Saying no even when they want to hire you

Sep 30, 2022

I upset a woman I spoke with a while back who reached out to inquire about my Certification Accelerator… I told her she wasn’t ready to create a certification.

She had just started her business and a previous coach told her that she should start a certification program. She spent months working with this coach laying out a training that she wanted to turn into a certification program.

When I asked her about her experience in the area that she wanted to certify folks in her response was “I haven’t actually worked in this area before – I just thought it would make a great certification program.” Because she didn’t have experience with what she wanted to train folks, my suggestion was to hit pause on the certification and instead focus on working in this area so she could test and prove her methodology first. She was disappointed when I recommended this to her, as she wanted to jump straight into creating the certification.

She was ready to hire me and I told her no.

It is SOOOO important to know when a client is ready to work with you – and when they are NOT ready yet.

We talk about this a lot in our Certified OBM® community too. There are often business owners who show up saying “I want to hire an OBM” but once we dig into where their business is at they aren’t ready for an OBM. What they really need is a good VA or a business coach.

When we say yes to a client that really isn’t ready for us, we are setting ourselves up for failure (and unhappy clients!) We are putting ourselves in a position where we can’t do our best work, and might even feel obligated to do work that we don’t really enjoy or know how to do.

And we are setting our clients up to expect things that their business isn’t really ready for.

It’s a guarantee that things will fall apart and it’s usually not a fun experience. I’ve been there.

I get it! It’s really hard to say no when someone is saying “I want to hire you”. It’s hard to say no to the money (especially if it’s money you need!) It’s hard to say no to being wanted.

But it’s also a huge gift to say to someone “I’m not what you need right now, given what you’ve shared with me I recommend X as your next step”. Folks often don’t understand what they really need and will appreciate your honesty and guidance.

Are you clear on what needs to be true in order to do your best work with a client? What are the criteria that make them a good fit for what you offer? (or not!)

This is one of the things we are going to be working on in my upcoming Build Your Framework workshop. Your framework is the clearly laid out path for how you create results for your clients. It’s the key to getting yourself out of delivery (as per my last newsletter) and is also the key to being able to guarantee results for your clients who then become raving fans.


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