Do you shame your clients?

Recently, I was coaching a wonderful woman on her very cool signature program and she had this idea for her sales copy. To help potential customers vet themselves, she created three different personas, each with their own unique set of characteristics.

You may have seen stuff like this before on various sales pages – you know, “What type are you? You’re a Debbie Downer if insert bullet points. You’re a Negative Nellie if insert bullet points.”

On the surface, it sounds like a cool idea. A few months ago, I would have thought that was a pretty neat way for potential clients to identify themselves and diagnose their problems. I know that my client probably thought the same thing — she probably saw it somewhere and thought, hey, that’s a cool way to sell my program.

I went to work to help her see what I see, and she was so open, gracious and conscious to consider what I saw and ended up seeing it, too. Here’s the deal:

This kind of technique is completely, 100% based in cold, hard shame.

Think about it. This technique diagnoses clients based on what’s wrong with them and then proceeds to call them names.

Oh, you’re a Debbie Downer. You’re a Forgetful Fanny. You’re a Lazy Laura.

It reeks of shame.

The thing is, your potential clients don’t need to be diagnosed and be told they have some kind of spiritual illness or emotional shortcoming. I’ve been on the receiving end of such a sales call. The person diagnosed me and then tried to sell me the coaching medication, and to be honest, the process made me feel like complete shit by the end of the conversation.

If you want to give your client a name, give them a positive name based in unconditional love that they can hug themselves with. For example, what about Compassionate Christy or Inspiring Ivy or Magnificent Martha? Clients could claim their self–love and simultaneously feel empowered by their journey TO that place.

Bottom line is, we have to stop shaming our clients. Not only are they getting diagnosed and name–called, they’re also starting to believe they’re not good enough if they’re not making 6 figures straight out of the gate.

If you follow a coach who is rooted in shame or who hasn’t done shadow work, you will only purchase more shame.

When you hire a coach, know that you’re not buying a business plan or a marketing strategy. You’re buying a piece of their programming, so you need to be thorough and discover them inside out, left, right, center, up, down, backwards and forwards before you decide whether that programming is authentic for you.

Otherwise, what you’ll end up buying is not a coaching relationship, but a soul contract relationship so that the two of you can learn hard spiritual lessons.

There’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what your soul signed up for, but if you want to set some boundaries here, make sure your intention is to work with people who will further your business and help you love yourself more, not to work through spiritual conflicts with. To my best knowledge, you get to choose that consciously.

If you’ve unconsciously shamed your clients before or you’re doing it now, it’s okay. I’m not going to judge you or shame you about it. Recognize the pattern and then stop.

Better yet, tell your client what you’ve learned about yourself and vow to never do that to them again. Make it accountable on both ends. When I start working with clients, I make them sign a pledge that says if I cross that line with them, they promise to speak up.

Also, recognize that if you are shaming your clients, you are definitely shaming yourself, too. Start looking there and you’ll find the answer to that mystery and its origin.

Shame has been our normal all this time. It’s so normal we don’t even know it sometimes. Are you ready for a new normal?

Hi, I’m Ana Coeur

I teach entrepreneurs how to create their business straight from their soul. I offer a complete Intuitive Business Suite to help you create, design, write and sell all from your intuition. Here’s the services you can take advantage of to empower your business: Intuitive Web & Brand Design, Intuitive Copywriting and Intuitive Selling. If there’s anything I can help you with, I would love to hear about it! You may email me at

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