Givers Gain & Collaborators too
BNI, as we all know, is about building relationships, Givers Gain, Power Teams, referrals and so much more.
Now a couple of members of the BNI Excellence chapter in Boisbriand, north of Montreal, are showing us all that collaboration can be a key part of the successful business mix as well.
The two members, Web Developer Benoit Legault and Professional Coach Brigitte St-Germain, joined BNI around the same time in the winter of 2012. They had a One-to-One early on, partly because of their similar timing.
As Brigitte explained the goals, clientele and methods of her company, Virage Coaching, Benoit saw some potential for collaboration. When Benoit described the philosophy of his Web development company, Tactik 13, which is that an effective Web site is one that is always being refined, Brigitte saw some of the same potential.
Virage Coaching is a Montreal firm that provides hybrid coaching for both professional and personal needs, tailored for groups of Advisors, Entrepreneurs and Managers, as well as individual coaching for most people.
How It Works
Virage Coaching, the majority of whose customers are Financial Advisors, had already developed an Excel program that helped their clients segment their clienteles using six specific criteria: assets, annual revenue generated, future potential, referral potential, sustainability of assets and the level of pleasure working with each client. Each of the criteria carries a calculated weighting formula that reflects its overall importance to the segmentation exercise.
The entire process gives a score for each client.
“With the scores, individual Financial Advisors are able to slot each of their clients as an A, B, C, D or E-type client,” says Brigitte. “Some prefer to slot their clients as 1 – star, 2 – star, 3 – star, 4 – star and 5 – star. It’s not our goal to do the slotting. That’s for the individual Financial Advisors to decide, but our point score makes it easy for them to do the slotting.”
While the needs differ with each of the client levels, the point and slotting exercises lead the Financial Advisors to focus more of their time and energy on the clients who generate and have the potential to generate the most revenue, have the longest earning horizons, are the most agreeable with whom to work and so on.
“Another benefit of the system is readily evident when Financial Advisors want to sell their practices,” adds Brigitte. “A segmented business is usually valued 2 to 3 times higher than a practice that is not segmented.”
From Excel to The Web
“We sat down with Brigitte and learned that she needed a Web application that ensured her unique program was secure and could not be copied when it was sold online,” says Benoit. “After analysing most of the possibilities, we made a proposal that Virage Coaching accepted. It took two-to-three months to build the application. Clients are now able to subscribe online and settle the account using a Payment Gateway that was built as part of the application. And there’s no danger of copying.”
“A project like this one was the farthest thing from something off the shelf,” adds Benoit. Using questions, tests and Web creativity, Tactik 13 has brought Virage Coaching from a leading coach and trainer of Financial Advisors, managers and entrepreneurs to a much wider Web audience/clientele.
The segmentation program is an additional tool that Virage Coaching offers and something that every Financial Advisor needs. “Once the clientele is segmented, the advisors still have to deal with each of the groups,” says Brigitte. “We teach them how to communicate with their clienteles and our coaching helps Financial Advisors get the most out of each of their groups.”
The segmentation is just one part of the Virage Coaching three-year program to help clients achieve success and the desired balance in their personal and professional lives.
Tactik 13, for its part, is continuing to provide small- to medium-sized businesses with its Web Design, E-Commerce Design, Application Development and Marketing services. “The challenge for Tactik 13 is not the new technology but the challenge of addressing specific business needs by developing specific solutions using new technology,” says Benoit Legault. “Most of the people on our team got into this business for the challenges. We are proud of doing things that no one has done before!”
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