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Anatomy of a Coaching Transaction

Posted by Ilise Benun on

I’m not sure if I’ve ever made this explicitly clear, but I’m still very much a client of Marketing Mentor. Here on the blog, things are pretty egalitarian; off the blog, however, Ilise is boss. (That’s what I pay her for!)

I’m also not sure if the random person who stumbles across my ramblings here understands how very much I am still learning the self-promotion ropes. I’m not the genius writer of all time, but I do know enough to edit before hitting "publish," and perhaps in translating I come across as more together than I really am. Because I’m not. Or, to put a finer point on it, I am in some ways and very much not in others.

So when Ilise suggested I share a recent transaction with the class, I thought it might be useful to break it down and make the process more transparent—sort of give folks a peek under the tent, let them see what coaching does (or doesn’t, as the case may be).

With that, here’s me, warts and all:

  1. Back from a four-day conference
  2. Needing to follow up with one critical contact
  3. Convinced that the contact hated me, my work and everything else about my pathetic and unworthy self.
  4. Finally drafting an email that is chatty, charming and completely devoid of request and/or point.

And here’s Ilise:

  1. Um, where’s the request? What do you want this email to do? What’s the point, here?

And here’s me:

  1. Busted!
  2. Grudgingly and with heavy heart rewriting email with request and point.
  3. Sending email.
  4. Planning to kill self and/or go into hiding.

Now, heeeeere’s the contact:

  1. "Loved meeting you!"
  2. "Join me + Important Person for dinner!"
  3. "Stay in touch!"

Of course, not every coaching transaction has such a happy ending, but as Ilise said, this one does go a long way towards proving a few points she’s constantly trying to make.


  1. You never know.
  2. You never will, unless you try.
  3. Trying is hard, but it (probably) won’t kill you.

How’d I do, Coach? Did I miss anything? :-)

  • More in: Connecting, Not for Introverts Only

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