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Today I am excited to have the opportunity to interview Dr. Richard Harte, who is famous for putting together the National Guild of Hypnotists’ Train the Trainer program. But most do not know that he is one of THE most successful corporate trainers and consultants in the profession of hypnotism.
I have known Dr. Harte for many years and actually went through his course to become a National Guild of Hypnotists Certified Instructor back in 1999. He has influenced the development of the 5-PATH® System of Hypnotherapy by convincing me that quality hypnotism comes from doing depth testing, and as a result I am a staunch advocate of this and have integrated testing, both covert and overt (in the form of convincers) into that process. 5-PATHers around the world can thank him for making a substantial contribution to the success we have with our clients.
Dr. Harte has probably trained more people on how to train others to become hypnotists and hypnotherapists than anyone else on Earth. However, few know about the nature of his private practice, which is probably one of the most successful in the profession. And, what makes his practice different from most is his approach to working with corporations. I’m going to ask him about this unique component to his professional practice that I think you will find of interest.
Cal Banyan: So, Dr. Harte thanks for doing this interview. I think we are all going to learn a lot. Now I want to tell the readers that you and I have talked many times in the past, and you have contributed to the Banyan Hypnosis Mall website in so many ways, including doing a couple of live Meet the Pros Audio Program mini-seminars and writing for the Banyan E-Zine. I appreciate your willingness to share so much of what you know.
By the way, I want to recommend that everyone go to www.BanyanHypnosisMall.com and listen to Dr. Harte’s mini-seminars and check out his articles as well. And, the best part is they are all packed with information that you can use right now, and it is all there free for you to access at your convenience. You’ll also see several other contributors as well.
Ok, now let me get right into this interview; I know that you have been very successful by working with corporations, and you call the kind of work that you do with these companies “consulting.” What exactly is a corporate consultant in the context of what you do and teach?
Dr. Richard Harte: A corporate consultant works with small to medium size companies offering training programs in sales persistence training, executive coaching, stress management, establishing accountability and organizational consulting.
Cal: I can really see how a business can benefit from having a hypnotist as a consultant, especially when it comes to stress management, accountability, and persistence. And, you say that you recommend that hypnotist consultants focus on small to medium sized companies. Can you tell us more about this, because it seems to me that knowing which companies to work with is a great place to start?
Harte: Start off by identifying the company by name and industry and by the number of employees and the nature of their business. For example, a manufacturing company with 10 employees would not be as good a client as a service organization such as an Advertising or Public Relations agency would.
Cal: So, it is best if the company has enough employees to be able to afford and utilize your services but not so large that they are unapproachable. That makes perfect sense.
This all makes me curious about your background and how you developed this idea and eventually became a corporate consultant.
Harte: Before founding Harte Associates in 1982, I was President of Automated Labels and Forms (ALFI) a mid-sized manufacturing company; served as VP of sales for a division of W.R Grace and Co. and Reply-Q-Letter Company, a direct marketing agency. After selling ALFI in the late seventies I earned my Ph.D. with a specialty in organizational psychology. In the following years I designed and implemented sales and management training programs for a number of America’s largest and most successful companies including Motorola, Estee Lauder, Paxar, CMP Publications, Mutual Benefit Life, Thomas Register, Sanofi Beaute and Peppercom Public Relations. I was placed on retainer for many of these companies. My years of hypnosis training enables me to teach these skills in all my training and consulting programs.
Cal: I see now that it was important that you had experience in business yourself. Then by going to school and studying psychology you were able to bring something to small, medium and large sized companies that they needed. That was a great fit. And, then when you add hypnosis to the mix it makes you very different than most of the corporate consultants out there. I can see how hypnotists and hypnotherapists have an advantage over most consultants when it comes to training and consulting.
So when you brought your programs to these different companies; what did you hope to accomplish for your corporate clients?
Harte: My initial years as a trainer and consultant were geared toward increasing corporate sales. My doctorate dissertation, which measured persistence, made me an expert in enabling salespeople to enhance their sales abilities using psychological techniques to grow their business. A stress management component existed in all my work and I used this to my advantage with senior management who were all stressed out. In summary, my goals for my clients were to increase sales and reduce stress levels in the workforce at all levels. I find this is what corporations want now more than ever. Hypnosis training created added value to the programs I designed.
Cal: So you started off with a psychological approach and the hypnosis was a bonus that others didn’t offer and still can’t, unless they are like most of our readers, hypnotists and hypnotherapists! That is great, how has the demand for corporate consultants changed since you started and is there a great deal of competition?
Harte: I’m glad you asked that because it is an important question. The demand for corporate trainers and consultants is enormous at this time. Corporate consulting is currently one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. today. Total consultant billings have grown by more than 20% for each of the past 5 years. The projection for the next 3 years is an annual growth rate of 22-25%. Naturally, with this growth comes good competition, which I view as a healthy sign. This is especially true when independent consultants compete with larger consulting firms, because we can be very competitive due to greater flexibility and very low overhead. Clients seem to respond to this.
Cal: That is really exciting news! That is a lot of growth, and it is also great news to hear that independent consultants can compete successfully with “The Big Guys” so to speak.
Now, I know that you have been doing this for a long time and that you have trained others to be successful as well. Because I have interviewed you before on our Meet the Pros Audio Programs I have heard about your systematic approach and that you have taught others how to get into corporate training and consulting. Please explain to the readers what exactly The Harte System is and how you came to develop it.
Harte: The Harte System is a concept I developed while training Motorola salespeople in the 1980’s. It is a system that emphasizes the utilization of your imagination to sustain your ability to persist toward agreed upon goals. In a corporate setting, all The Harte System programs, whether they stress sales training, stress management or accountability, concentrate on teaching management and employees how to develop their imaginations, and in turn, the importance of persistence. The process requires learning the skills of assessment and goal setting, as well as reinforcement and encouragement, as tools to become successful. These skills, in addition to working with imagery, create a vivid goal image for most organizations and their employees to focus on for success.
Cal: That is very comprehensive. I believe that the readers are generally familiar with assessment and goal setting. Could you tell us what you mean by reinforcement and encouragement?
Harte: Many people talk about goal setting but don’t get the entire picture of how it can be done in the most effective way. The goal setting plan should include a specific action plan. It’s important to learn certain skills that will reinforce one’s behavior to stick to the plan. Self encouragement techniques are taught in The Harte System as a means to insure success in reaching goals. By the way, self-hypnosis works as reinforcement and encouragement with our clients in the same way.
Cal: I think that is key. So many people just don’t know how to go from deciding what they want to accomplish, to actually taking an appropriate action that will head them in the right direction, and then continue to do so in a successful manner.
You said that there are other consultants out there, and I suppose that they also have their “how-to-be-a-consultant” programs. How is The Harte System different from the others?
Harte: The Harte System differs from other programs in that it gives participants specific field-tested training programs that have been designed, implemented and proven by me for the past 25 years at small, medium and large corporations in the U.S., Canada and Europe. Other programs teach people to be generalists. The Harte System teaches you to be a specialist in areas that have proven to be what corporations want help with. Becoming an expert in these areas gives my apprentices a significant advantage over other consultants trying to get in the door. In other words, they receive a “turn key” system together with testimonials from the companies themselves.
Cal: So, one of the big things is that it is not a program that is based on theory. It is about learning what really works in the “field” which you have done successfully. However you go beyond the classroom because The Harte System offers an apprentice program for those who want to learn this from you. I think that is unique.
Tell us more about how you and the graduates of your program work so effectively with corporations. I think that everyone here is going to benefit from knowing more about that.
Harte: Based on my 25 years of experience, I’ve found that although corporate decision-makers know they need help, they are often unable to identify the precise areas they need help with. The Harte System shows you how to identify a corporation’s “pain points” quickly.
Then, you learn how to attach a bottom-line significance to those pain points so you can monetize your solutions to those problems. This monetization-getting prospects to realize how much the problem is costing them and how much value your solutions can have for them-is the key to getting high fees. This is where most consultants fall short and where my program excels.
A second advantage The Harte System offers is that I mentor all participants personally for one year after the training. This mentoring includes phone discussions, email responses, accountability reports, assistance with designing proposals, and if the assignment is large enough, personal assistance with closing if required. Participants are never left to fend for themselves after the training.
Cal: I like that a lot. That is just the kind of training that this profession needs. I know that so many people out there would be so much more successful with that continued ongoing supervision, and if I understand you right, you work one-to-one with your apprentices to make sure they succeed. That has to be reassuring. I’m not aware of any other program where you actually get hands-on mentoring like that. In a way, I guess it’s like you’re partnering with your apprentices and since you have a vested interest in their progress, you do everything in your power to help them be successful. The better they do, the better you do.
I really like the way that you have arranged things. I’m also curious if you think that this is something that everyone should do, or if it is a better “fit” for some people than others? Does a person need any special talent, education or experience to profit from The Harte System?
Harte: I’d say there are three key success ingredients. The first is having a good imagination. If you’re the kind of person who’s always looking for better ways to do things; if you have an open mind when it comes to problem solving; if you view life’s challenges as opportunities for improvement instead of roadblocks, then you have the right mindset to be a good trainer and corporate consultant.
The second is having a burning desire to make a better life for you. Being a corporate consultant means being a self-starter. Although I’ll be there with you during your first year, I can’t do it for you. I will guide you and advise you, but you will have to actually do the work. Fortunately, my system has an accountability component that makes success much more likely than just going it alone.
It also helps if you are intelligent, and have some meaningful business experience. By that I mean, either you’ve worked in a corporate or professional setting for at least five years, or you’ve been an independent consultant, business or interpersonal coach, or freelance problem solver for at least five years.
Learning the skills of assessment, goal setting and reinforcement and encouragement, and learning how to become a good listener are taught during the training. This gives people the confidence they need to profit from a corporate training and consulting career.
Cal: I know that at least one of our graduates has gone through your course and she rated it very highly. I also mention your program in my NGH Approved Hypnotherapy Certification courses, as well as my Week of Power Advanced Hypnotherapy courses. It seems to me that now is a great time to become a corporate consultant. Is that right?
Harte: You are right, Cal. Today’s business environment is a godsend for consultants. Many companies have downsized and don’t want to rehire employees because they realize they can get qualified consultants to do a better job without having to pay salaries, medical care, pension benefits and other overhead expenses associated with maintaining employees.
Companies are discovering that hiring a retainer-based consultant can be a lot more productive than hiring an employee even though the per-hour rate for consultants is much higher than it would be for an employee. This is because consultants usually bring more specialized skills to the table and can often get better results, faster, because they are much more focused and yes, even more motivated to get the job done.
This outsourcing trend is here to stay, which makes now the best time in history to get into corporate consulting.
Cal: I hadn’t thought of that. I’m getting pretty excited about this and I’m going to convince you to come to our center and bring this information to us out here on the west coast! Sometimes I think that people like yourself, and those in the New York business environment are a substantially “ahead of the curve” so to speak, compared to most places. So getting you out here to conduct a training at our center here in California is especially exciting. I think that when the word gets out, hypnotists and hypnotherapists who can come to our center will be excited as well. And, now that we can offer our classes live, hands-on training over the Internet we are able to get this information out there even more efficiently than ever before.
Harte: Some would say that you are “ahead of the curve” as well, Cal.
Cal: Thanks! I’m always trying to think of ways to do things better.
But back to you and consulting; so you have this successful system. Can you tell us all how a corporate consultant like yourself finds clients?
Harte: There are a number of field-tested programs that gives consultants a strong “foot in the door.” These programs and techniques have been implemented in industries such as finance, real estate, cosmetics, public relations, publishing, telecommunications and mortgage banking, to name a few. The size of the companies varies from 10 employees to several thousand.
Cal: Super, can you describe examples of the types of projects you’ve done.
Harte: The projects and retainers vary from sales training at Motorola to stress management at Estee Lauder to setting up accountability at Thomas Register and executive coaching at Peppercom to phone sales training at Greater Atlantic Mortgage. Each of these projects resulted in my eventually becoming a management consultant to those companies.
Cal: I want to let the reader know that you go into much more detail about some of the specific techniques and how to get started in your Meet the Pros Audio Programs that you have done with me and we have them posted on www.BanyanHypnosisMall.com. So, I won’t ask you to go into too many specific techniques here.
Now I’m wondering how this will affect a hypnotist’s income. How do you know how much to charge and how do you motivate potential clients to retain you monthly? I really like the idea of being on a retainer, and I don’t hear anyone else talking about that.
Harte: Initially each project stands on its own. For example, I might charge anywhere from $1800 for a 6 hour stress management program to $40,000 for a customized sales persistence training program depending upon the number of participants and logistics. My minimum consulting fee is $7500 per month (for one day per week or 4 days per month). This works out to be $90,000 annually for one company. I usually sign a one-year agreement and renegotiate after the year.
Cal: Hmmm, I see. Then after you have established a relationship by doing shorter programs for the company, you move into doing longer programs that provide you with a continuous income. It sounds like it works out great all the way around.
So, when someone is new at this, and they go to a company that they want to work with, how should they handle requests for references and such?
Harte: The beauty of The Harte System is that it comes with ready-made client references. These are from executives who’ve worked with the System and I encourage all my apprentices to offer these published testimonials. If a potential client wants to speak with a user of the System I will arrange a phone discussion. To my knowledge, no other consultant training program offers ready-made client references. This is a huge advantage.
Cal: That is great, so they can talk about the fact that they are using a demonstrably successful system that comes with testimonials. That is a very original way of overcoming what would be for some folks a problem. I can see that you have really worked things out, but then that would not be surprising to anyone who really knew you very well.
So, you have found a way to overcome that challenge, what do you think is the biggest challenge a new consultant will face and how can you help your apprentices and our readers to overcome all obstacles?
Harte: One challenge a new consultant may have is developing enough confidence to be a good advisor at all levels in the corporation. Fortunately, building confidence is a process that feeds on itself. The more experience you have the more confident you will be. The key is to take the time to really learn what you are doing. My students study the materials in the training manual until they make sense and it becomes second nature to them.
It is amazing that by completing the initial 4 day training in The Harte System, for example, you’ll have more knowledge about solving corporate problems than most of the people you’ll encounter. This alone will give you more confidence than most people have.
Cal: I want to tell you and the readers that I have a lot of people coming to me and asking me to promote their products or courses and unfortunately I have to turn many of them down. I have also done many different interviews with hypnotists and hypnotherapists since I became involved in this profession, and I have to say that if I had not come to know you personally I would have found this all difficult to believe. And, I have to say that I am very careful about my reputation and so I am careful about who I am associated with in this profession, but I am very happy to have had this time to learn more about your program because I know that if you say it works, then it does.
I could go on and on, and this interview was a bit longer than I anticipated, but I suppose I just got caught up in the topic. I really think that for some hypnotists and hypnotherapists, this can be a great way to substantially expand what they do and make their practice of hypnosis even more financially secure. I know that there are many full time hypnotists who work exclusively with client on a one-to-one manner, which is really great. But there are also some people who would like to go full time in the profession but have not found a way to do it yet, and this looks like a good way to do just that. Also there are those who are full time, and would just like to tackle a new challenge and add some variety to what they are doing now.
Let’s wrap this up for now. Is there anything else you would like to expand on?
Harte: Thank you, Cal. I also appreciate our relationship as well. You are doing a lot for the profession and yourself.
I would like to add that the 4 day training is just a beginning for The Harte System Apprentices. The Harte System stresses “imagination and persistence” as a working concept and holds all apprentices accountable. The one-year mentoring that is part of the training program is geared toward building confidence and self-esteem and teaching in a “train the trainer” environment. Participants are expected not only learn the material but to be able to teach it to others in the corporate setting.
Cal: Well, that is it! Thank you so much for doing this interview. I’m sure that we have created some interest in your program, and got some really useful information about becoming a consultant out to our readers as well.
It’s like Dr. Harte said, his course is not for everyone. However, if you are a self-starter and you have some business experience, then training in The Harte System may be just what you have been looking for.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Richard Harte’s program he will talk to you personally about it so that you will have all of the information that you need so that you can better determine if becoming a corporate consultant is the best career move for you!
Dr. Harte’s next course on The Harte System and how to become a corporate consultant will be held at the Banyan Hypnosis Center for Training & Services, Inc. here in Tustin, California on May 10 -13, 2007. Here is a link directly to the course and enrollment information.
You can also learn more about becoming a corporate consultant by listening to some of Dr. Harte’s recent Meet the Pros Audio Programs. These are mini seminars on the topic.
If you would like to learn more about this or any upcoming training programs scheduled through the Banyan Hypnosis Center for Training & Services, Inc., just go to www.BanyanHypnosisMall.com or call our office at 714-258-8380 or 800-965-3390, and we will get you all the information that you need or get you in contact with Dr. Harte and he can talk to you more about it.