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FEBRUARY 2019 I SMT007 MAGAZINE 75 career, but have never taken classes on execu- tive presentations and the whole soft skills side of their job such as how to network better with other CIOs. A lot of it is giving them a plan that they have to execute before they're even going to get that job, so it's a lot of work. For entry- level jobs, it's some homework for them, but they can just take care of it on their own on the internet. There's not as much work. Johnson: How would someone contact you? Lavoie: They can visit the FocalPoint or Conse- nia IT Partners websites, or submit their con- tact information to TLavoie@focalpointcoach- Johnson: How commonplace is it for you to have people you're coaching who were re- ferred by their employer? Lavoie: There are two parts that I'm actually ex- ploring quite diligently because I think they're great opportunities. One part of that is a lot of large tech firms like HP are still laying off thou- sands of employees. Qualcomm laid off 1,200 IT professionals in San Diego just two months ago. Large corporations who have significant layoffs like that typically give those employ- ees three months of coaching from a local firm. I'm working with HP, Intel, and some other large firms to be a preferred supplier, so when they lay off employees anywhere in the U.S., I can be their coach for the three-month period. That's one part of it. The second part is that there are a lot of trends for slashing of HR in various firms. So, there are a lot fewer local resources in the com- pany to help for coaching employees on their development plans and career. Thus, I'm also working with them on an offering that, since those employees are not getting that internally like I used to get in HP. Management wants to develop their people; they just don't have the tools to do it today. They have the money, so they're using outside suppliers to help. Johnson: Is there anything that we need to cov- er that I haven't asked about yet? Lavoie: One of the benefits and attractions I had for FocalPoint is they have been around for about 15 years. A lot of people know Brian Tracy, the original founder. He writes about seven books a year on leadership and other topics as well as does presentations around the globe. He's in his 70s but is still very active. A lot of customers will hire FocalPoint coach- es based on Brian Tracy's technique, IP, and methods, but beyond that, FocalPoint is one of the rare brands that guarantees our service. If I'm coaching somebody and they're not satis- fied with the ROI, they don't pay. Not many companies are willing to put that in a contract when you sign. It's results-oriented coaching, and if you don't see the value, you don't pay. I have never had anyone call me on that. It shows that I have the value, and at HP, we also had that culture of customer satisfaction—unlike some of our competitors. If we were working on a project for AT&T or another large account and there was a problem in the project, we owned it. A lot of times, it wasn't our problem; it might have been our partner's issue or whatever else the case might have been—but we would own it and solve it for the customer until they were satisfied without asking them for more money. I saw it at HP, and I see it at FocalPoint. I be- lieve that if you're willing to make that com- mitment to the client, there's more trust and you're going to provide more value to them. Johnson: Super. Well, thank you for your time. I appreciate this. Lavoie: You're welcome. SMT007 If I'm coaching somebody and they're not satisfied with the ROI, they don't pay.

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