Frequently Asked Questions
Is Conversation Gym a place? Where did the name come from?
Conversation Gym isn’t a place, it’s an approach to coaching.
The gym is where we go to get a workout. We go there to build strength and flexibility and new skills. And you can only do that by doing. By practicing.
When you bring this concept into business, you don’t want to practice new skills on your prospects or clients – that’s a good way to lose them! So how do you master sales conversations? How do you get better at the important skills involved?
There needs to be a safe, effective and realistic way to get better. That’s what I do with my 1:1 coaching and workshops. That is the mission of Conversation Gym.
So, Conversation Gym is all about the power of practice.
How are you different from other coaches?
I have an unusual combination of nearly 20 years’ experience coaching thousands of financial professionals and a background in the performing arts. I know your world and the challenges you face, but I filter that knowledge through the client’s perspective – not industry perspective.
What that means for you is:
With my background as musician and actor, I can ‘slip into the skin’ of a client and provide completely realistic practice for you.
When creating your communication plan, we take emotion into account. Who you are and what brings you joy, and what clients need to hear and feel to say Yes!
We build your confidence on solid ground so that it isn’t based on the sugar high of making a sale, but on a heart-centred foundation that lasts.
How soon before I see improvement?
A 10-session minimum commitment (about three months) is required to work with me, with most Advisors choosing an additional 5 – 10 sessions.
You’ll experience positive change and deep insights from our very first session.
The Conversation Gym approach uses about 90% active practice with perhaps 10% instruction, with the goal to help you shift ingrained patterns to a more effective approach. Results are rapid and build layer by layer with each additional session.
If your question is really: How soon will I increase my sales?, that depends on you.
So long as you fully show up and apply your Action Plan each week, the majority of my clients experience at least:
between 30 – 100% increase in business in the pipeline and new sales closing within three months
But that’s not the ceiling!
Some Advisors show up really hungry, ready with a pool of leads, willing to stretch past their comfort zone and apply everything I give them. More than one of these clients has tripled or even quadrupled the business closed and in their pipeline within six months.
Why work with a coach?
Many benefits come from working with a coach that you simply can’t get by working on your own. An expert coach will rapidly assess your strengths and where your skill and knowledge gaps are. This alone can shave years off your learning curve. Your coach will break down a step by step process for the most efficient path to your desired transformation, and guide you there. They can provide expertise and insight and help you avoid costly traps and pitfalls.
A great coach will challenge your assumptions about what you’re capable of. They will push you beyond your comfort zone while maintaining a safe and supportive place for you to take risks. They are your cheerleader, wholly focused on your success.
What is the experience of being coached?
Working with a coach should be fun! With the right coach dislodging you from old habits, your horizons open right up. This is exhilarating! You’ll feel awkward and alive and, as your new skills improve, your confidence and sense of power will quickly grow.
Coaching should also be safe. You can’t learn a new skill without stumbling and making mistakes. It’s simply part of the process. Your coaching session should be a judgement-free zone where you feel encouraged and supported.
Work with Kira is:
Risk Free: All your practice and feedback are private and confidential.
Comfortable: Before our roleplay, you’ll have an introduction to the session and we’ll discuss any questions or concerns you may have. We’ll also talk about what goals you’re focused on and what specific challenges you may be facing that week.
Realistic: With my deep experience as a Sales and confidence coach, and my background as a performer, I can ‘step into the skin’ of different characters, respond realistically to what you say, and calibrate the level of challenge to your particular needs.
Insightful: The other truly valuable element to this work is hearing feedback from the client’s point of view. Rarely does a client share that information in real life. Instead, they ‘vote with their feet’, without telling you why. Here, you won’t be left wondering; I’ll share with you how it felt to be on the receiving end of your sales communication.
Practical: This is where it all comes together. From our feedback discussion, you’ll have clarity around specific moments that won or lost you the sale, and strategic suggestions for a more effective approach. Then we’ll step immediately into practice (time to work on that golf swing!). You’ll get ‘do-over’ opportunities, and experience first-hand the results you get from using the new approach.
Effective: Practicing in this ‘real life’ arena is what makes this coaching so effective. We all have default patterns of communication that we work from and revert to when under pressure (for example during a sales conversation). Roleplay helps to create that realistic environment so that your default patterns become clear and you can consciously make different choices in the moment, to get a better result.
Do you coach over the phone or in person?
Almost all of the coaching I do takes place via telephone. Phone coaching has the advantage of removing visual distractions so that you can home in on your listening and communication skills. Also, it has been proven that your ability to retain the learning increases if you practice in the same environment from which you generally make your sales calls. For these reasons, the lion’s share of my coaching takes place over the phone.
How many sessions do you recommend?
There is a minimum 10-session commitment. Great progress can be made in this time window, and most goals can be achieved within 20 sessions.
Most of my clients work with me for between 15 – 20 sessions, with some returning a year later to tackle a new goal.
An ideal scenario is to have a specific goal such as reaching a sales target, greatly increasing your confidence or maximizing profit from a new book of business. These are all clear targets that you can measure your progress against, and they are powerful motivators that will help propel you towards success.
How do I get started?
Contact me to book and Exploratory Chat: https://calendly.com/kira-callahan/exploratory-chat
We’ll discuss what the current situation is, what your goals are, and some options for getting you there. If you decide to go ahead, we’ll book your first session. I’ll send you a few questions to answer in preparation.
A normal coaching appointment is 45 minutes, but the first session is always 60 minutes, to give us time to diagnose your strengths and your areas of opportunity. Then in that same session we’ll dive right into transformational practice!
What exactly happens in a coaching session with you?
Every session begins with a check-in about your week and anything important in your calendar. This helps to solidify the learning. Then we get down to business!
Sessions are tailored to your needs and the main goals and/or projects you are focused on.
If you’re focused on increasing your closing rate, we will practice sales conversations. Then we’ll have a chat about how it went. From our feedback discussion, you’ll get clarity around specific moments that won or lost you the sale, and strategic suggestions for a more effective approach.
Then we’ll step immediately into practice, just working on the areas needed. Advisors love the ‘do-overs’! You get to road test the new skill and experience right there and then the positive results you get from your new, more successful approach. This realistic practice makes it easy to replicate with the real thing.
If your focus is on maximizing profit from a book of business, our sessions will include client outreach and trust-building strategy, crafting communication language, and practice sessions so that you are ready for anything they throw at you!
If your main goal is to build confidence so that you can connect with anyone without feeling intimidated, and communicate with joy, I have a particular talent for pulling your brilliance out of you so that you see it and own it. When we combine that with skills mastery, you will be a force to reckon with!
Finally, at the end of each session, we co-create an Action Plan to keep you laser-focused and progressing over the next week.
Does it matter what industry I am in?
Yes. My practice is dedicated to the financial community.
I get a lot of joy and satisfaction in learning more about the industry with every advisor, portfolio manager, agent, consultant, counsellor, manager and wholesaler I coach. Going deep into your world makes me able to provide well-rounded, realistic and highly specific feedback that few other coaches would be capable of.
This is fun for me, and really valuable for you!
For these reasons, I do not coach professionals outside the industry.
Is working with a coach a worthwhile investment?
My clients average between 30 – 100% lift in their sales results. And some Advisors triple or quadruple them.
If you want further research:
Darren Hardy, former long-time publisher of Success Magazine, has pointed to research proving that every dollar you put into in your own personal development brings a return on investment of $30. That’s a 3,000% return.
So… kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it?
Another way to think of this is to ask: What would my life look like if I got the promotion a year earlier? If I hit the top sales position? If people took me seriously? If I finally kicked Imposter Syndrome to the curb? What new things would be possible for me?
And then ask yourself: What will my life look like if I do nothing and continue with the status quo?
I walk the talk here. I have worked with a number of coaches over the years and love the benefits I gain. I will always invest in my own development by working with great coaches.
Do you coach presentation skills?
While there are certainly elements of presentation coaching in what I do, that is not my main focus. If this is what you are looking for, I have a couple of trusted colleagues that it would be my pleasure to introduce you to.
What are your rates?
High ROI private coaching can run from a few thousand to a million dollars, depending on who you hire. My fees will increase in future but for now, your investment to work with me will be around 4k for a 3-month package.
Any coach worth their salt should be able to answer tough questions, and I welcome yours!
If you are ready to work with a coach and want to have a conversation, you can book a chat with me to discuss your needs. https://calendly.com/kira-callahan/exploratory-chat
Have a burning question? Feel free to fill out the form and someone from my team will get back to your shortly.