Kristin Zhivago describes herself as a “revenue coach” and says personality counts when selecting her clients.
“In my coaching work, I always work for CEOs except at the very largest companies such as IBM and Johnson & Johnson, where I tend to work for more of a VP level,” she said.
“My sweet spot is a nice guy or gal, because I refuse to work for jerks, they never take good care of customers or employees so it’s not worth working with them,” said Zhivago, owner and operator of Zhivago Management Partners in Jamestown. “I work with nice people who have established companies who are trying to get to the next level.”
Zhivago says she interviews their customers to find out why they bought, how they describe what they bought, and how they describe the company to other people. “It’s everything they say about you when you’re not in the room.” She then takes what she learned and analyzes it, summarizes and quantifies it for the management team.
“Then we go to work. We go to work fixing what’s broken, and promoting what they are doing right in a way that will resonate with future customers,” she said.
One example Zhivago points to as a common mistake among her clients is the “About” section of the company’s website. “Potential customers will almost immediately go to a company’s website and ‘who are they’ is the first question a potential customer asks, because ‘who are they’ will determine how they behave when I’m their customer,” she said.
Zhivago says more often than not the people don’t get their questions answered because there is either no “About” section or the section is all text, leaving the potential customer unable to, “really look into the eyes of the team running the company.”
But being a revenue coach is only the latest chapter in her journey of a career in sales, marketing and management. “I’ve been through several career redesigns,” said Zhivago. “I think you have to remake yourself every five to 10 years.”