by Gary Gasaway (USA)

Years ago, when I started organising my life coaching business, I remember practicing my ‘elevator speech’ to my fellow trainees in the professional coach training that I was enrolled in. The instructor commended me for using the ‘coaching language’; as my niche was focused upon people with conflict and adding that I had developed a good opening to introduce myself to attract potential clients. It went something like this:

Hello — I am Gary Gasaway, Conflict Coaching Solutions.

Through my proven and effective strategies, I inspire committed individuals and couples experiencing any kind of conflict to transform these conflictive issues into positive solutions. And furthermore, I will help you move beyond any unwanted or negative conflict so that you can enjoy a life that is less stressful.

After trying out this elevator speech several times, I realised that it just seemed like another ‘sales pitch’. Don’t get me wrong, it did work, and I had some success securing new clients, but somehow felt unimpressive.

Early on, discovering clients usually consisted of the normal day to day activities in the general public. It would be in grocery stores, home improvement stores, or maybe at the local health club. The conversation usually began with me overhearing a potential client mentioning they had some kind of conflict. So, I would jump into the conversation and provide my ‘sales pitch’. As you can well imagine, using my elevator speech as stated above, it just seemed rather dull and impersonal. No doubt, a ‘sales pitch’. Again, although it had some success, it still felt lifeless.

But what was it missing? It was missing the prime ingredient that deep down; I knew it needed: a human touch. That touch, if you would, was saying something from the heart. Communicating in a loving, positive tone that demonstrated caring for others. After all, when you think of any type of conflict that a person is struggling with, there is always some kind of care implicated in helping them to resolve their conflict.

Another impactful change was the simple act of wearing my business t-shirts when I went out. A shirt design that had my logo (Conflict Coaching Solutions) on the front of the t-shirt, with phone number, and the words: ‘Got Conflict?’ printed on the back. Still going to the same locations as before, I now had potential clients approaching me! They would most often ask me: ‘What is conflict coaching all about?’ Just with that one question, it opened the door for further conversation. Now, I was ready to change my elevator speech to a human touch.

Source: iCN Issue 35  (Business Coaching: Building your Organisation); pages 28-30

About Gary Gasaway

Gary is the founder of Conflict Coaching Solutions, LLC, a professional life coaching business that focuses on inspiring individuals, couples, and/or groups to transform their conflictive situations into positive solutions.

Before creating his company, Gary was a ‘corporate coach’ for a large utility company in Southern California. During his 32 years with this company, Gary designed and developed several coaching courses and workshops that he facilitated to supervisors and managers throughout the company.

Gary also has now written and published five books: The Coach’s Chronicles Trilogy, The Reflection Connection, and A Simple Life – Living Less Complicated. For additional information regarding Gary and his business or books, go to: