When I started my coaching business, I was terrified of hearing a ‘NO’ from a potential client. I wanted to help them so bad it hurt me when they chose not to hire me.
As I have been talking and coaching female entrepreneurs, I find that most, especially at the beginning of their journey, have the same fear. And it can manifest itself in different ways.
For example, by not making an offer on a consult call because of thoughts like these coming up for them:
– ‘this person can’t afford it’;
– ‘it’s not going to work out anyway;’…
… or wanting to help the other person so bad that the desperation comes through and turns them away.
The secret to booking consistent paying clients is overcoming the fear of ‘NO’ and leading your discovery calls as a relaxed conversation.
A human to a human conversation where:
a) you diagnose your ideal client’s problem,
b) decide if they are a good fit for you, and
c) if so – make an offer without the attachment to the outcome.
Easier said than done, isn’t it? I know ….
However, after this read, you’ll have the tools to overcome this fear and make the consult calls much more comfortable.
Know that this happens to everyone.
One of our primary needs as human beings is to be accepted. We want to fit in, be liked, be apart of a community. Thousands of years ago, that meant safety, food, and shelter. Being rejected by the tribe meant death in the wild. That’s why our brain fears the rejection so much, and it cannot distinguish a simple “No, I’m not ready to work with you yet” from the previous scenario.
That’s why before any conversation with a potential client, remind yourself that ‘NO’ is a normal part of running a business. We all hear it, even the most successful entrepreneurs. Remember that ‘NO’s’ are not infinite and that one more takes you one step closer to the next ‘Yes.’
Be kind to yourself.
When you feel down or scared of being rejected, be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your feelings, and remember they are normal. Acknowledgment is a first step to being able to address the fear and reframe your mindset around it.
You can tell yourself:
“It’s normal to feel scared right now. Everyone would. But if I don’t make an offer to this client, I’ll deprive them of the opportunity of receiving help, and they need it.”
“It’s normal to feel this way right now. And my business success doesn’t depend on this one individual ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. If this person doesn’t end up working with e, that’s OK. The next one will.”
When you offer love and kindness to yourself, you’ll be able to show it to others. And that’s the frame of mind you want to have when going into consuls calls.
Use it as a self-development tool.
If you’re committed to attracting paying clients consistently, then use every discovery call you have as a learning opportunity. Take 5-10 mins after each and think:
- What went well, and why?
- What didn’t go so well, and why?
- How did I feel, what was I thinking?
- Where was my focus during the conversation?
The more you do it, the more self-aware you’ll become and develop ideas on how to improve the next conversation and address your fear of rejection.
Always keep things in perspective.
Fear of ‘NO’ from a potential client can lead you to be very attached to the conversation’s outcome. And when you are, desperation will come out. If you’re desperately trying to get a ‘YES,’ the other person feels it and automatically gets turned off by it.
Reframing your mindset before the consult call and putting things in perspective will help you avoid that trap. You want to start the call with abundance, relaxed, and letting go of the outcome. The one ‘NO’ is not going to make or break your business.
Think about it this way.
If you’re new and keep taking action, you’ll eventually hear a ‘Yes.’ ‘No’s are not infinite. If you’re more established, you’ve booked clients in the past, you’ll book them now and in the future. They are out there, and you’ll keep attracting the right ones for you.
Face Your Fear
If fear of rejection keeps you away, even from booking the consults in the first place, face it. To paraphrase Nelson Mandela: courage is not about NOT feeling fear. Courage is doing things in spite of fear.
Here’s an idea to make it easier for you. Make a contest with yourself (it’s a technique used in many sales training). Create a checklist for 100 ‘No’s’. Anytime you get a ‘No’ from a potential client, you’ll get to check a box. If you get to 100, you win (pick a prize you’d treat yourself too with the win)! The great thing about it is that to get to 100 NO’s, you’ll hear some ‘Yes’s” in-between for sure! This way, it will be a win-win with every conversation. Either you hear a ‘No’ and get to check a box taking you closer to winning, or you book a client, which is a win in itself!
And if you’re struggling to get fully booked with consults (so you can practice dealing with your fear of failure), then first book on a consult with me here and I might be able to help 😊.