Authored by Eileen Nonemaker.
Most of my coaching clients have been trying to reach specific tangible goals either professional or personal. When DJ reached out to me, she was struggling to get involved in the community. She and her husband had relocated to the area a year prior and after having had a successful professional career in healthcare initiatives and marketing, she was having difficulty meeting anyone who would even talk to her about possible volunteer or work opportunities. She was very frustrated and was starting to take all the rejection personally.
After an initial conversation, we decided to move forward and DJ took the Attribute Index assessment, which I require of all my clients. This is an important step to assess where their strengths lie.
I was not surprised that she had strong people skills, but I was surprised that she had strong self-esteem, despite all the rejection she recently encountered. This was good as she could move forward from a position of strength.
My background is in sales and sales management and much of my coaching experience has been with sales folks or small business owners who are the major sales force in their organization. DJ’s goals were very similar to those of a salesperson developing a new sales territory. My approach was to treat this opportunity as a Sales Development Process focusing on the qualities of a successful sales professional. We also explored the steps of a sales process, the value of networking, and the importance of handling rejection.
Together we looked at the community and which organizations most closely aligned with her background and skills. She targeted the leaders of those organizations and created a strategy for approaching them. She created scripts for phone calls, drafted emails, letters, and an elevator speech.
Since I had followed this same process three years earlier for myself, I was able to introduce her to some key community members that could refer her along and help open conversations within their networks. Over the next three months, DJ developed more confidence and was able to present herself as a valuable asset. She attended Chamber events and eventually volunteered at the Chamber office weekly. She was also invited to join the board of a local women’s networking group as a program chair. This role has introduced her to new people, expanding her personal circle as well as providing interesting, educational meetings for the members.
DJ was an excellent coaching client due to her strong desire to help others and to make an impact on the community with the knowledge and skills gained throughout her career.