How to handle a “no thanks” from a potential client

Posted on September 1, 2016 by Samantha Gomez



I was excited about the coming week. I had two new mentoring clients booked in and I couldn’t wait to get started with them. I knew both of them had such an opportunity to build their business and I was ‘champing at the ‘bit’ to get stuck into their businesses and advise them on how they could start earning more money.

On Saturday afternoon I received an email from one with a vague “I’d like to cancel our session and I will contact you when I’m ready” and on Sunday morning I received an email from the second one saying “I’ve decided I don’t have enough money to proceed”.

After receiving the second email I was deflated, I was sad, I was angry and hurt.

Didn’t they understand I could help them?

But most of all I was upset for me. What I thought was going to be a great week, full of exciting challenges and great new interactions had disappeared. What I thought was going to be a great addition to my client base had vanished.

So, I sat on my lounge and cried. I got rid of the anger, I got rid of the sadness and I allowed myself to feel all the emotions that two cancellations in one week can generate. Then I tuned into my intuitive side and waited.

The message I received was “Never ever, ever give up. Would Richard Branson give up because of two cancellations? Pull yourself together and move on”.

But I still had to respond to these two emails. How would I do that? I was upset and annoyed, but wanted to respond in a way that meant I wouldn’t lose two potential clients that may come back at another time.

Then I started to think about a recent experience I had…

I had done a few mentoring sessions with someone who I respected but decided not to continue once my package came to an end. When I sent an email notifying the person that, for the moment, I wouldn’t re-sign, my email was met with silence. Nothing. Not a word.

The silence spoke volumes. She was angry and hurt because she just lost one part of her income.

Then I thought of my situation. I was angry and hurt too but my experience on the other end of the equation had taught me a very valuable lesson. So I waited until the end of the day when my anger and hurt had definitely subsided (due to time and my crying session) and then I wrote both my potential clients an email. I told them I was disappointed, but that I totally understood their situation as I had been there too. And I also told them that whenever they are ready to move forward I am here for them and would love to work with them when the time is right.

I’ll keep you posted of the outcome but here is a quick re-cap of what do to when a potential client says “no” to you:

– Allow yourself to feel all the emotions that the “no” brings up – it is OK to be disappointed and upset

– Don’t feel guilty about any anger or hurt that you feel

– Tune into your intuition and ask yourself what other opportunities this ‘no’ allows you to follow

– Do not respond to the ‘no’ until you are completely emotionally free of the situation

– Send an email saying you totally understand, that you’d love to work with them in the future and you’ll be ready and waiting for them when they are ready to move forward.

Have you had a similar experience? How did you handle it?


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