How career coaching helped an agency owner save his business

Amana Walker reveals how coaching has helped people in the travel industry. Names have been changed to protect the client’s identity.

Chris has been an agency owner for years and has learnt on the job. He loves the industry and over the years has seen steady growth, thanks in part to his regular customers. When he contacted me, he told me he may have to consider selling up.

Three years ago his business went into decline. It was only slight in the first year, but dramatic by the third. The overheads, on the other hand, were going up.

His team were asking for pay rises, which he couldn’t afford. He’d lost confidence in his ability to pull the business back up. Despite years of experience he could not see a way through.

The first step was to get Chris’s confidence back, find out what he is good at and what strengths the business had and build on them.

Chris was very determined and eager to do something concrete, so had the right attitude for finding solutions.

He was still good at selling, with extensive knowledge and great personality. However he had, by his own admission, lost his spark.

The business still had a good core customer base and the surrounding areas were booming with new homes being built. This had to be an opportunity.

We agreed some objectives and reviewed them as we went along.

Every month I visited him, and in between he had coaching by e-mail to discuss how things were going.

Chris wanted to see his team develop a ‘winning attitude’. This is something that would improve morale, the atmosphere and sales.

He wanted to influence customers to buy. When customers are coming in you have very little time to influence, so you have to know how to do it well. When customers are not coming in, you have to go and find some. We discussed some smart ways in which Chris could do this.

And he wanted to review his overheads – how could efficiency be improved?

The agency is now on an upward curve, and Chris is well known in the area with businesses and families alike. It’s easy for sales to decline gradually; it’s not easy to win business back again.

Chris said: “Coaching has really given me fire in my belly and made me believe I can and will achieve anything I put my mind to. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

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