-term effects of Stan’s recommendations are yet to be determined. He predicts that as the years go by, his core business will remain basically the same but will be improved in terms of efficiency, data and clarity of benefits.  With time, he’ll be able to say, “Here is what we did.  Here’s how it worked.  Here’s what we changed,” and back that up with numbers and experience.  

Still, he knows that clients don’t swap out their trusted experts. With his focused approach to attracting and serving clientele he has specific and measurable ways of creating value in the short term. His new ability to add value from the very first interaction will immediately establish expertise, trust, and leverage for longer term engagements.

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