Our Best Strategies For Dealing with Clients Who Change Their Minds
The high of having a client say yes to financial coaching is thrilling. But if you coach long enough, you’re going to have some of those yeses flip to “No, thank you.” A client who previously said they wanted to work with you and was gung-ho to start after your last interaction could send you a message a few days later saying the opposite. Clients can change their mind.
What’s the best way to handle this? What can you say? How do you not let this letdown drag you down?
How To Reframe the No
First, just know that client saying no is not the end of the world. And it probably has very little to do with you or your offer. There are plenty of clients who know they want to do a better job at managing their money, but might feel scared of change. They could meet with you and second guess if they need your help. Trying it on their own might feel like the “easier” option. They might just get cold feet knowing there’s work ahead and they don’t feel equipped to do it.
Taking the clients emotions into account means that it’s not about your coaching. You don’t have to blow up your sales funnel. It’s more about how they feel about this big life change they are potentially going to have to make. And that’s scary. So the best thing you can do is respect this client’s decision and support them.
Put yourself in their shoes. Ask:
“What must she have been feeling as she was writing this email to me?”
“What fears are likely coming up for her right now?”
“If I was feeling this way and sent an email like this, what type of response would make me feel so loved and supported?”
Your main job in this moment is to support them. That might feel hard, especially since you’ve just been rejected. And no one likes that feeling. We know there are a lot of emotions tied to money, so now is not the time for you to stir those all up.
Don’t take them down the rabbit hole of what might happen if they don’t commit to coaching now. They are likely feeling exposed and vulnerable, so the worst thing right now would be to exploit those fears to make a sale. You should respond in the most understanding and supportive way you can.
Know This Is Not The End
It’s easy to see the no as an ending. But it doesn’t have to be. Perhaps instead of seeing this no as a “never”, you can reframe it as a “not now”.
Clients sometimes just need time. They need to think they’ve exhausted all possibilities before they are ready to accept help – even if it’s help they’re paying for. Just because they say no now, that doesn’t mean they won’t come back at a later date.
We’ve scheduled Eureka sessions with clients, had them back out, then come back a year later and become some of our best long term clients. Don’t lose hope in your clients, and make sure when they’re ready that you’ve left the door open.
If A Client Changes Their Mind About Your Long-Term Coaching Program
With our coaching business, we start everyone with a discovery session. At the end of the discovery session, if we feel like the client is a good fit, we ask if they’re interested in long-term coaching. Sometimes they say yes, only to then back out before we get started. In this scenario, we take one extra step. Here’s how one of our financial coaches, Coach Jaclyn, handles this scenario.
Her process is to schedule a 15-min call at a later date with those clients. She most likely ended their Eureka Session planning on them moving forward, and now they’re not. She wants them to be able to have everything to take action, anticipate potential hurdles, define what red flags might mean they actually really need financial coaching, and leave them in a really positive, professional way.
Jaclyn will get that call scheduled as soon as possible, even just over the phone (but she prefers Zoom). She also still schedules them for an On Track Call a month later. It’s our discovery session check-in to make sure they’re actually doing ok on their own.
If she is REALLY on the fence about the client being able to do it on their own, she will often share that during the call. Jaclyn will encourage them to make sure they show up for the On Track Call, regardless of what comes up (a lot of times we get reschedules) because that deadline actually encourages them to take action.
But ultimately, she never wants to “convince” a client to work with her. So if any of those types of thoughts are coming up for her, she really focuses on clean coaching and comes completely from a place of service to them. That typically helps the conversation go really well, no matter what the client decides.
It’s the Client’s Decision
And that’s really the crux of it.
It’s up to the client to decide. We can want the best for our clients. We can see in real and tangible ways how financial coaching will benefit them. But no matter how much we want that for them, we can’t make them do it. And we can’t bully them into seeing that truth. We need to acknowledge their feelings, support them, and be there when they’re ready for financial coaching. Because as we said, clients change their mind. And that no, could someday flip back to a yes.