Materia Gratis: Articles

5 Ways to Lose Money from Gaps in Programs and Services

by T. Falcon Napier

It’s often been said, “You can’t be all things to all people.”

So, I accept the fact that as a speaker, trainer, coach or consultant, you can’t offer every service or topic that your clients may want or need. But you need to get as close as possible if you want to gain as much as possible from that relationship and ensure an easier road to referrals!

The toughest part about the human development industry is FINDING a CLIENT. Providing that client with whatever service they wanted is the EASY part – the FUN part! So once you have gained a client, you need to keep your involvement with them purposeful and profitable.

That means you must be prepared to offer them a comprehensive and coordinated menu of programs and services.

You must ALWAYS have something your clients want to buy.

But in all of the years we’ve been advising professionals, we’ve heard countless stories of speakers who captivate an audience with a 60-minute keynote, but don’t have any longer, more in-depth training to offer. We’ve worked with trainers who don’t offer coaching – and coaches who don’t offer training. And consultants who are great working on a project with a few people but are terrified to step up on stage and speak!

Some of the gaps may very well be by choice – but, for the most part, professionals in our industry simply don’t SEE what they’re missing. In fact, of all of the speakers, trainers, coaches and consultants we’ve worked with, the average score they gave when asked how big of a problem gaps in programs and services are to them, was just 2.4 on a 10-point scale. Yet when they completed an inventory of what they have to offer their clients, 100% of them determined that they were, in fact, missing something that could have been an additional source of revenue for them.

SO many people in our industry are in a serious rut!

They’re teaching the same material and using the same techniques as they have been for years – and many of them are teaching concepts and using tools that existed years, generations, centuries … even MILLENNIA before they were born.

That’s not to suggest that there aren’t topics and approaches that are truly timeless – but step into the confessional here for a moment and recognize what a bunch of recyclers we’ve become. That rut has stopped the progress of many of our peers – and most certainly slowed the progress of many of their clients.

Here’s a quick overview of the “Five Gaps in Programs & Services.” Answer each of the questions asked – and then answer the BIG QUESTION:

1) Alignment Gaps

a) Do the programs and services you offer your clients continue to meet their needs year after year?

b) Have most of your clients used your services every year since you first met them – or were they interested and involved for a period of time, but have since moved on?

c) Is it time for you to realign yourself to the realities of the world in which your prospects and clients live and work – and revitalize the substance and value of what you have to offer?

2) Topic Gaps

a) Are you offering topics that have been specifically requested by your prospects and clients or do you find yourself selling them on a subject you feel strongly about but wasn’t requested by them?

b) When the economy takes a downward turn, would the average decision maker you work with consider what you offer to be mission-critical or mission-optional?

c) What percentage of the content you cover existed before you were born – and how much of it is unique to you?

3) Format Gaps

a) Are the programs and services you provide pre-mapped to relatively pre-set timeframes – or do you custom construct a solution for each client?

b) Do you have sufficient content to fill programs ranging from a simple keynote address to a multi-week workshop?

c) If your clients preferred to deliver the program themselves, are you able to certify them to do so?

4) Service Gaps

a) To what degree have you integrated pre-training consulting and post-training coaching into your standard offerings?

b) What instruments and assessments do you routinely suggest to your clients?

c) Are the instruments you use unique to your practice or are they commonly found among all your peers?

5) Support Gaps

a) What do you routinely provide your clients in terms of follow-up reinforcement?

b) How often do your clients ask you how you ensure the long-term benefits of the program you conducted?

c) What percentage of your clients do NOT take advantage of your suggestions?

So now for the BIG question:

“How many gaps do YOU have in your programs and services and how much revenue has that cost you?”

Of course, these are but a few of the questions you need to routinely ask yourself to keep your programs and services up-to-date, state-of-the-art and in great demand by your existing and prospective clients.

What other gaps do you think human development professionals need to close?


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