Services

Power Up Your Practice Coaching Program

I know lots of investigators who are great at investigations – that's what they have been trained to do and where they have experience.  But some investigators may be a little lost when it comes to areas such as strategic planning, marketing and public relations, or management.  If that happens to be you, it’s no longer a problem because you have found someone who can help you.  Every situation is different, and everyone’s experience and lessons already learned are different.  My customized coaching program can fill in any gaps where you need a little or even a lot of help.  We start with a free introduction telephone call to talk about what you need.  We may discuss your vision of the future:  where you want to go and how we can get you there.  The call will also help us both to decide whether working together would be a good fit.  Click on the button below to send me an email.  Let me know how I can help, and we can schedule our call.

You may be an experienced investigator or the head of a firm, but sometimes it’s good to have someone with experience who can help you talk through your ideas, discussing the pros and the cons before you make a decision.  Other people might need a gentle “nudge” from someone else to give them a little more incentive to follow through with their goals.  I can help.  Click on the button to send me an email and let’s explore how we can work together to help you be successful.

Our customized programs can help you to:

Develop and implement your vision of the future

 Have you thought about the future of your practice and where you want it to be?

  How will technology and globalization impact you, and how will you evolve your practice and the services you provide?

Investigators can no longer just continue to do business as usual.  Your competitors who can foresee new problems to solve for their clients will leave those who can’t behind or worse -- out of business.

Change your mindset about marketing

  Taking out an ad in the Yellow Pages and making sure your company has the biggest and most attractive ad is not a good marketing plan.

  What do your clients need the most?

  Where would they look for you?

  How would they find you?

You may not like marketing because you aren't comfortable giving a prospective client a canned sales pitch that sounds as if you were trying to sell him a used car.  You know that you are a great investigator but might have trouble seeing yourself being this type of salesperson. 

The good news is that I agree with you -- using a canned sales pitch is not the way to win business.  Most marketing starts with a casual conversation and just talking to people about how you can help them.  You provide great service and you should be comfortable telling other people what you do and why you do it.

Identify the issues you would like to improve about your practice

Have you thought about who your ideal clients are?  This is important for several reasons.  First of all, these are the clients most likely to hire you, either because you are the best choice to solve their problem, because they like and trust you, because they think you have the most expertise in the type of case they need you for, or all of the above.  Lots of investigators use the “I’ll take every client and every job” approach, which doesn’t guarantee that they will always connect with the ideal client.  I can help you identify your ideal client, and position your practice so they will see you as the ideal firm to hire.

Do you have clients who leave you feeling physically or mentally drained every time you deal with them?  Do you treat your ideal clients differently than the ones you dread dealing with?  I would suggest that no matter how hard you try not to, there is a difference.  If you aren’t engaged and eager to work with a client, the quality of your service will be affected.  That’s not fair to the client or to you.   We can talk about why you think these clients are difficult and the best alternatives for dealing with them.

Is there a specific type of job you enjoy more than others?  Why?  Could you identify the clients who would be more likely to hire you for those types of jobs? 

Think how you would feel if every job were the type of project you enjoy working on the most.  Would you feel more satisfied and more enthusiastic?

Attract new clients and more business

Attracting new business and creating a practice that is not only self-sustaining but always growing is a challenge for every firm and for every individual investigator.

  Have you identified your ideal clients and where they are?

  What are the best ways to contact them so that you can start your marketing conversation?

  How can new clients find you, and how visible are you in the marketplace?

  Do you have a strategy to connect with new clients or do you just depend on “word of mouth” marketing?

There are still plenty of firms out there who rely on “brochure” web sites or even cold-calling to attract new clients.  I can help you develop more targeted programs that improve your chances of attracting and keeping new clients.

Learn the most important way to create more income fast!

There is one way to produce immediate increases in revenue that most investigators never take advantage of, and that is referral business.  Yet many investigators are shy about asking for referrals from current clients, associates, friends, or family.  If you provide quality service, everyone who knows you should be proud to recommend your services to someone else who needs your help.  Referrals are great introductions, since they already come with a recommendation from the person giving the referral, which makes it easier for you to convince new prospective clients that you are their best choice.

Create a unique brand to help you to stand out from the competition

  Everything you do -- from how your telephone calls are answered to the magazines, art, and posters displayed in your office -- can have an effect on how clients see your practice.

  Business cards and brochures printed at home tend to look like…you printed them at home.  Having professionally-designed and printed materials is almost always worth the investment.

  What image do you want your clients and potential clients to have of your business?

  How will they remember you after your first contact?

No detail is too small when you are trying to create a positive and lasting impression.

Pricing

Pricing usually raises one of two questions:

  “Am I charging enough?” is a reasonable question to make sure that you are getting paid in accordance with the quality of your work.

  If you are asking yourself “Am I charging too much?”  you may be feeling pressure from a lower-priced competitor or from a client who doesn’t properly value your services.

It is critical for you to be comfortable with your pricing structure.  You need to be able to convince your client that your rates are not only appropriate, but that your services include extra value not available from your competitors.

It is easy to price at “the going rate,” but that rate may be undervaluing your services.  If you give premium-level service, there is nothing wrong with charging premium rates.

Developing a pricing strategy is one of the most important pieces of your future success, but it needs to be well thought out and planned in detail -- and justified based on the value you add to the services provided to your clients.

Be more visible in your targeted market

  How do your clients find you?

  How can you become more visible to potential clients, and do so in ways that will make them believe that you can solve their problems better than any other firm?

  Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to be visible?

  Have you published professional articles or been interviewed by national or local media?

  Have you spoken at local business clubs or joined them to get to know the members?

  Are there other local organizations, such as a chapter of the American Bar Association, where you might give a speech about a specialized topic that could potentially solve a problem for one of their members?

Techniques like these help to bring your ideal clients to you, plus, any contact you receive from this type of activity more than likely is bringing you an interested buyer for your services.

Feel enthusiastic, motivated, and capable of accomplishing anything you decide to do.

Most people have a comfort zone where they feel safe and secure.  Sometimes it's due to location.  For example, there are people who feel more confident in meetings held at their own office but aren't as confident anywhere else.  Other people’s comfort zones involve doing the same things, the same way, all the time.

If you are ready to succeed you may need to break out of your comfort zone – whether it be one that is personal or the comfort zone of your firm.

The world is constantly evolving.

Businesses and individuals who don’t adapt and evolve become extinct.

Understand how to position yourself as an expert in your field

  Do you consider yourself an expert in the field of investigations or in some specialized area?

  Do your present and future clients see you as an expert?

  If not, how do you position yourself so that you change how they see you?

  What are you known for?

  Can you be the “go-to expert” that the local news interviews about criminal investigations, when law enforcement is limited about what it can say during an investigation?

We can discuss specific techniques that will put you in position to be viewed as an expert and the person to go to with any question.

Think about what problems you can solve for your clients

  What are the results of the services you provide for your clients?  I don’t just mean “solving the case” – think about what your clients experience when they hire you. 

  What part of their experience will make them want to hire you again…or give you a fantastic referral?

  What value do you add to your client services?

  Could you refer your clients to colleagues who provide other specialized services, such as video or digital forensics or document examination?

  What about cases involving other languages?

  How do you deal with a request when you are completely booked?  Do you help your client find other resources who can satisfy his needs?

Thinking about the problems you can solve for your clients will help them view you as their “go-to” resource, which helps strengthen your relationship and guarantees future business.

Appreciate strategic planning

  Should you write a business plan?

  For how long? 3 years…5 years?  If you decide that a formal business plan would be useful, how detailed should it be, and how should your progress be measured?

  How frequently should a business plan be monitored and revised? 

Business plans can be useful to help think through business operations and goals in a structured, detailed manner.  However, they aren’t necessary for every business.

In some cases they can be counter-productive, because the person writing the business plan sets certain financial goals and then is satisfied when he reaches those goals.  But what if the goals were too low when they were set, and the potential for growth is even greater?

If you continually set the bar too low you may always be able to reach it, but you may never vault to the next level. 

Develop a strategy in whatever way works best for you.  But set your bar high enough to make it a challenge.

Determine where your motivation comes from

  What motivates you to excel?

  Is it your personal drive?

  Money?

  Recognition?

  Providing for your family?

Many people never take a step back and review what works to motivate them.  Some let others make those choices for them and then wonder why they never feel satisfied on the job.  Understanding what motivates you is another step on the ladder to success, and is something you can use to get ahead of everyone else.

Develop an answer to the question “What do you do?” that will actually get a prospective client’s attention

“I’m a private investigator” or “I’m a financial fraud examiner” is not the right answer to the question, but is the type of answer that people typically give when someone asks what they do for a living.  It might produce further discussion, but it also might just as easily receive the response, “That’s nice” and then what do you say? 

Realize that what you say and how you say it is an opportunity to draw the interest of a potential client, and the more interesting your conversation with her, the more your chances increase to get new business or a referral.

Identify any factors that could be holding you back and keeping you from reaching your goals

  You are a tiger as an investigator but fall apart if you think about speaking in public. 

  Perhaps you aren’t comfortable talking to other people about your business and what you do. 

  Maybe you are reluctant to talk about how good you are, so that you don’t appear to be bragging.

  You just can’t imagine yourself as a salesperson.

  Is there anything holding you back?

If there is, then take some action to either get past those walls that are blocking you, or find a way around them.  If you want to Power Up your practice, be determined enough to find a solution that leads to success!

Stay focused on the things that are important

  Do you spend your days focused on the most important things, or get caught up in activities like answering email or surfing the Internet?

  Do you have a daily plan with at least one critical action item that has to be done at all cost?

  Do you find yourself working more hours and getting less accomplished because of all the distractions during the day?

You are not alone.

Many people complain that they could “get ahead” if they just had more time.  In reality, most of these people have enough time – they just don’t manage it well.

Never forget that time is the one thing that you can’t get back once it is gone.  You should treat your time as a valuable asset, and not let anyone – including yourself – waste it and take it away from you.

Treat technology as a tool

Technology and the Internet have forever changed the business world – and the world of investigations.  How has it impacted your practice?  From computers and other office equipment to cell phones, specialized surveillance equipment, web sites, and social media – it's easy to be overwhelmed by technology. 

  Do you have a web site that is just an online brochure displaying your professional credentials?  Do you need something more?

  Should you have a professional presence on social media?

  Do you always need the latest and greatest cell phone, laptop, or tablet?

Remember that technology is only a tool, and just like any other type of tool, you should use only the one you need to get the job done.  If social media activity produces the most new contacts or revenue, then certainly you should consider spending more time and money to grow this effort.  If activities on Facebook produce absolutely nothing in the way of new contacts or business, then perhaps it is not the right media for your business.  Look at all of your technology from the perspective of the returns generated for the firm, and technology can be a tremendous asset.

Select the most appropriate business structure

“My firm is not big enough to be an LLC or LLP.”  Are you sure?  Have you consulted with experts about business structure to get the facts regarding the relative advantages and disadvantages of all the options?  Limiting your liability, tax benefits and deductions, and different insurance premium rates are all areas where a different business structure could create significant results.  It may pay to discuss the alternatives and how they might benefit you and your firm.

When to take action

You can put off taking action forever…and continue to not be satisfied.  I think the three most important words in the world are:

“I AM RESPONSIBLE”

Too many people are willing to blame someone else for their unhappiness or their status in life.  Too few people are willing to take personal responsibility for everything that they can control in their life.

If you want it -- you can make it happen!

You can wait until the economy improves.  You can wait until the last child graduates from college (if you know for certain when that will be…).  You can wait until all of your time is gone, and your opportunities are missed.

Or you can take action to Power Up and be successful.


 

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