How to alienate a potential client

If you are a spiritual coach, practitioner or a healer, chances are, you’ve probably considered hiring a business coach at some point.

As a designer to many entrepreneurs, I’ve had to work alongside a few business coaches recently, and I really feel I need to set the record straight.

One of the things that is very curious to me is that coaches are teaching entrepreneurs that they have to, MUST(!) convert the prospect into a sale during a free 15 or so minute consultation call.

Faster than you can get through a McDonald’s drive–thru, entrepreneurs need to get to know a complete stranger and successfully close the sale for a very expensive, often 5 to 6 figure coaching program.

I’ve been on the receiving end of many of these calls and been pitched lots of times. My direct and emphatic opinion is that this is a wonderful, successful way to alienate a potential customer and to lose the sale.

If an entrepreneur prides herself on building long–lasting, meaningful, prosperous relationships with all who she encounters, a 15 minute call conveys just the opposite.

By condensing important conversations into a tight–locked time frame, you’ll never be able to truly understand who is on the other side of the phone asking for your help. Equally importantly, the prospect never has a chance to adequately trust you and feel comfortable handing you the keys to her life.

My belief is that sales is like dating. It’s terribly hard to ask someone to marry you before even a first date or two.

In Asia, it is common knowledge that all business relationships are built — simmered — over a length of time. That might be a period of days, weeks, months and sometimes, even years. In my last business, I have spent this kind of time establishing a trusted and valuable relationship with others. It was not unusual for me to get on a plane to show up in their offices to say hello, even if the flight was 20 hours long.

In the Western world, particularly in this relatively new spiritual and coaching industry, the impression is that an entrepreneur HAS TO(!) close a deal by the end of the 15 minute phone call. Some coaches teach entrepreneurs to have the audacity to ask for the prospect’s credit card by saying, “Now give me your credit card number.”

It works for some people, and in fact, I used to do something similar myself. But not everyone is comfortable communicating with that type of audacity. Nowhere have I heard coaches tell entrepreneurs that she should find her own style and voice, and to find a way to be herself and stay true to her personality.

Rather, I see too many people being handed a sales script.

The truth is that a sales conversation is very much like an intimate dance. How the entrepreneur and how the client dance together is very unique. In all my years of closing sales, no one sales conversation has ever been the same, or even similar.

Fast rules and sales scripts don’t apply, and I don’t want entrepreneurs to get the feeling that they just need to get a prospect on the phone, blurt out a script and then demand for payment. And if they don’t, they are a giant failure.

Nothing could be more false.

The bottom line is, you have to understand yourself and the way that you do your dance. Just like in sales, in all my years of dancing, I have never danced the same kind of dance twice, because every situation, every partner, every leader and every tune is a little different.

What you don’t want to do is trap yourself into feeling like you’ve got some kind of military mission to accomplish with every call. The more you are locked into the should, the more depressed and lost you will feel about how to create income from your heart.

I don’t ever walk into a sales situation without the expectation of closing the sale, and I always, always do. But I don’t start from that place, and I certainly don’t try to marathon it within 15 minutes. There have been times I’ve spent close to 2 hours on the phone with a potential client because sometimes, it takes that much effort to sort through every doubt and lead the person through the leap.

If your service is a high–end one, you can afford to do this. Perhaps you can’t afford not to.

Some business coaches don’t believe in that because they say if you need to drag a client in, chances are, you’ll have to drag them out. I believe this to be true too. Generally though, you can spot the ones that need dragging within the first 5 minutes of a call. In a later blog post, I will teach you how to immediately see through and disengage time wasters, and to spot the gems where it’s okay to invest the extra time to convert the sale.

There have also been times when a prospect is ready to buy within the first 10 minutes of the call and even then, I nurture the relationship by continuing the hour–long heart to heart talk.

Rather than focusing on the quantity of time with a prospect, start treasuring the quality of time you spend with those you wish would buy from you. It doesn’t take much time to talk, but it does take time to listen, which is nearly everything when it comes to successfully closing a sale.

Over the next few blog posts, I will be focusing a lot on sales. I feel the need to speak up. I see many entrepreneurs being led down a very bizarre path, only to return back to where they’ve started. I promise you that in each and every one of my writings, you will become a smarter, more assertive and more business–conscious entrepreneur.

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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  • June 20, 2013

    Agreed 100%. I’ve ditched those calls because they never felt ‘right’ to me and the clients that came from them either bailed before they started or just were not the right fit. It may work for some but I think the majority of us out here have to learn the way that works best for us. And there’s no formula for that!

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