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Oh No! What Do I Do Now?


You got that new client.  She looks like a great fit.  You send off your welcome package and make the initial charge to her credit card as you agreed.  Yea!

Later that day, she replies, “I’m not totally comfortable with that 6-month commitment to coaching we discussed.  I’d be willing to contract for three months and then reevaluate.”

You know it doesn’t actually serve most clients to expect to see full results in less than six months, but you want to accommodate her needs, so you reply …

“I want you to feel comfortable with me and confident in the process.  So, I’ve changed the paperwork to reflect a three-month commitment.  We can  reevaluate where you are then.  I want you to feel delighted with our work together!”

A few hours later, you’re totally surprised to hear:   “I’ve changed my mind and have decided not to pursue coaching.  I’m not ready at this time. Please refund my fee.”

Wait! … What?

You’re disappointed.  And let’s face it, maybe a little irritated as well.   You’ve already spent hours on this potential client  … the hour-long complimentary consultation, sending  the welcome information, which you had to modify and resend over a holiday weekend, handling the administrative details … the charge … the refund.

It’s only human to react negatively initially.

From my experience as a business coach, I can tell you, it’s what you think and do next that matters.  It can make all the difference between success in business and failure.

There are two essential elements to coming out the other side of upset in a good place.

  • First, ALWAYS come from service.  Be your most generous, kind, service-oriented self … even when the person in front of you challenges your patience, your sense of fairness, etc.
  • And then, do whatever it takes to change your emotional set point back to a happier and more positive place!

If you hadn’t guessed, this little drama is exactly what played out for me this Labor Day weekend.

SO …here’s what I did.

I acknowledged the disappointment I felt.  I didn’t step over it.  Then, I changed my thinking by tapping into this simple analogy.

Finding the clients who are the right fit is much like using your GPS system.

When you aren’t headed in the right direction on the road, the GPS will tell you, “When possible make a legal U-turn!”

Likewise, you’ve probably all had the experience of wondering if you’re really a good match with a prospective client and thinking maybe there’s trouble ahead.

Well, when you’re not heading for a successful partnership with a client, your  “client match GPS” will signal you that this really isn’t really where you want to go.

You should welcome that warning and be grateful for it.

And if it comes early on, as in this case, great!  The sooner, the better.

Just coming to a state of appreciation at the trouble I’d been spared …vs. my initial disappointment and irritation … brought me to a much more positive emotional state.

From there, I took some time to visualize my ideal clients … the high achievers I really love to work with.  I imagined the faces of some of my favorite clients and recalled our conversations.

That made me downright happy.

Within minutes …literally minutes … what, at first, was a disappointment, and an annoyance, revealed itself as a blessing in disguise.

Now, I get that transforming the way you “frame” your disappointments and upsets from negative to positive is easier said than done,

But it’s a critical skill to master.

How quickly you recover from the inevitable disappointments and setbacks in business … how long you allow yourself to lick your wounds … is a major determinant of how successful you’ll be!  

To be upset and annoyed when stuff goes wrong makes you an ordinary human being.

What makes you extraordinary is being able to quickly change your emotional set point and move on with a genuine smile on your face.

That shows true resilience and true grit … two key characteristics that every business owner needs to foster in themselves.  Nurture those qualities, and you’ll be around and successful for a long time.

Best Wishes,



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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!