Marketing Coaching

Stu’s News
with Trina’s Tips


Marketing Coaching

Over the past two to three years, a new system for evolving a firm’s marketing strength has evolved. For sure, it needs to begin with hands-on training, such as with Mandeville-based workshops. But even the best training will have a fading effect.

Long-term, some workshop alumni continue to report solid results, year after year. Some maintain the essential “lead with your ears” approach, but often cease to practice some of the nuances that add a lot of power to the process. Typically, many do not follow up on Mystery Words, and get to the underlying concerns of a client. And many cease to pause at the end and summarize what they’ve heard, to be sure all of their subsequent efforts are built on a solid foundation.

Increasingly, Trina has become involved with activities that follow up a workshop experience, and actually carry the effort through to the winning of specific contracts … giving a firm measurable ROI. The coaching scenario goes something like this …

  1. Trina attends the Mandeville workshops, to get familiar with the individuals and to get a feeling of the “tone” – the marketing culture and “style” of the firm members.
  2. At the time of the workshops, she works with the firm’s marketing director or principals to identify logical sub-groups, or teams. Sometimes teams are formed by market segment, sometimes by geographic segments. Typically, teams have three to five members, to be sure each member receives solid personal counsel, and to organize some of the marketing efforts on a team basis.
  3. Coaching sessions usually require two hours apiece, spaced about a month apart. (In some cases, they were done every other week for two to three months, then changed to monthly.) In-person seems to produce the best results. However, if a single team is remote, Skype is the next best medium … followed by conference calling.
  4. In each session, participants receive specific assignments that are to be completed, usually, by the next meeting. That could include a project-specific Mandeville meeting, a client feedback meeting, a market research meeting, to learn what a client organization’s future plans are. It also could be a plan for what to do at a client convention, to be sure those attending have specific goals and expectations.

In one clear example, a firm was working on a huge federal contract that was coming up for renewal … five more years of work for a large number of people. Team leaders were confident they were a lock to get the renewal – but – were so busy, they hadn’t actually had contact with, much less received feedback from, many of the clients, for some time. Trina had them organize a feedback effort. They discovered the clients were so unhappy they might not have even made the short-list.

Using the feedback, they’ve made adjustments and are now – according to their clients – a virtual shoe-in for the contract renewal. The third party perspective – and prodding – in getting the team to apply basic Mandeville feedback techniques, made a huge difference.

  1. In between coaching sessions, team members may phone Trina for advice about any difficulties they’re experiencing.
  2. Where a coaching session departs from “normal” meetings is in accountability. Trina often talks people through even basics, such the best way to even introduce themself. But – she also expects results at the next meeting, and can be quite firm about why something wasn’t done, what kind of support is needed, and how to be sure it’s done next time.

In terms of seeing concrete outcomes, in the form of new projects awarded to the firm, the time frame depends somewhat on the market. Private sector clients will make decisions based on need, where many government agencies have standard cycles for RFPs, selections, and contract awards. From experience …

  • In six to nine months a firm will have measurable outcomes, in terms of new awards.
  • Teams will have a picture of new leads and specific pursuits to pursue over the coming months.
  • And – best of all – teams will have a momentum, sharpened skills and the confidence in using them, and support among team members that yields long-term new business.

Finally, Trina also works with whomever is in charge of the firm’s marketing, to “coach the coach” and transfer future coaching to an in-firm operation.

While Mandeville workshops have had a positive effect on the marketing fortunes of scores of firms and thousands of professionals, this “one-two” system of training and coaching is showing impressive and measurable results!