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This is Why Knowing How to Say No Politely In Business as a Coach Matters

Nov 30, 2020

Have you ever been in this situation: 

“I have taken in this new client last week but she just doesn’t want to listen to me, no matter what I do. I know I shouldn’t have taken her in. My gut feeling and everything else was against taking her in. Now I have missed my child’s soccer practice today, even though I promised her for a long time that I would come over and watch. I wish I knew how to say no politely in business.”

Burnt out coaches believe that they need to take in every person as a client, because they think that this is the way to grow their business. They will keep going even though it is not good for them.

Is it more important to have fulfilled lifelong clients or to have clients quitting on day one and leaving a bad review behind? 

What if I told you that this doesn't need to be the case?

Thriving coaches know it too well themselves. But when they were confronted with those kinds of clients, they politely declined them. They know that that type can hurt their business.

That's why I would like to share my thoughts and experience on this and tell you about the 3 main reasons why saying no here is a good thing.


The Power of Saying of Saying No - How it Can Change Your Entire Outlook on Clients


Do you think setting boundaries is a good or bad idea? Do you really need to take in every client that wants to buy your services?

Burnt out coaches think that serving more clients is better for their business. But then they find themselves in rabbit holes where they are stuck with the opposite of their ideal client.

Now, these coaches feel drained. They don't serve at the level they want to serve for their clients.

It would be like trying to lift weights, but each new client makes the weights heavier. At some point, you can't go on and need to put the weights down.

However, if you keep adding bad clients on top, you will be doing fewer reps. Will you have the strength to keep going after that?

Have you ever seen a thriving coach working with successful clients that were not excited and ready to go? These coaches know that they don't need to help everyone because they can't. But that is fine.

Some people keep crossing their arms and are living in their own heads. Some others never get motivated no matter what you do to help them out.

But for the ones they do, these coaches want to be there, ready to go with 100% energy and more. They are excited about working with a person they want to work with. 

That is something we teach inside our Ultimate Group Coaching Checklist.


How to Say No Graciously - What Effect it Has For Everything Besides You


Imagine what would happen if you took in bad clients. Have you ever thought about what else can it affect, besides yourself?

With so many bad apples, burnt out coaches not only feel exhausted, but it also shows everywhere else they go. From the way, they show up for their other clients, to everywhere else in their life.

"I wish I didn't yell at my child today. I didn't mean to be this upset. I knew I shouldn't have taken in that client last week. But I couldn’t do it.”

There are expert coaches out there that only have a select few people inside their programs. That is especially apparent in their high end coaching programs. 

They know that this is a key foundation for the success of their clients. They want clients that are committed and coachable.

You want your coaching business to last your lifetime, right? Imagine if you tried taking in unideal clients for the next 50 years. 

Is it worth the cost that your other clients and your private life have to suffer?

Successful coaches know this. They see it as another good reason to set boundaries. They know it is also good for their business in terms of profits, when the other clients get full service. 

If this is something you want to find out about your business, download our Ultimate Group Coaching Checklist.


How to Say No Graciously - How About the Opposite of Lying


Burnt out coaches make the mistake that their expertise makes everything look like a nail. A nail that in some cases are actually screws.

Imagine if you had a doctor trying to fix your car. I think we can both agree that this wouldn't work. 

With how the world is, you even have doctors specialized in certain medical fields, too.

Is it more important to you to be a jack of all trades and a master of none?

Or do you want to be just the right puzzle piece that your next client needs to have?

As we have seen so far though, we can't and don't need to solve the problems of every client. We can focus on the ones we can solve, though.

What do you do with clients that you can't help out? - You could refer them to people you know that can do it. 

That way they will keep a good image of you and might come back later with a problem you can fix. You can also think of that as serving your clients.

Because if you are honest, you will have higher chances that good things come back to you, compared to lying. She might not only come back to you but also refer you to her friends as well.

This allows us to give the best service possible, a service that your client deserves.

Remember what an effect it has on your coaching business overall. You want to be sustainable? 

That means that this marathon will serve many clients over a long period of time. In this case, missing one client doesn't look like a make or break thing, does it?

Secondly, do you think that you need to rely on that next client really when you have multiple streams of income and good money management?

Lastly, trust your gut. If you have a very unpleasant feeling about a potential client, make sure you let them know politely. You want to do that in the best interest of both of you.


In Summary:

  • Know how much of an impact unideal clients can have on you.
  • Think about the effect on your energy; how it can disrupt your private life and the service quality of your other clients.
  • Be honest about what you can and can’t do and what this whole topic means for your entire business.


Even with many obstacles standing in your way, know that all the successful coaches ran into them at some point. They also had learned how to politely decline dozens of bad clients. If you want to make progress in your coaching business, keep this business and be profitable long term in it, download our Ultimate Group Coaching Checklist. 


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