She blazes consulting trail wherever market leads

By Marc Mainville
Contributing Writer
Revenue coach Kristin Zhivago says personality counts when selecting clients. More

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BUSINESS WOMEN

She blazes consulting trail wherever market leads

PBN FILE PHOTO/CATIA CUEN
REVENUE STREAM: A self-described “revenue coach,” Kristin Zhivago uses her company, Zhivago Management Partners, to help broken enterprises get “fixed.”
By Marc Mainville
Contributing Writer
Posted 5/28/12

Revenue coach Kristin Zhivago says personality counts when selecting 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.

“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.

Zhivago interviews clients’ customers to find out why they bought, how they describe what they bought, and how they describe the company. “It’s everything they say about you when you’re not in the room.” She then analyzes it, summarizes and quantifies it for the management team.

“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 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.”

Zhivago began trailblazing in the field from the get-go. “I really started my career in high-tech. I was selling machine-shop tools. … I was working for Pratt & Whitney, and that experience taught me what not to do selling. They didn’t train me, I just went out there and started to sell, so I learned the hard way what didn’t work.”

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