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A Generous Spirit


A client called me recently. She wasn’t sure what to do. She’d made a special offer for a complimentary session on her blog.

Normally, you’d be glad to talk with everyone who expresses a serious interest. The more comp sessions, the more prospective clients, right? Well, she’d decided to offer just three sessions. A lot of people do that. In sales, it’s called a “limiter.” It’s meant to create urgency.

But four people signed up.

Here’s the wrinkle. The fourth person was pretty clearly not likely to be hiring anyone soon due to her life circumstances.

My client’s dilemma was this. Should she go ahead and do the session anyway or beg off by saying she already had three signups?

Put yourself in my client’s shoes. What would you do?

Each choice has a positive intention behind it.

By begging off, you save precious time. What’s the point of spending an hour with someone you assume can’t take advantage of your services and who you may not be able to do much for?

That’s a strategic business decision. Time is money, and as a service provider, time is your inventory. Can you really afford to give it away with no real prospect of return on investment?

On the other hand, by offering the session, you might be able to help someone who really needs it. And that person might become a client at some date in the future or refer someone else. You never know.

So, what’ll it be?

I have a clear, unequivocal answer. Do you?

You do the session. You serve the person the best you can.

Why? Because it’s what you do as a professional. It’s your mission. It’s your calling. Your job is to use your gifts … your skills and training … to serve people.

Can you afford to do it if you don’t make money at it? Most of us can’t. And you shouldn’t have to. But, what a shame it would be to walk away from an opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life just because the circumstances don’t fit the formula exactly.

My client is a good person, dedicated to helping others, and she was letting a business consideration cloud her thinking.

Success in business is a natural outgrowth of something more fundamental … doing right by people, even when it may cost you more than it benefits you, at least directly.

But I understand the tug and pull. I’ve been there.

I once spoke to a group of professional insurance women. Something like twenty people signed up for comp sessions. Folks in my target market. Great!

Only it turned out they were all admins … not my target market of business owners at all.

That became clear after the first couple of sessions. So, what did I do? I did all twenty sessions and served them to the best of my ability, despite my disappointment.

I didn’t get a single client from that group, but you know what? Clients started falling from the sky. No kidding. They began showing up from the strangest and most unlikely sources … like magic.

Is it a case of what comes around goes around? I think so. Was my dedication-to-service vibe attracting people from the ether? Sure seemed like it.

I believe the universe sends people to you for a reason. Because you asked for them.

What I’ve found is that when you approach your interaction with folks with a generous spirit, eager to help, firm in the belief that you’ll be provided for if you’re there for others, it all just seems to work out.

Best wishes,

Meet Denise: Denise Hedges is a Business Development Coach and Speaker Coach for small business owners who want to be more comfortable, confident, and successful with their sales and marketing efforts. She specializes in helping them use speaking as a way to dramatically improve their results!


Well said, Denise! I completely agree with your take on this though I’ve never had twenty complimentary sessions to deliver at once. That is a true test of one’s values and you clearly exemplify what you preach. Thanks for sharing.