Young Upstarts

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Six Reasons People Aren’t Buying Your Stuff

by Cathy Wilke, owner of Freedom and Fulfillment Coaching

You’re excited about a new potential client you met at an event.  She seems like the perfect fit for your work. You know you can help her, and you’d really like to work with her.  You had “the conversation,” and it went well—you came from a place of love and service as opposed to one of desperation and need, and she seemed interested.

So you make a follow-up call, and you’re thinking its full steam ahead… when suddenly she says, “No thanks.”

You’ve been there, right?

We all have.

And most of us take it personally and go into despair.

Why do we do this?

It’s because we’re looking at the situation from our own point of view, not the potential client’s.

How do you react when a potential client decides not to work with you?

Here’s a typical reaction: “Your heart sinks.  ‘But why?’ you think. ‘How can she not do this?  Doesn’t she know she needs it?’  And right away, you start thinking you’re the reason.  Maybe it’s something you said.  Maybe it’s something you didn’t say. When I was new in business I’d leave that situation thinking ‘if only.’ If I had only given them a discount, agreed to do the sessions in person, thrown in a few bonuses — maybe I could have enrolled them.

If your own experience is anything like most of the entrepreneurs I work with, they probably told you they couldn’t afford it. I get my perspective from being on both sides of the situation (as a potential client and a service provider).  The vast majority of the time, the reasons why people say no have absolutely nothing to do with you, almost nothing to do with finances, and everything to do with themselves. So you can let yourself off the hook.

There are many reasons why people choose not to work with you, even when they’re a great fit and in need of your services. Here’s a rundown on six of the most common ones — which, as you’ll note, have nothing at all to do with you, your business, or your prices.

1. Fear of failure.

Specifically, fear that the work won’t help them because of them.  It’s not because your work isn’t good, but because they feel on some level that they are not able to be helped.

2. Fear of success.

Some people truly are afraid of being successful.  This may sound bizarre, but fear of success is really a mask for fear of change. Some people will cling to what’s familiar as if their lives depended on it.

3. Overwhelmed.

They think the work will be too much for them — too much effort, too much time, too much emotion, too much something.

4. Laziness.

They’re simply looking for a quick fix.

5. Stuckness.

They do want to work with you, but they can’t get themselves to take action.

6. Incorrect knowledge.

They think they already know what they need to do to fix their situation; they believe they just can’t get themselves to do it.

That number six is a tough one. It’s hard to explain to someone that they don’t know what they don’t know.  They have to be willing to take the leap and work with you, but if they’re not, then there’s really no way to convince them.”

So what do you do in a case like that?

You just have to let them go with love.

Sometimes they come back later. Sometimes not. But here’s what you have to remember:  They are not your last chance. Just because someone says no, it isn’t a commentary on you or your work.

The most important thing for you to know is that it’s a big world out there. Every time someone declines to work with you, remember that there will always be someone else.


Cathy Wilke is a business alchemist and marketing coach who helps coaches, healers and soul-based entrepreneurs connect with their purpose and turn it into a marketing message that speaks to those who need their work.  You can find her at:  to learn more check out her free webinar–No Competition: How To Leverage Your Special Gift To Create A Business That Stands Out From the Crowd.




This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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