Meet Amit Chilka - a certified career success coach based in Pune, India. He coaches and helps people sail through mid-career crisis and other career related problems.
Here’s more about Amit in his own words.
I worked as an HR professional with various MNCs for over 12 years. It was going well per se - good salary, timely promotions, work-life balance and the freedom to pursue what I wanted to, both professionally and personally. But, something was missing.
Soon questions like “Has my life turned too comfortable”, “Do I really feel challenged”, “Am I making money and meaning”, “Am I really happy with my current life,” began to crowd my mind. The more I thought, the clearer I got that unknowingly, I was hit by the most popular demon of today – the mid-career crisis.
Over the next few days I repeatedly asked myself, “If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am doing today?
And since the answer to this question was 'no' for too many days in a row, I knew I needed to change something!
My time had come. I needed to change the course my life was taking. And I finally took the step that appears most daunting, I quit my job. And what was my calling? It was the passion I had – to help people for their passion, to travel and help others travel, and to help people overcome mid-career crisis!
What did Amit do differently to convert an enquiry into his first paid coaching client?
1. Accepted the challenge
The client was in Mumbai and Amit is based in Pune. The client wanted in-person coaching sessions. Amit accepted it. He showed willingness to travel from Pune to Mumbai if the need arises, only and only to coach this client. And this wasn’t out of desperation as it may sound. He loves to travel. He has been traveling across India for training and group coaching sessions. So he saw it another opportunity to travel to Mumbai and coach this client. And since he has other clients in Mumbai too, clubbing the meetings with a new visit has worked well for Amit in the past too.
2. Heard him out
The client was frustrated. He had a lot to say and did not have any listener. Amit heard him, understood what the client was going through and did not utter a word of advice. He only listened to him patiently and let his prospective client pour his heart out. There were neither long forms to fill nor self-assessments to be done. This gave the client the confidence that he would be heard.
3. Built confidence
The client had lost his job several times and had been without one for the past 3 years. This had led to his low self-esteem. He had started doubting his capabilities to the extent where he wasn’t sure if he could even get a job after being rejected over and over again. Amit asked him to have faith and he will help the client land up with a job through coaching.
4. Offered a Guarantee
Amit offered him two payment options. The first was a flat 15% discount. However the second was well thought through and without offering a discount. Amit offered him to take six coaching sessions at the cost of four and pay for the rest two once he has got the job. He had asked for a discount earlier but he took no time to respond in positive for the second option.
Guarantees work very well to build the confidence and make a sale, asserts Amit. Coaching never talks about tangible results. Thus most of the clients after their free session are not sure of what to expect at the end of a huge investment in terms of time and money. If you are able to en-cash on the ‘guarantee’ trump card, it will be easy for you to convert an enquiry into paid coaching clients, adds Amit.
Congratulations to Amit for his first coaching assignment. Many more in store!