Really, they deserve a hug. I’m not saying they should get one for “no;” I’m sure you would prefer an affirmative answer. They get one for being open and forthright enough to tell you that.
Think about it: Would you rather hear the “no” or be strung along thinking you will eventually get a “yes?”
As a coach, you have two categories of people you want to hear “no” from.
–Potential Clients. For most businesses, you have to have several conversations to get a “yes.” You could end up spending a month or two cultivating a potential client only to hear that dreaded two-letter word. What a waste of your time and energy! What do you think could happen if you tell someone early in the sales process, “If this isn’t for you right now, please tell me so I don’t waste your time. Will you do that?” You’ve not closed off all business, just coaching for right now.
–Clients. When a client tells you, “Not a snowball’s chance in hell,” you have learned a lot. You have a clear-cut boundary and you don’t need to go around it. You can ask, “What am I missing?” and discover other avenues the client wants to explore.
You have a lot to do with someone telling you “no.” I don’t mean you should be so over the top obnoxious that people can’t stand to be with you. You can create an atmosphere where someone isn’t afraid to turn you down without damaging the relationship. You keep the future open for possibilities.
What do you need to do to create that openness everywhere around you?