If you like stories them you will enjoy this book which tells the story of Russ, who runs a golf coaching business and David who buys coaching lessons from Russ but ends up coaching him on how to improve his business. This is an easy book to read and it’s short too. On my Kindle it adds up to just 106 pages but it holds some very valuable lessons. While Russ runs his own business, he is struggling to hold everything together. He has young children, a wife, bills to pay and a business that is not generating nearly enough money.
Russ met David on a dreary morning when one of his clients had cancelled. They got talking and he found out David is a business coach who trains people using a toolkit which focuses on product architecture, pricing and value propositions. From David’s perspective that means he helps people build products their customers like, build more value into those products to sell them at higher prices and also help people spend more time with prospective clients. According to David he helps entrepreneurs develop the right kind of mindset.
David would book a couple of coaching sessions with Russ and end up teaching him about running his business more effectively. After questioning Russ about his business during the first lesson they agreed that Russ would teach David golf and they would talk about business at the same time because David wanted to help Russ after listening to his story. He did tell Russ that he would need to follow his instructions and through out their lessons takes Russ through a number of lessons. I have reviewed the key lessons below.
Lesson one: what are your goals?
David’s first instruction to Russ was to write his goals. He told Ross that:
“The first exercise I want you to do for next Tuesday is to write up a list of your one, three, five and ten-year goals. No matter how big or small. But imagine where you want your life to be at each interval. Share your goals with your wife. Write them down for me. We’ll discuss them next week.”
After saying that he unexpectedly paid for 8 lessons. Russ was delighted.
David did write his goals which he shared with David who questioned him and shared his lesson on goal setting. Here’s a summary of the lesson:
- first you need to have a specific goal,
- next you must have a strong desire to achieve the goal, and
- finally you must take positive actions towards achieving the goal.
Second lesson: what are you really selling?
David’s second golf lesson came around quick and he shared with Russ a second business lesson focused on creating products and packaging. He told Russ that:
- You’re not selling golf lessons but a result. In other words the result he’s selling is to help people improve their golf game within a specified time.
- Have a variety of products from which you can offer products of choice. For instance focus on specific areas of your clients game instead of trying to improve every aspect of their game at once.
- Lead the client, don’t let the client lead you. You know your products, they don’t. Use your knowledge of your products to lead the client.
- Your products must have a clearly defined set of features which are delivered over a set period of time. This makes the product recognisable. That is the packaging.
Lesson three: the two why’s of business
- Be clear about what clients want to achieve by buying your product and why they would choose you. David calls these the two ‘whys’
Russ answered the question of two ‘whys’ this way:
I texted David, “Got it!! 1) Because they want to enjoy the game more and get recognition for it and 2) because I can inspire them to strive to be the best golfer they can be – those are my ‘whys’!!!”
Lesson four: about pricing.
- Don’t charge hourly because you are charging for your time which is limited. If you have a maximum of 40 hours to work, hourly charging means you can’t make more than £1000.
- Don’t charge what everyone else is charging because you can never be sure that their prices are right.
- Don’t be afraid to put up prices when you need to.
You can achieve all these three by putting your products into packages which allow you to charge what you want. So you charge for the packages not your time. This lesson was important for Russ because he was charging £25 per hour for his lessons.
Lesson five: pitching products and getting commitment
- Don’t spend ages creating a product and trying to perfect it. Create a good enough product and put it into the market to get feedback about whether it’s viable.
- Draw up a contract to get your client’s committment. The contract clearly outlines your offer and what they are responsible for. It is only if they live up to their part of the bargain that they can claim a 100% money back guarantee if they don’t like your product.
Lesson six: about customer journeys
- Create your customer journey and take your customer through it so that they totally understand what you are offering them. Then offer it to them to as you promised in your commitment ro them. After offering your product, follow up with the client to ensure they are happy with your product.
- If after you follow up, you find out the client isn’t happy, you can look back over your customer journey to identify what and where you need to improve.
Lesson seven: Get loyal customers who deliver more value
- Build more packages such as subscriptions or support packages which provide extra value to your client’s but also create an extra source of income for you.
- Create extra value to build longer term clients who pay you more and for longer.
These seven lessons helped Russ improve his business and become more profitable. As I wrote earlier, this is a simple book to read but it is also very practical because not only does it discuss the business lesson, it also describes how Russ applies them. I’m sure one or more of these lessons will resonate with you. My favourite is the one about pricing.