I’m really excited to introduce the first in a series of #HaltonHour featured interviews with organisations in Runcorn and Widnes (Halton) Cheshire. This interview with Andy Guile, Personal and Professional Coach at Ask Andy Guile, New Directions.
We had a few technical issues, so I will apologise for some of the choppy cuts! Thank you so much to Andy for his time and taking part in the #HaltonHour Features interview. You can get involved in #HaltonHour too, find out how on our Get Involved page 🙂
#HaltonHour Interview with Andy Guile Video
Why is your ideal client or perfect person so important? How do they make a difference to your organisation? Find out in this #HaltonHour Features… Andy Guile.
Connect with Andy Guile
Ask Andy Guile
Personal and Professional Development for all
Tel: 07960 888001
Join the Hive Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/thehiveminds
Follow on Twitter: @askandyguile
Golden Snippets#Quote "Lets be honest about this, it's who do you need to spend less time on and make the most money from? That's your perfect person. Tell me all about them" #HaltonHour Features @AskAndyGuile Click To Tweet #Quote "All you need to worry about is you and what you're doing. That's who you measure against, that's who you worry about" #HaltonHour Features @AskAndyGuile Click To Tweet #Quote "Instead of sitting there all day putting thousands of posts out to random people who are never going to buy from you in a million years, let's concentrate on the people who you can help" #HaltonHour Features @AskAndyGuile Click To Tweet
#HaltonHour Features Andy Guile Video Transcript
Jan: I’ll be honest, I always, when you say Andy Gile to me you know, you see you see you obviously and your ferrets. But most of all as the network person the person that connects people that does all the networking. So can you start, I’m probably throwing it in in the deep end, with with your classic 60-second pitch?
Andy: My 60-second pitch okay.
Jan: Have you done one for ages?
Andy: No no not really um
So I’m the go-to business coach for sole traders and small business owners and my basic offer is that I can offer one-to-one support, group support, and help and advice for people who are running their own business.
It’s about helping people in the real world with real problems. It’s the people skills, the sales skills, the communication skills, and all those golden nuggets nobody else teaches you about running a business.
And so working with me is going to help your business to grow. It’s going to help you to feel better about your business, helping your emotional resilience and just help you enjoy that thing that you really love doing even more.
Jan: Fabulous fabulous.
So how long have you been doing the coaching? I know you’ve been around for a long long time.
Andy: Well I’ve been running my own business and I’m working with business people for 10 years now. I’ve been coaching, training, and empowering people for probably the best part of 30 years now.
So through my roles in the voluntary sector with in the YMCA I was training, coaching young people, helping them to find employment and get them into college, helping them to to get into their own homes.
I worked with Halton Voluntary Action, or supporting people to sit on strategic boards with the council or PCT and things like that and helping coach people through that sort of process.
So I’ve had a long history of being you know the coaching and training side of things and then as I say 10 years ago I decided to go on my own and start my own business. That’s when you know we’ve really started to focus it more within within the business world and especially small businesses.
Jan: Because it is a huge gap isn’t there with with small businesses because you can get a lot when you when you’re corporate there’s a lot of support there whether it’s internal or they buy you know big money things in.
But when you’re working for yourself and as a small business and you perhaps have got, I don’t know, four or five employees it’s not easy is it to to get support it’s not easy knowing what’s out there and what’s available to you and I think most importantly be affordable. Is that the the niche that you’re slotting in to?
Andy: I hope so. I think you know what I was finding there was plenty of support out there for raising your business plan for the bank, how to do your finances and on all those basic things of how to set up a business.
And everyone tells you get yourself a website, get yourself a com name. get yourself an email address. You’re sorted, you can go run a business.
It’s not that easy.
People don’t appreciate the pressure I think sometimes that’s on them and the personal side of what it does. You know getting up every day and getting somebody saying no to you every day it’s hard work.
And it’s tough and that’s not what people go into business for. They go into business because they really love what they do and they don’t want to be doing the strategic side and the thinking side and all the other bits that go with it.
So I suppose what I really am trying to do is to help people and support people to understand the psychology side of business a little bit more. And understand the people side of business a bit more. Because if you begin to understand how to connect with people better how to listen to what they’re saying how to identify your ideal client and just work with those people, it becomes much easier and it becomes a part of the process of something that you can put into place.
And so that’s where I suppose I fit in. It’s trying to do that stuff that nobody else has really done with them. And yes, it’s small business, it’s sole traders so everyone’s got a budget. So you know I’ve not gone daft with my prices. I’m not looking for multi-millionaire people to work with. I love working with local people. I love working with real people.
Andy: So yeah you know I try to make my prices as affordable as possible for people to be able to take advantage of it.
Jan: Yeah fabulous. So I think the question at the moment is how has um the current situation affected your business?
I mean one of the reasons I got Halton Hour back up and running after discovering it having a digital cleared out and refinding the address that it was attached to and the password it was still attached to that email address. It was amazing! I was going yes! Because I’d given it away and one of the hard things for me since uh I mean right at the very beginning was was watching the small businesses, my friends. my business acquaintances struggle.
I mean just literally be working one day and not the next and having to I don’t know, but be very very creative. unbelievably creative um to to keep going.
(excuse me a minute I did shut this off. Obviously not off enough it’s definitely off!)
So how has the current situation affected what you do? Has it brought new opportunities? Or has it just been a oh my god what do I do now? Did you have that few days going ah what do we do now and then get on with it?
Andy: Yep. I think you know my story is not dissimilar to most of the people who are self-employed. We came to the week of the first lockdown. I lost twenty thousand pounds worth of business in two days.
Everyone was cancel, cancel, cancel, cancel.
You sit there and yeah, you just sulk for two days and you think this is stupid hate the world what are we doing? And then you pick yourself up and you have a look at how you can actually do something. Yeah
So yeah I’ve had to adapt online and you know the biggest part of my business was going into the businesses and doing training. I really loved that, enjoyed that.
It was great and then I had a small amount of coaching clients who was working with that was was nice and comfortable for me with the way I was going out to visit them.
So it was just about turning to zoom and to looking at different ways of working with them. I’d always been quite skeptical of well can we really do it online? it’s not the same as face-to-face, will it work? etc.
But it has and it’s worked really well um and so it’s opened up the world to me rather than the north west to me which is famous fantastic. So the coaching is online now.
I’ve been coaching people over in Spain and I’ve a guy, a couple of guys in Germany.
Jan: So you’re truly international
Andy: Yeah, yeah. I mean that has been fantastic and that’s really been an interesting eye-opener in that why the hell wasn’t I doing that before type of thing!
Then I’ve been looking at more of the social media approach. So we started the Hive group on Facebook, which is a free group for for sole traders and small business people just to come along and interact in, tell us what they do.
I’m trying to do a little bit of sorts of personal development type of stuff on there as well and just helping people out, some thoughtful questions each day or pictures to get people thinking.
And from that we’ve started up some groups. So we’ve got what we call the Worker groups from the Hive. So they’re up to 12 people can meet in any one one meeting once a month. That’s a little bit of coaching, a little bit of training, a little bit of networking and just all mixed into one really. It is a nice way for for them to have a place where they can come and talk to all the like-minded people and have a chat about their businesses.
And again you know that’s got different people from different parts of the country, from different roles, different jobs and so that’s been really interesting to get that mix that blend of people going together. so you know over the last sort of seven months I’ve begun to figure out what it is I can do online, how I can work online and I’ve started to develop that and to work on that more.
It’s been really exciting you know I think I wouldn’t have done it before. It was a kick up the back side I needed to get me out of my comfort zone.
So you know as I say as for a lot of people it’s not been easy trying to get the revenue back up to where we were before and everything.
It’s been interesting this. That’s one of the things I’ve been saying to a lot of people over the last few months. It’s not about bouncing back now, it’s about bouncing forward. So you know take the best bits of what we’ve done during this 12 months, add it to the things that you want to go back and do and bring it with you. You know, don’t think it’s just about going back to the old ways because I think you know there’s been a lot of great opportunities for a lot of people during this 12 months as well.
Jan: There’s been some amazing opportunities and what surprised me throughout it all is the resourcefulness. And I think that that’s a you know a a small business owner needs that resourcefulness. And it’s only when you actually do get literally your legs swiped from underneath you, the people who have got back up dusted off and gone right, okay I’ve got these skills I’m going do this.
So that was it was really lovely to see. As much as it was heartbreaking to watch people literally lose everything overnight and have very little support from from the government because they fell through the cracks. I mean it was it was shocking wasn’t it? I mean they’re improving slightly now but still it’s hard work isn’t it? Enough of the miserable stuff!
Andy: It’s not really it’s not been easy for anyone. I think you know trying to put support packages in place for people like (clicks fingers)
Andy: From nowhere and it’s a lot of the system it’s just one of those unfortunately. Yes, there are people who’ve fallen through and it’s a real shame. And all we can do is do our best to help them and so you know to help them get through the best we can.
They are some of the most resourceful people. You know they are fantastic in the way that they’ve been able to reshape and change.
And don’t, I say to everyone, don’t be afraid to have a a day now and again and have a sulk now and again. Because it is crap.
It’s not it’s not the end of the world. It’s quite you know we all do that. That’s fine. You know, don’t sit there looking at social media and looking at all these people saying the world is brilliant and I’m working on the beach in Barbados isn’t this fantastic, and all that rubbish.
You know it’s all you need to worry about is you and what you’re doing. And you know, and that’s who you measure against, that’s who you you know you worry about and just get yourself through.
I’ve had my ups and downs over over the 12 months. There’s been good days, there’s been bad days and you know that that’s that’s real people isn’t it?
Jan: It is.
Andy: That’s just what we’re going to deal with.
Jan: But if we go back to your hive. You’ve got your group. It’s a good group and you pop up.
Yeah one of the hard things with Facebook it is seeing people who you want to see isn’t it? You have to trim trim your feed on a regular basis!
So you started popping up on mine a little bit more since I’ve had my latest trim trimmed down and you do ask some really interesting questions. A lot of what I’ve seen has been around your ideal client.
So can you talk a little bit more about how that helps and how you can help people find their clients.
Andy: One of the things we do is we talk about sales. And you know in in the big universities that do sales training they’ll tell you your sales funnel. If you get 100 people into your funnel you’ll get one sale out of that. Now one of the things I do is work on personality types of people and we say there’s four personality types. You will probably only connect with one in four people. The others you need to change your approach in the way you work.
Now that means 1 in 400 people will come through your funnel in sales. Which is very very hard work. So if you’re just blitzing stuff out there on social media on Facebook and LinkedIn, just telling people what you do and how you work, you’ve got to get in front of so many people before it starts to make – somebody says “oh that’s for me”.
So what we try and do is take people back and we say who is your ideal client? Now your client is one person that you can make up for yourself yeah and it’s somebody who it’s easy to sell to and you get the most money from.
Lets be honest about this, it’s who do you need to spend less time on and make the most money from? That’s your perfect person. Tell me all about them. And then we create this person and you know we know everything about them.
So we know what the business is, we know if they’re male or female, we know how old they are, we know where they go on holiday, we know about the family, we know about the kids and we build a picture of them.
And then the question is, so what keeps them up at night? What are they worrying about? And once you can start to think about the three or four major things that they’re worrying about all the time, you go back to what you do and you say so how can I solve that problem?
And when you know how you can solve the problem, that’s what you write about and that’s what you put on social media. And then what happens is your ideal client reads it and goes oh my god. that person really gets me! Oh my god, somebody actually understands what’s happening to me. That’s just so wonderful and they come to you with open arms they love you.
It makes work with people easier. So instead of sitting there all day just putting thousands of thousands posts out and putting thousands of thousands of messenger notes out to random people who are never gonna buy from you in a million years, let’s concentrate on the people who actually you can help.
So we stop selling our product and we start selling a solution. And once you start selling the solution, people are a bit more open to it because they don’t feel like they’re being sold to. They feel like they’re being helped. If someone’s been helped they’re more open, their brains more open. They’re more engaged with you, that body language is open and it’s easier for you to get engaged with them.
And not only will they will you be able sell to them, but they’re more likely to become a loyal customer because they love you because you’ve helped them. And they’ll connect with you on that sort of personal level and they’ll stay with you longer.
Jan: Yeah, and they’ll sing your praises to other people.
Jan: So it’s yeah, and once you’ve got people who are your number one fans, it does make life a little bit easier doesn’t it?
Andy: It’s about working with these people. It’s about working with people you want to work with you know because that’s that’s what makes your life easier as well. It saves you time. it saves you money, it saves you effort, it saves heartache, You know we’ve all got those people that we work with who are hard work! You think, why am I doing this, it’s costing me a fortune you know.
I hear it off people so many times because you know people have got this word that they can’t say in business.
And so many people can’t say it and will just say instead of saying no, yes comes out and they end up doing a piece of work for somebody that’s going to cost them money and time. And the other person is is never going to be pleased with it because they’re not connecting with them properly and it just goes on. So you know how much nicer would it be if you were just working with nice people?
Jan: Yeah and that’s it. You phone, your open and you’ll have a bit of a chat and you’ll get an idea of what they want and you’ll put it down on paper and send it off to them and go yeah here’s your money. And it’s like, wow!
That was a shock to me. I mean, it was like, we’re not going to argue? no? So I’m not going to sit there going oh my god I didn’t really like doing this, and I don’t want to do that, and it’s I’ve got to do it because of this…
So you know Yeah, that that was a a massive realization to me. That you know, don’t work with people you don’t want to work with because it doesn’t gain you anything in the long run does it?
Andy: It doesn’t. It takes confidence. It takes time to be able to do that and you know a bit of experience and skills to do it but once you get there it makes such a difference.
Jan: It’s quite a brave decision because it goes totally against the grain doesn’t it? You know you think you’ve always got to be on and hustling and pushing and working and when, in reality, once you find your your people it’s I wouldn’t say easy, it’s not it’s not easy.
Because work still is work.
Sometimes you have to do stuff that you don’t particularly like. Like accounts and sending invoices. And I should really outsource that side things you know. But it does, it does it makes things a lot more pleasant and lovely to work with these people.
You’ve already said you work with sole traders and small businesses. Who is your ideal client what do they look like?
Andy: My ideal clients is quite successful. She’s doing you know okay, but she knows she could probably do a little bit better.
Imposter syndrome now and again and gets her odd days when she’s feeling a bit she’s not sure about it. And she’s not great at the networking side of things but she pushes through and she tries her best. She just needs that little bit of support to take it to the next level.
Her husband works in middle management, he’s been doing that for a long time. They’ve got two kids both at university, one in first year, one’s in third year of university.
They holiday in the south of France and they love it there, and the plan is when they retire that that’s where they’re going to move to and get a little place down there to go to and and eat cheese and wine for the rest of their lives. And she likes walking the dogs.
And I can go on you know. I know her inside out. I know everything about her.
Now her issues and problems are what is it I need to do to get to the next level? Am I good enough to be able to go to the next level because I’m not sure I am or not. I’ve not the confidence to get me up there and talking to those people in the suits and stuff at some of those big big organizations which I know can help.
And I also know I could probably charge a little bit more for what I do but I’m scared to do it and i don’t know how to do it.
And there’s usually the first things that I start to work with people on.
If there’s two things I can help you do quite early on it’s earn more money quickly by helping you put your prices up and give you more time back spend with your friends and your family and the people you want by just getting you a little bit more organized and your bad habits
Jan: That’s brilliant brilliant. So I mean I’ve got a good understanding of you know what you do now, is there anything that you want to raise in in this business spotlight?
Andy: It’s about the networking side of things for me. It’s about supporting each other and helping each other.
So you know I’m a cheerleader for everybody that I coach and work with that if I see them on social media I’ll post it on, I’ll share it, I’ll do whatever I can and to help them out.
If I know somebody who needs their services I’ll point them in their direction. And you know I just encourage everyone to do the same. It takes you know two seconds to to reshare a post for somebody but it can make a big difference to them if they get some work from it or it gets them in front of a market.
So you know, we can all do a bit to help each other and I think you know anything we can do like that the simple little things, help to refer, help to you know if somebody’s done something great for you recommend them and give them the five stars. Just do what we can to help each other.
It’s dead simple. It’s free you know it costs very little time but it makes a big difference. So you know let’s all get out there and support each other.
Jan: Oh brilliant. I mean that that just sums everything up doesn’t it really really nicely.
So if we call it an end then before we lose you again! I just want to say thanks very much for your time. I really really do appreciate you coming on and being the first guinea pig
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