High Performing Business – Service – Create The Market
Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT
When I created Cheetah Learning’s four day accelerated exam prep for the PMP in 2001, there were roughly 40,000 people certified. As a new comer to a saturated exam prep market, I estimated we could fill four classes per year with our accelerated approach. When sharing my commitment to guaranteeing people would pass at the local Project Management Institute meeting, my colleagues thought I would lose my shirt. They thought that with 40% of people failing after six months of prep, there was no way I could have a better result with only four days. Fast forward fifeteen years later, 98% of Cheetah students still pass the PMP exam after our four days accelerated prep. Luckily these results happened with our first class – as the horrific events of 9/11 were on the second day of class. I figured if our students could pass the exam that week, the accelerated approach worked.
I had no idea at the time that by giving people a viable way to pass the PMP exam, in a very short amount of time, would inspire so many more people to go for that certification. Still today, in a field where a whole new range of competitors in the accelerated exam prep space appear and disappear every year, Cheetah Learning retains 10% of the market. We do no formal advertising and the majority of our students are referred to us – even by our competitors. Most PMP exam prep companies offer only several PMP courses per year – for them it’s not easy to fill the classes. We know this because in addition to copying our accelerated angle, they also copy our calendar and we often see them at the same venues we use. What they have not figured out though is how to copy our results. This is probably the reason why at Cheetah Learning, we still manage to fill six to eight classes every month.
Finding a new way to serve an existing market, created exceptional growth. We just did not know at that time our approach would create this amazing impact. The lesson I learned from this is to offer the approach with exceptional service that changes the game, regardless of the existing size of the market. Learn how to become PMP certified with the Cheetah Smart Start Guide to the PMP.