What to do if an ideal client says “no”

Let’s say you recently got on a strategy/complimentary/introductory call with a potential client.

(read this blog post to learn about those types of calls)

The potential client showed a genuine interest in you & your coaching offer/package.

They were prompt at showing up for your scheduled call and got all of their relevant questions answered. Y’all seemed to be hitting it off/getting along well!

However, the next day you heard from that same potential client and they told you something like…

“I’m going to pass for now”

“Maybe later this year”

“This isn’t the right fit for me”

“I’m going to think on it more”

“Going to look into some other options/coaches”

Maybe this is the first time someone has said no to working with you. So, you’re really taken back by their decision! Maybe it’s happened before and you’ve actually never had someone say yes. So, you’re feeling pretty defeated.
Maybe you really thought they were going to say yes. So, you’re completely shocked they went the other way!

Regardless, it can be hard to know what to say or what to do next after an ideal client turns down your service.

In the remainder of this blog post, I am going to offer some suggestions on what to keep in mind when someone does say “no” and some steps to take next on what to say or do after you get/hear that decision.

Number One: Remember, they didn’t reject you.

– That ideal client is not rejecting you as a person. They are simply rejecting your service/offer, maybe even temporarily. If you make it seem like they are rejecting who you are, that can weigh you down from continuing to make progress. Now, there might be a time where someone who has shown interest in working with you finally books a call and come to find out, your personalities would not work well in an official coach/client relationship. That can happen! Part of the purpose of those intro calls is to interview each other for the roles as coach/client anyway. But for the most part, the people who get on a call with you, probably already love who you are & what you do. Usually they’ve been in your corner of the internet for awhile. They aren’t rejecting you as an individual, they like who you are and what you’re all about, they are (temporarily) rejecting your coaching offer to help them with X and there is usually a better reason for their “no” than they just don’t like you after talking to you for less than an hour on a call.

Number Two: Respect their decision

– This was not your call to make. It was theirs! The decision to work with you in an official coach/client relationship was for them to decide. They have to make the call on whether they want to exchange their hard earned money for the service you provide. They honestly didn’t have to say yes to you. You might have wanted them to say yes to you. I mean, of course you probably wanted them to say yes. You want to help more people be able to do X, Y, Z and you know that you know your stuff! You are an expert at this! However, you have respect what that ideal client decides to do after the call with you. You have to believe in your gut that the right clients for you are out there and that they are on their way to you. Maybe this individual will turn around and hire you into the near or far future. Regardless, you are still a great coach, you still have a growing business and there are people out there who are looking for someone like you to help them with X. So respect whatever that potential client decides. You have more people who are going to say yes to you, so even if this one told you no, you’ve got more people to help right around the corner.

Number Three: Remain their friend

– I really want to encourage you to stay in contact with the people who tell you no. Don’t start ignoring someone because they aren’t going to pursue an official coach/client relationship with you any farther, even just for right now. Keep following each other on social media. Respond to each others comments, messages and emails. Like each others posts. Don’t cut a person off or end (even an online) friendship because they don’t want to be/aren’t ready to be your client. Relationship building is a vital part of building a sustainable online or offline business. That potential client can still learn a lot from even your free content and they are going to be looking to see how you approach/distance them after your call/their decision. You might find that they are the ones to unfollow you or distance themselves from you. Okay, let that be their call – not yours. You don’t want that to reflect poorly on you/your growing biz. Usually if they make that decision, it has to do with them being embarrassed about why they couldn’t work with you or insecure about what they had shared with you/what you and your content reminds them of.

Number Four: Remember who you are, what you do & why you do it

– As it says above, remember who you are, what you do and why you do. This will connect you to purpose and will make you feel confident moving forward, even after a client rejection.

Number Five: Reach out to more people

– Okay, so this person said no to your offer. Now you have the opportunity for someone to say yes to your offer. You have time to fill on your schedule for someone who is ready to say yes and pay you over their hard earned money for the service that you provide. That client who is going to say “yes” is on their way to you. They are looking for someone like you to help them with X. They might turn up from a hashtag you used, a video you uploaded, a podcast you were on (etc…) OR they might show up on your doorstep (aka your social media) by you having reached out to them. To grow your business, you need to build relationships. You build relationships by putting yourself out there and reaching out to more people.

My dad has always told me, for every 10 people, expect 9 to say no and 1 to say yes.

You just have to find that YES and sometimes, that requires you to go through 9 no’s first.

(read how to reach out/find ideal client in this blog post)


What was it like when you got your first “no?”

What have you learned about ideal client rejections? Do you have any advice to offer up?

Share in the comments below!

Producing Proud People,
Madyson Greene