How To Spot A Pain In The Ass Client (Before It's Too Late)


Nothing kills your confidence, your enthusiasm, or your business faster than bad-fit clients.


Because your coaching is built on relationships. You aren't out to build a course with hundreds of people in it.

This means that when you take on a client, you are giving that person a part of your life...

And the quality of your life is determined largely by who you spend it with..

So you need to be picky.

My 3 Question Test For Taking On New Clients

How do you know if the person you are in a conversation with is going to be a nightmare of a client?

Well, there are three questions I ask myself during enrollment that tip me off. These are based on criteria that I’ve developed after coaching lots and lots of people.

You may have your own criteria but here’s a starting point:

1. Can you help them? As you’re clarifying the potential client’s situation, you need to get really honest with yourself about whether you are the best person to help them. Because if you’re not, you’re going to be stressed and the client is going to be resentful. This can turn what could have been a fantastic client into a nightmare client really quickly. And it causes you to lose integrity as a business owner. A big part of knowing whether you can help someone is being clear about where you are credible as a coach.

2. Do you want to help them? This is mostly an intuitive question. Over the course of an enrollment call you will start to get a sense of the chemistry between you and the potential client. A related question that you may want to ask is: if I help this person, will that allow them to make a positive impact on the world? For example: I help coaches get clients. So if the coach I’m talking to doesn’t have a track record of providing value, or they’re going to be scamming people, I don’t want to help that person.

3. Are they open to help? This is such a critical question when it comes to helping people achieve results. Most people just aren’t coachable. Even a lot of coaches! If the potential client is critical of your process or ideas in the enrollment call, they’re going to keep being critical as a client. Personally, I like my clients to come in with an empty cup, fully aware that they don't have it all figured out. Those are the people who take action fastest. Some people w ill say that they are open, but their actions speak louder than their words.

The Most Important Rule: Don't Compromise

So, we’ve talked about how your clients must have the problem that you solve, they must be cool, and they must be coachable.

When we pull back, these seem really obvious. So why do so many coaches end up with non-ideal clients?

The truth is that most coaches have a lot of trouble getting clients. So when they're presented with one, they don’t always remember the criteria we just talked about. They see the potential money and get temporary amnesia about who they want to work with.

As one of my mentors once described it, we sometimes “paint the red flags green.” Meaning we are so eager to close the sale that we ignore warning signs that pop up about whether this person is really an ideal client.

At the root of all this is a scarcity mindset. And it's slowing you down.

What you need to develop is an abundance mindset, and the best way to start is to “act as if” you already have a full client roster. The reality is that you choose who you allow into your practice. And it’s an important choice because you only have a limited amount of space and time to help people.

Here's The Bottom Line...

Even if you don’t have any clients, you need to act as if you do. Because every nightmare client that you let into your practice is going to drain your energy and take away from your ability to attract star clients.

I’d rather you have one client that becomes an incredible case study than have five clients who you end up hating.