When I first started coaching full-time almost 10 years ago, my business development (“Biz-D”) efforts were rather, well, haphazard. On some days, as I’d hoped, I was absolutely on fire! But on other days—on most days, to be honest about it—I was … not. It didn’t take long to realize that this type of inconsistency would serve neither my business, nor me. Indeed, I kept hearing the words of Bill Thomas rattling around in my brain:
"What you do today to build your business will pay off 90 days from now. And what you fail to do today to build your business will also pay off 90 days from now. Which pay-off do you want?"
I knew needed a plan, a system, a “discipline”—one that would challenge me, but not overwhelm me; one that would be easy to implement, but still meaningful and impactful. But what?
And then the Universe spoke.
Staring blankly at the shelves of my local bookstore one day, my eyes suddenly focused on “How to Become a Rainmaker,” by Jeffrey J. Fox. A fast and rich read, anyone who’s interesting in building a business would likely benefit from it. But that’s not the purpose of this article. Rather, it’s to discuss a little something I learned from it that served my “Biz-D” efforts particularly well—something Fox called his Point System:
“There are four steps that are part of every sale,” he wrote. “They are:
(1) Getting a lead, a referral, an introduction to a decision maker;
(2) Getting an appointment to meet the decision maker;
(3) Meeting the decision maker face-to-face;
(4) Getting a commitment to close (a purchase) or to an action that directly leads to a close.
“Assign one point to Step 1,” he continued, “two points to Step 2, three points to Step 3, and four points to Step 4. Work every day to get a total of four points, in any combination of steps [and] you will never run out of prospects, your pipeline will always be full, you will never have a slow period, and you will always be making rain.”
Wow! What an interesting and provocative notion, I thought. It’s certainly worth a try. But first, I felt I needed to "tweak" it a bit to make it more coach-relevant. Here’s what I decided:
- Engage someone in a conversation about coaching – earn 1 point.
- Schedule a Sample Session, or get a referral from someone – earn 2 points.
- Conduct a Sample Session, or ask someone to be their coach – earn 3 points.
- Sign up a new client – earn 4 points.
As in Fox's system, any combination of activities that add up to 4 points works. So, one new client (4 points) or one Sample Session and one conversation about coaching (3+1= 4 points), or scheduling a Sample Session and two other conversations about coaching (2+1+1= 4 points) all earn your daily goal of 4 points. It's as simple as that.
The reward? It's twofold, actually:
- Reward One – As soon as you earn your 4 points for the day, you've earned the right to take the rest of the day off! (And I encourage you to do exactly that, without worry or regret.)
- Reward Two – If you earnestly play the "Biz-D” Points game for even a few weeks, you will likely find yourself having created some fascinating new coaching opportunities (read: clients).
You may have noted that I called this my “Biz-D” Points GAME. That was intentional because building one’s coaching practice can get really serious and stressful at times, so I wanted (and needed) to keep it purposefully light and bright, engaging and fun! It’s a Core Values thing. And it’s where I do some of my absolute best work. I’m thinking maybe you do, too!
Oh, there’s one more rule to the game that’s fairly important: Points do NOT rollover from one day to the next. So, even if you exceed your 4-point goal on any given day, your point total resets to back to zero the next day. Other than that, you have free reign to define your points however you’d like.
And worry not, if 4 points each day seems too much to start with, try shooting for 4 points every 2 days, or every 4 days, instead. Simply choose what serves you best because the point of the points, if you will, is that they can help you build your business.
And that IS the point, is it not?!
Barry Zweibel, MBA, MCC, is president of GottaGettaCoach!®, Inc. As a noted executive coach, leadership consultant and master certified life coach, he engages smart, capable, people in meaningful conversations about their personal growth and professional development. www.ggci.com.